Saturday, 1 December 2012
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Twelve-year-old Meggie lives with her bookbinder father Mo after the disappearance of her mother in mysterious circumstances when she was only three. They are visiting a relative, book collector Eleanor when a strange man called Dustfinger arrives, claiming that Mo read him out of a book called Inkheart. What follows is a good old-fashioned adventure as Meggie and Mo race to stop the villain of Inkheart, Capricon, from destroying all the remaining copies and wreaking a terrible vengeance on his enemies. Along the way, they are assisted by Eleanor, the author of Inkheart, Fenoglio, and Farid, a young boy read out of the pages of A Thousand and One Nights.
Here's the thing: I know Inkheart isn't exactly the finest literature and I know that the plot is a little silly at times (the Shadow being a case in point), but none of that stops me from loving the book so much that even thinking about it makes me smile. Who amongst us hasn't read a book and wanted the characters to come out of the book? I know I have and I love that the entire story revolves around the love of books and in particular, the love of all the classics I loved so much as a child (Peter Pan, Arabian Nights etc). In fact, the thing I enjoy most about Inkheart is the tone; it feels like the old-fashioned books I devoured when I was young. There's a good dose of adventure, a straightforward good vs evil plot and a hint of magic. Picking it up feels like picking up an Enid Blyton novel,Treasure Island or Peter Pan. Although Meggie is in for a lot of suffering, it's due to the danger she faces and the world of the book is like a lovely bubble I like to sink into every now and again.
This isn't really a proper review as I'm not going to be critical. I understand this book isn't for everyone but I absolutely love it and I'm already looking forward to making time for a reread of Inkspell and Inkdeath over the next few weeks. For me, Inkheart is escapist adventure at its best.
Source: Personal copy
Edition: Chicken House, 2004
Score: 5 out of 5
Posted by Sam (Tiny Library) at 21:38
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Ooh, a fellow Inkheart fan! I loved this trilogy although my son (more the target readership!) really didn't rate it and found it too slow-moving. I'm holding onto them though for me to re-read in my twilight years and of course my daughter might like them too.ReplyDelete
Did you see the film? It was ok but not a patch on the book.
I think I would have loved it as a child, but then I liked all the Victorian children's books which are slow-paced, so the pace wouldn't have bothered me.Delete
I quite like the film (especially Helen Mirren as Eleanor) but agree it's got nothing on the book!
Yes, I loved it when I first read it at the age of about 12, I think. Unfortunately I never got round to the second one (which I do own as well) and when the third book came out, it was the period in my life when I didn't read at all. So that's that. It reminded me of the first time that I read Astrid Lindgren! It's a great book. I might actually revisit it one day...ReplyDelete
Ooh, you should read Inkspell & Inkdeath. Inkspell is great but Inkdeath takes the story in a very different direction and I have to admit that some of my favourite characters didn't get the ending I wanted.Delete
I always wanted to read Pippi Longstocking but never got around to it!
I enjoyed the film and I've always wondered about the books. I'm glad they're so good.ReplyDelete
The film is good but the book is so much better!Delete
I've read this book and I *think* the sequel, but not the entire trilogy. This is a lovely tribute to a book you've loved - I know the feeling!ReplyDelete
If you do read the third volume (Inkdeath), just be prepared it's very different from the other two, much darker in tone.Delete
When I read your review I thought that it would be a perfect book to read to my son - then I read Lovely Treez's comment and now I'm not so sure! I like the sound of it though, so maybe I'll just read it myself. JoanneReplyDelete
I would have enjoyed it as I child but then I enjoyed slow paced Victorian books like The Secret Garden. A lot happens in the book, but there's many complications to get through before you get to the final drama!Delete
I love how books not only hold memories of the story itself but also of what you were doing at the time you were reading them! I love how they're such a big part of your life :) It's pretty much the same for me.ReplyDelete
I've seen the movie, but I haven't read the book and I've been meaning to for YEARS. I really need to remedy this :)
I love that about books too, some of them take me to places I visited years ago :)Delete
The movie is good, but the book is so much better - you are in for a treat!
Awww it's lovely that you still love it now as an adult. There are some childhood favourites I am scred to revisit in case I don't like them any more!ReplyDelete
I'm scared of some childhood favourites too - I reread one of the Famous Five novels a few years ago and could not see why I loved it so much as a child. And I'm staying well away from Sweet Valley High/ The Babysitters Club!Delete
I adore the Inkheart books! When I read them, I remember how I felt like I was sucked into the Inkworld with Meggie and everyone else. I definitely need to reread these soon!ReplyDelete
Glad to meet another fan :)Delete
My kids read these and loved them, but I missed out. They're still on my daughters shelf. I've always thought I should give them a try- maybe I still will.ReplyDelete
You should give them a try - the magic of children's books are not just for children! :PDelete
Some times when you love a book it's next to impossible to be critical about it. The book just touches you for some reason and nothing anyone else would say will ever change it. I've never read Inkheart but it does sound magical and perfect for book lovers! :-)ReplyDelete
That's definitely the case here, I will hear no word against Inkheart even though logically I know it has flaws. I love rereading old favourites :)Delete
:) I love rereading old favorites. There's just something so comforting and magical about revisiting worlds from my childhood. Unfortunately, I haven't read this series, though I do own them! They catch my eye anytime I walk past the bookcase. Hopefully I'll be able to get around to reading them soon; I know SO many people who love this series.ReplyDelete
When I read childhood favourites again I sometimes wish I was still a child/teen! I hope you enjoy them if you get a chance to read them :)Delete
I've never read this one but after your loving review, I'm going to have to check it out.ReplyDelete
It's funny how I feel a much greater sense of loss about missing out on a beloved childhood book as opposed to an adult book. Maybe it's because I feel like I won't experience the same magic as a grown-up?
I read this years ago but never got round to reading the others in the series. I love the idea of characters coming out of books, just like you said.ReplyDelete
Although the film was dire, did you see it?