Thursday, December 17, 2009

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Snore!

Harry Potter proved that young adults could read books of longer than 200 pages. It created a new world for young adult literature that is longer and more detailed. Inkheart emerged onto the scene playing heavily on the appeal of J. K. Rowling. And in my opinion, fell flat on its face. What a boring book. Cornelia Funke accomplished in 520 pages what she could have accomplished in 250. Rarely would I suggest an abridged version of a book, however in this case the only way I would give the Inkheart series to a child was if it were heavily shortened and tightened. This book will not encourage most readers and is not a good choice if trying to instill a love of reading in a youngster.

I feel guilty being that negative. I SO wanted to like this series. And I have specifically held off watching the movie until I had read the book. But in this instance I think cutting out all the extraneous unnecessary description to create a tight screenplay will improve the work.

Part of my hope for the series was that it revolves around a father and daughter who love books. They love to read. They are wholeheartedly invested in the world of stories and literature and losing oneself in a new world. How can all of that be bad?
When it goes nowhere.
The plot spins in endless circles with very little forward motion until I finally put Inkheart down and begged my husband to tell me what happened.

I am curious about one thing: Is this my failing as an American reader who has fallen into the trap of expecting action in every chapter? I hadn't initially realized that Inkheart is a German novel (although it helps to know that in the beginning. Otherwise the lack of setting up a locale is slightly disconcerting). I haven't read much German literature and would like to know if this is stereotypical. Do German novels focus on heavy description and move forward at a slower pace than an "average" American book? If anyone has any insight, please share.

* * * * *

If you would like more books like Inkheart try:

2 comments:

AML said...

I'm so relieved to read your review of this book. I've been trying, off and on, to fight my way through Inkheart for well over a year now. It's painfully slow, and I studied German lit in college!

g.n.a.t. said...

Thanks! It's nice to have confirmation that I'm not the only who found this slow. And I love your blog! I'll be checking it out again.