Saturday, 24 January 2009

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke - Currently in the Cinema

Worried that there are no more Harry Potter books or films to come? Fear not. If you have not already discovered Cornelia Funke's trilogy, Inkheart, Inkspell and Inkdawn, it's time to read them. And perhaps you see the film.

Based on the international bestselling novel by Cornelia Funke, Inkheart is the story of Meggie, a young girl whose father (Mo, but often called Silvertongue) has a secret ability to bring characters from books to life when he reads them aloud. The main problem is that someone from the place and time in which the book is read, is sent into the book. Essentially the story really starts when a power-hungry villain from a rare children’s fable (the 'Inkheart' of the title) kidnaps Meggie’s father to bring others out of the boundaries of fiction, then destroys the book which Mo had so long sought. Meggie embarks on an adventure together with her Great Aunt Elinor and various 'read-out' characters to find the author, the original manuscript and put things back in their right place.

Inkheart, the first book of the trilogy which includes Inkspell (released in 2005) and the upcoming Inkdawn, debuted at number nine on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to be translated into 20 languages. Cornelia Funke, has written more than 40 books in 15 years including the international bestseller The Thief Lord. She was named one of Time magazine’s “Most Influential People of the Year” in 2005.

Unfortunately the film met my usual expectation that the film was not as good as the book. (With notable exceptions, including the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series, and PS. I Love You). Several notable changes meant that certain details or twists were rather unexpected, but overall, it is an enjoyable film, and it is fun to spot the references to many other books and classics, incorporated in the story. The book however, plays with language in a way, that the film cannot. And that is the true beauty behind this lengthy German masterpiece.

"Schmeck jedes Wort, Meggie, fl├╝sterte Mos Stimme in ihr, lass es Dir auf der Zunge zergehen. Schmeckst Du die Farben? Schmeckst Du den Wind und die Nacht? Die Angst und die Freude? Und die Liebe. Schmeck sie, Meggie, und alles erwacht zum Leben." (Tintenherz)

"Taste every word Meggie, Mo's voice whispered in her ear, let it melt on your tongue. Can you taste the colours? Can you taste the wind and the night? Fear and Joy? And love. Taste them, Meggie, and everything comes to life."


by Cornelia Funke, translated by Anthea Bell
544 pages, Chicken House, £12.99

See the trailer here.

International Release Dates
Germany,UK, Brazil, December 2008
Taiwan, Turkey, USA 23 January 2009
Argentina 5 February 2009
Netherlands 12 February 2009
Italy 23 February 2009
Russia 19 March 2009
Finland 3 April 2009

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