Review: Inkheart

Cornelia Funke: Inkheart (Chicken House, 2003).

o if you could read any character out of any book, who would you choose to read out? Or – if you had the chance to get into a book, which book would it be? I think my answers to these questions would be Paddington and I want to go to the Inn of the Last Home in the DragonLance world.
This sounds like the perfect thing – what could be better than being able to visit your favorite characters or places? Well, turns out – lots of things when you weren’t aware that you had the ability to read people out of books or that when you do, someone else go into that book. This is what happened to Mo and Meggie. When Meggie was just a tiny baby, Mo accidentally read her mother into a book – and then some nasty villains and one fire eater came out. The literary characters think Mo is some kind of wizard so they nick name him Silvertongue. Mo tries desperately to get his wife back but with no luck. He also tries to keep away from the villains by moving constantly, taking Meggie and a lot of books with him. But one night when Meggie is 12, the fire eater Dustfinger shows up to warn them and Meggie, her father and Dustfinger leaves their home to go live with Elinor, Mo’s wife’s aunt.
The villain who came out of the book, Capricorn, wants the book that he was read out of and eventually, Meggie, Mo and Elinor are all prisoners at Capriorn’s village – along with Fenoglio, the author of the book. While Meggie and Fenoglio are kept prisoners, Meggie discovers that she, like her father, can read characters out of books.
Capricorn wants to destroy all versions of the books – except for one so he can get his best friend read out. Mo, Elinor and Meggie manages to escape the village, only after Mo has read various treasures out of books – and the boy Farid out of 1001 Nights. But when visiting with the author, Capricorn’s men turn up again and takes Meggie…
I really like the love for books that shines through – Mo dedicates his life to the repair of old battered books, Meggie loves to read, Elinor has the most amazing library. And I love that if you take the time to think a little deeper, you can be inspired to think a lot about the relationship between an author and his work, a reader and books, how you interpret the words you read. Words don’t come alive until someone reads them – and that’s certainly the case in this book.
So maybe, probably, it would be a shame to take Paddington away from the Browns and I would probably miss my computer and other modern conveniences if I were to stay at the Inn of the Last Home.

2 thoughts on “Review: Inkheart

  1. i heartily agree with you about the love of books shining through the story. However, I must say this series as a whole was just about okay. The books were all a little too long drawn out and predictable.

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