Thursday 4 February 2016

Funke, Cornelia "Inkheart"

Funke, Cornelia "Inkheart" (German: Tintenherz) - 2003

I am not a huge fan of fantasy (read: I usually try to avoid these novels) but this book was on so many of my lists, had been suggested by so many friends - and my son owns a copy. So, I thought, why not. After all, I did like "The Neverending Story" by Michael Ende. And yes, I did like this story, as well. Probably, because it didn't contain any weird creatures but was just about magic and the middle ages where people believed in that sort of stuff. And - more importantly - a book. I love anything about books. There is a beautiful library and some interesting characters that make the story gripping.

Every chapter is introduced with a quote from another fantasy and/or children's book. That is also quite an interesting aspect of the storytelling.

So, all in all, a great concept and a lovely story. What's not to like?

I read this in the original German language.

From the back cover:

"Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.

Characters from books literally leap off the page in this engrossing fantasy. Meggie has had her father to herself since her mother went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. He can "read" characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie's mother disappeared into the story. This "story within a story" will delight not just fantasy fans, but all readers who like an exciting plot with larger-than-life characters."

The story is continued in "Inkspell" (Tintenblut) and "Inkdeath" (Tintentod).

Other books mentioned in "Inkheart"
Anonymous "The Arabian Nights"
- "The Thousand and One Nights, Vol. I. Commonly Called the Arabian Nights' Entertainments"
- "Beowulf"
- "The Mabinogion"
Adams, Richard "Watership Down
Andersen, Hans Christian "The Complete Fairy Tales"
Barrie, James M. "Peter Pan"
Basbanes, Nicholas A. "A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books"
Blades, William "The Enemies of Books"
Blake, William "The Four Zoas"
Boston, Lucy M. "The Children of Green Knowe" (Green Knowe #1)
Bradbury, Ray "Fahrenheit 451"
Bury, Richard de "The Love of Books: The Philobiblon of Richard de Bury"
Carroll, Lewis "Alice in Wonderland" (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland #1)
Celan, Paul "Engführung"
Collodi, Carlo "Pinocchio"
Cotroneo, Roberto "Se una mattina d’estate un bambino. Lettera a mio figlio sull'amore per i libri"
Dahl, Roald "The BFG"
- "The Witches"
Dickens, Charles "Great Expectations
- "Oliver Twist"
Doyle, Arthur Conan "The Complete Sherlock Holmes"
Eagle, Solomon "Moving a Library"
Ende, Michael "Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver" (Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer)
- "The Neverending Story" (Die unendliche Geschichte)
Goldman, William "The Princess Bride"
Grahame, Kenneth "The Wind in the Willows"
Hertz, Wilhelm "Spielmannsbuch"
Homer "Odyssey
Ibbotson, Eva "The Secret of Platform 13"
Kästner, Erich "Emil and the Detectives" (Emil und die Detektive)
Kipling, Rudyard "The Elephant's Child"
- "The Jungle Book"
- "Just So Stories"
Larrabeiti, Michael de "The Borrible Trilogy"
Lewis, C.S. "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" (Chronicles of Narnia #1)
Lindgren, Astrid "Mio, my Son" (Mio, min Mio)
Lofting, Hugh "The Story of Doctor Dolittle" (Doctor Dolittle #1)
Manguel, Alberto "A History of Reding"
Milne, A.A. "Winnie-the-Pooh" (Winnie-the-Pooh #1)
Morrison, Toni "Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech"
Nabokov, Vladimir "Lectures on Literature"
Preußler, Otfried "Krabat"
Rabinowitz, Harold (Ed.) "A Passion for Books: A Book Lover's Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books"
Sendak, Maurice "Where the Wild Things Are"
Shakespeare, William "The Merchant of Venice"
- "The Tempest"
Silverstein, Shel "Where the Sidewalk Ends"
Singer, Isaac Bashevis "Naftali the Storyteller and His Horse Sus and Other Stories"
Stevenson, Robert Louis "Kidnapped" (David Balfour #1)
- "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
- "Treasure Island"
Tolkien, J.R.R. "The Fellowship of the Ring" (The Lord of the Rings #1)
"The Two Towers" (The Lord of the Rings #2)
"The Return of the King" (The Lord of the Rings #3)
- "The Hobbit
Twain, Mark "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn #1)
- "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn #2)
Voltaire "Candide, or Optimism" - 1759
Walton, Evangeline "Mabinogion tetralogy"
White, E.B. "Charlotte's Web"
White, T.H. "The Sword in the Stone (The Once and Future King #1)
- "The Book of Merlyn" (The Once and Future King #5)
Wilde, Oscar "Selfish Giant"


  1. I am a fan of fantasy, so when I found Inkheart which is fantasy about a book I was a happy reader. Read the who trilogy and enjoyed it thoroughly. Then they made a movie about the first book with Brendan Fraser starring in it. The movie was awful so they didn't do the next 2 books.
    I finished I'm Off Then and I really liked it, I liked the life lesson he put at the end of each chapter and I liked his personal search for God. I like the analogy he made about God and the church with God being the perfect movie and perhaps the church being a bad movie theatre. That doesn't change God and make him less, it's the medium that's presenting him.

    1. I am glad you liked the books, I don't think I will read the two next ones but you never know. Movies about these kind of stories are always difficult, I remember "The Never Ending Story", I knew they wouldn't be able to do it and I was right. What an awful film. Michael Ende, the author, even refused to put his name under it because it had nothing to do with his story in the end.

      I'm glad you liked "I'm Off Then". Hape Kerkeling is a very interesting guy, it's so sad he does his tv comedies only in German, I'm sure you'd love him. And I think this book shows how thoughtful he really is.

      Thanks for your comment, always a pleasure to read.

      Have a good day,