26 October 2013

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart has been on my reading list since November 2011. Now that I am once again working in a library, I have the magic of InterLibrary Loan at my disposal to use and abuse to no end. (Since, ya know, I don't quite have enough books in my own library that I want to read...)

I will perfectly honest with you: I almost didn't finish this book. I even received permission from Rachel to not finish this book. I had only gotten about 60 pages into this 500 odd page book and I didn't care. I didn't care about 12 year old Meggie and her father, Mortimer. Actually, I was more interested in Mortimer's day job: repairing and binding books. I wish we could have seen him work a little more. 
The story is about Meggie and Mortimer (or Mo as he is affectionately known by, well, just about everyone. Except Capricorn and his men.) and their special relationship with books. We learn that they both love to read and read a lot. Mo had been known to spend more money on books than food or clothes and to buy more books than he really had room for. So far, I am feeling right at home with this guy.
One night, Mo receives a visitor. Dustfinger. It is all hush hush and hid from Meggie; however, as any good precocious 12 year old protagonist, she makes sure that the secret doesn't stay secret for long. And the real secret is this: Mo can read characters out of their books. Nine years before our story takes place, we learn that while Mo was reading to his wife and young daughter, he read Capricorn and his villainous men right into their living room. After a terrifying sword fight that left Mo with scars, he discovered a bigger problem. Not only had he read characters out of the book (this book is also called Inkheart), but in the process, he accidentally read his wife into the book. 
Well okay. Maybe he didn't exactly read her into the book. It turns out that when Mo reads out loud and things from the book start to come out, things in Mo's world sometimes go missing. 

It was a translation from the German, and as Rachel was also quick to point out, it could have been a bad translation. I'm glad she reminded me of this. I got lucky with the last two books I read that were translated (Love Virtually & Every Seventh Wave) and I think I just assumed everything would be perfect in this one. Well. You know what they say about assuming. 

Just because I didn't like this book, doesn't mean you won't like it. But if you would like a book that covers fantasy, magical folk and magical lands I strongly recommend Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I love Stardust and how effortlessly Gaiman weaves the fantasy of the magical world of Stormhold into the every day lives of the citizens of Wall. 
I love all of Gaiman's work and recommend it without reserve. Well, most of it. Except that one...but that must have been a fluke thing. I try not to think about it. 

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