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Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart (original 2003; edition 2005)

by Cornelia Funke

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11,120402251 (3.93)601
Authors:Cornelia Funke
Info:Scholastic Paperbacks (2005), Paperback, 560 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (2003)

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» See also 601 mentions

English (374)  Dutch (8)  German (8)  Spanish (4)  French (3)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (1)  Russian (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (403)
Showing 1-5 of 374 (next | show all)
The book in general was really interesting and definitely a page turner. Although, I liked the ending in the movie much better. I don't the ending was happy enough. ( )
  Shannon29 | Jun 25, 2015 |
A very slow moving book. It used 500 pages to convey what was really not a very long story. The conceit of the book is that some people are "readers", possessing the rare gift of bringing characters or objects to real life in the process of reading a story aloud. It is a wonderful idea, but the question nagging at me throughout the last 300 pages of the book was, who on earth would ever want to read the fictional book, Inkheart, aloud? The characters that we get to know, with the exception of Dustfingers the juggler and fire-eater, are boring bullies with as much personality as a cardboard cut-out. Not worth the breath a Reader might waste on them. Why did "Mo" bother to read about them aloud - for he had an inkling of his gift by that point - and why would he read a book full of nasty, brutish villains to his beloved wife? But read it he did, and unleashed them on the world as we know it, causing himself and his family a life of trouble. We are told that "Badly told stories never come to life" (page 502), but we are only told and not shown that Inkheart is not such a story. In the end, the story somewhat redeems itself; the insufferably self-satisfied author Fenoglio invents an alternate ending (despite his pride in the published version where the villains live - "One of my best villains! How could I kill him off?" Sometimes good people die, and bad people live happy lives, he boasts - and "Why should it be different in books?") to the original, amoral story. Without undue spoilers, I can say that he does bring about a reasonably happy ending for most and left me with the feeling that my afternoon was not a total waste. ( )
  muumi | Apr 12, 2015 |
Funke really tries to force "books are awesome and can cure cancer and stuff" down your throat through the entire story but I still liked it. :) ( )
  LopiCake | Mar 25, 2015 |
I can't wait to find out what happens next! A stunning page turner... ( )
  Breton07 | Mar 14, 2015 |
I delight in finding books that are clearly intended for bibliophiles, like love letters for literature and its dedicated readers. Inkheart is such a book. The story centers on Meggie and her father, Mo. He is a book binder whose trade is to heal broken tomes, she is still a school girl, and they are both avid readers. They also live alone, as Meggie's mother left when she was only three. The story introduces these lovely characters, and immediately throws an event at them that will change their lives. A mysterious man shows up on a dark, rainy night. Meggie spies him from her window and runs to tell her father, who apparently knows the man and invites him in. While Mo and Dustfinger closet themselves into Mo's study for a conference, Meggie tries to eavesdrop - she has a bad feeling about the stranger.

Meggie can't make much sense of the conversation. She learns that a man is looking for a book her father owns, and it sounds serious, but she can't imagine why. What she does know is that when her father packs their bags and tells her they are going on a trip - a not infrequent occurrence in their life of many moves and journeys to fix rare books - the real reason they are leaving has something to do with what Dustfinger told her father the night before. They drive to her Aunt Elinore's home, and Dustfinger hitches a ride with them.

Although Meggie isn't a fan of her curt and unwelcoming Aunt Elinore, she loves her house. Books abound. The entrance is a hallway lined with shelves on both sides. Every room has book cases, in addition to the library where Elinore stores her most precious collection. And since Aunt Elinore has devoted her whole life to reading and collecting rare books, this special room is a treasure house indeed. Too bad Elinore won't allow Meggie to even step inside. Meggie doesn't have much time to get comfortable. Soon after they arrive, a group of men in black jackets come to Elinore's large house and take her father away. Elinore keeps Meggie safe, but they are powerless to stop the men, and Mo is gone. Dustfinger, who had conveniently disappeared during the attack, returns and offers to escort the women to Capricorn's village, where Mo is sure to be.

The trio pile into Elinore's car and drive into remote regions in the hills, moving away from the sea and into dry and scrubby land. On first sight, Capricorn's village appears to be an abandoned town, but Meggie feels a menace emanating from the villains, and her feelings are justified when they meet Capricorn. His men bring the women as prisoners before their leader. He is seated on a throne in a church, which has had its holy relics replaced with corruptions or awful statues, and is entirely painted in a blood red color.

Capricorn can force Mo's hand now that he has taken his daughter captive, and Mo shares with Meggie and Elinor the truth he has been hiding for years: when he reads from a book, objects and characters sometimes leave its pages and enter the real world. An exchange is always made; when a character emerges from the book, a person from the real world enters it. Meggie's mother disappeared into the book that released Capricorn. Now Meggie knows why the evil man wants her father. Their journey is just starting - they do manage to escape when Dustfinger releases them, but Capricorn keeps the book Inkheart. Dustfinger is drawn irresistibly back. Basta and his fellows find Mo and Meggie, who have sought out Fenoglio, the author of Inkheart, and take Meggie while Mo is away. Mo and Elinor also return to the village, and the final confrontation gathers steam with all players assembled, building to a dramatic and satisfying conclusion.

The story is crafted with a loving play of language that is a pleasure to read. Even better, the author incorporates book and reading metaphors throughout the novel, in keeping with the themes and tone of the story. Other figurative language is worked into the novel, matching new characters that are introduced: fire for Dustfinger, arid deserts themes for Farid, and so on. I was impressed with the skill in craftsmanship, beginning with the characters and the plot but working its way into every description and moment. The story paces itself sedately, but with a building tension and a suspense that is masterfully sustained, allowing plenty of time to concretely paint the setting and develop the characters into rounded and believable persons. Capricorn and his minions are truly menacing, not out of magic or supernatural monsters or any other external threat, but from pure evil malice. Capricorn represents the worst of humanity. Indeed, there is a darkness in this story that makes it more suited to older children readers. The themes of displacement and abandonment, the heartless cruelty of Capricorn and Basta and the black jackets, and the mounting tension is mature fare. For older readers, of course, these aspects of the book enhance its power as a story. I savored every chapter of this book, and look forward to continuing through the trilogy. ( )
  nmhale | Feb 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 374 (next | show all)
Such breathtaking things are going to happen, you cannot even imagine. SPECTACULAR!, FABULOUS! BREATHTAKING! If you've got to read a book it's got to be this one.
Inkheart is a book about books, a celebration of and a warning about books. The "Inkheart" of the title is a book. I don't think I've ever read anything that conveys so well the joys, terrors and pitfalls of reading. ...

When the villains are at last defeated and the denizens of the book tumble through into reality, it is quite disappointing to find them gaudy, small and trivial. Is Funke saying that, while books as books are wonderful, real life has a solid sort of grimness that renders make-believe flimsy? Or is she pleading with us to mix at least a little fantasy with our reality? I don't know. Inkheart leaves you asking such questions. And this is, to my mind, an important thing for a story to do.

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cornelia Funkeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bell, AntheaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magnaghi, RobertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Redgrave, LynnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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Important places
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Awards and honors
If you are a dreamer, come in

If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,

A Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean Buyer,

If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire

For we have some flax-golden tales to spin

Come in!

Come in!

Shel Silverstein
For Anna, who even put The Lord of The Rings aside for a while to read this book. Could anyone ask for more of a daughter?
And for Elinor, who lent me her name, although I didn't use it for an elf queen.
For Anna, who put 'The Lord Of The Rings' aside for this book. Could anyone ask more of a daughter? And for Elinor, who lent me her name, although i didn't use it for an elf queen.
First words
The book she had been reading was under her pillow, pressing its cover against her ear as if to lure her back into its printed pages.
Rain fell that night, a fine, whispering rain.
Some books should be tasted some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.
Why do grown-ups think it's easier for children to bear secrets than the truth?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
First published in Germany as Tintenherz by Cecilie Dressler Verlag, Hamburg, 2003.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

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Book description
A young adult fantasy novel where a young girl and her father are able to bring a story's characters to life with equally good and bad results just by reading.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0439709105, Paperback)

Meggie’s father, Mo, has an wonderful and sometimes terrible ability. When he reads aloud from books, he brings the characters to life--literally. Mo discovered his power when Maggie was just a baby. He read so lyrically from the the book Inkheart, that several of the book’s wicked characters ended up blinking and cursing on his cottage floor. Then Mo discovered something even worse--when he read Capricorn and his henchmen out of Inkheart, he accidentally read Meggie’s mother in.

Meggie, now a young lady, knows nothing of her father's bizarre and powerful talent, only that Mo still refuses to read to her. Capricorn, a being so evil he would "feed a bird to a cat on purpose, just to watch it being torn apart," has searched for Meggie's father for years, wanting to twist Mo's powerful talent to his own dark means. Finally, Capricorn realizes that the best way to lure Mo to his remote mountain hideaway is to use his beloved, oblivious daughter Meggie as bait!

Cornelia Funke’s imaginative ode to books and book lovers is sure to be enjoyed by fans of her breakout debut, The Thief Lord, and young readers who enjoyed the similarly themed The Great Good Thing by Roderick Townley. (Ages 10 to 15) --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:51 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

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