Saturday, June 02, 2007

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Ok, I admit it. I hadn't read Cornilia Funke. Hard to believe I know considering that her books have been wildly popular. But then, I'm not a huge fantansy fan, although once I discover a fantasy author that I like, I generally read everything they write and pick up their new books fairly quickly. It happened though that we were speaking at the same conference recently (she being one of the big draws, me being local small pototatoes) and she was an extremely compelling speaker, so I picked up a couple of her books including Inkheart. Here she is signing books. I totally loved Inkheart, especially the premise that characters from a book come to life. The good versus evil theme was very well handled, and I particularly like the lack of sugar coating; people die, bad things happen. In fact, Funke is a real marvel at upping the ante, something that new writers may want to consider when tackling a novel. Her characters are compelling enough to make me want to read more, and I wasn't at all displeased to find the first chapter of book II conveniently located at the end. Wise publisher!

I might also mention that Cornelia's translator was at the same conference. If you are ever privileged enough to hear Anthea Bell speak, don't pass up the chance. She is one of those incredible throw-backs to the a real scholar who is as thoughtful as she is learned. I totally loved her. One of the best things about that conference (Serendipty put on by the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable by the also wonderful Dr. Ron Jobe) was the dialogue that translator and author engaged in after their respective talks. The two spoke back and forth as well as answered questions from the audience and it was so informative in terms of the play between art and craft and language.

More later. Sheryl


Anonymous said...

Hi Sheryl

I enjoy reading your blog whenever I get a chance. Like you, I can't separate the love of writing books for children from the love of reading them. My favourite of Cornelia Funke's novels so far is "The Thief Lord," which is set in Venice (partly realistic, but touched by magic).

I love your challege to "read a banned book" during Freedom to Read Week!


readingkidsbooks said...

Thanks Jacquie. What a nice business to be in isn't it! I haven't read The Thief Lord yet, mostly because I'm reading the truck load of books on the long list for the Information Book Award. But, will get to it one of these days. Sheryl