Inkheart is loaded with chapter-starting quotes from many of my best-loved books, as well as some that are on my reading list. In Inkheart certain human beings have the capacity to read a character out of a book, into existence in the real world. Elinor, a supporting (human) character, ponders that these read-out characters must miss their book world, in much the way that bookish people feel most comfortable living within their safe world of books. Hmmm.....
I like the concept, it's fun, and she cites a number of other books that tap the same process -- The Princess Bride, The Neverending Story, even Huck tells us in Huckleberry Finn that we've already "met" him if we've read Tom Sawyer -- but as some other reviewers have remarked, it takes Funke too long to get where she wants to go. I think the book would be better, tighter, if it were about 1/3 shorter. We're told that Meggie is 12 years old, but she doesn't seem 12. More like 16. I could stand less about Fenoglio's grandchildren. Less about snakes and Basta's superstitions (I get it!). Less about traveling around the Italian backwoods.
|Don't judge a book by its cover,|
but I just love this cover.
And what do you know, there was a notable reference to Anna Karenina! I would NOT have been able to appreciate this without having already read AK! There's a special circle of knowledge going on here among my most recent reads.
So... this is cool, this Post-Modernist self-reflexivity and all, but I'm ready for a book that, well, ISN'T about books. Last night I started Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer. It feels like a Horatio Alger tale, but I think there's a surprising twist coming. Otherwise I'm just reading about a young, 19th century Gordon Gecko.