Friday, November 27, 2009

True Stories from Author Gary Paulsen

Here are the real events that inspired Gary Paulsen to write Brian Robeson’s story in Hatchet, The River, Brian’s Winter, and Brian’s Return: a stint as a volunteer emergency worker; the death that became the pilot’s death in Hatchet; plane crashes he’s seen and his own near misses. He takes readers on his first hunting trips, showing the wonder and solace of nature along with his hilarious mishaps and mistakes. He shares special memories, such as the night he attracted every mosquito in the county, and how he met the moose who made it personal. There’s a handy chapter titled “Eating Eyeballs and Guts or Starving: The Fine Art of Wilderness Nutrition”-- recipes included.

Readers of these hair-raising tales may wonder how Gary Paulsen survived to write his books and to tell these humorous stories on himself. Well, the answer is… it took guts.

Title: Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books
Author: Gary Paulsen
Start & Finished: 4/29/09- 5/1/09
Published: November 1, 2001
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 148
Genre: Non-fiction- Memoir

Gary Paulsen has witnessed some horrific things in his lifetime and sometimes even been a part of them. Heart attacks, plane crashes, emergency landings (once where women and children on a plane that was forced to land in the ocean and they were attacked by sharks near the ship 7 year old Paulsen was onboard), dog races, and even moose attacks. All of these events and more are included in the novella memoir Guts that the author wrote to answer the questions where he got his ideas for his survival stories, especially his Newbery Honor book Hatchet.

Some of his harrowing adventures make Brian’s almost look tame in comparison! As the author puts it, he was kind to Brian and the real kicker is that every sometimes funny, sometimes sickening, but always fascinating thing that the author talks about actually did happen to him. There were several I enjoyed reading (and some I didn’t- like the hunting chapters or when a deer killed a boy in a state park) but only two had me really laughing: when he was throwing the sled dogs in the bush plane to keep them out of the tail (so they wouldn’t crash) and they continued to come back, also when his team of dogs ran over a fresh water snapping turtle laying her eggs which resulted in the dogs being bit (and them trying to climb the nearby trees), Paulsen being bit, and the sled upside down while the “cross between a T-rex and an alligator” walked off unharmed.

Imagine sitting around a table and just listening to an old explorer talking about his many adventures and you would have Guts. There isn’t really any order to the stories but to tell the reader how events in his life inspired him to create certain things in his Brian (and a few other) books. It’s a very laid-back collection of stories- more like a conversation among friends really.

All I can say is I’m never getting in a bush plane and I sure hope to never run into a moose either!

First Paragraph: Perhaps the single most catastrophic event in Brian's life in Hatchet is when the pilot dies of a heart attack. This forces Brian to fly the plane and land-- in little more than an "aimed" crash-- in a lake, where he swims free and saves himself.

A short biography and a full list of Gary Paulsen's published works are on Wikipedia.

2006-New York Times
?- Jim Trelease

How libraries saved Gary Paulsen's life.


The world suddenly changed-- and it was a sensation I would remember when I wrote Hatchet. With the dying of the engine every aspect of our flight drastically altered. No longer was the forest sliding by beneath us wonderful scenery; it had become a place that would try to wreck the plane, try to freeze us, try to starve us, try to end us.

At the first instant I didn’t realize that it was a large bull moose. He’d lost the previous year’s antlers and hadn’t grown new ones yet. I just saw brown. I saw big. I saw death coming at me, snorting and thundering. I think I may have thought of phantoms, wood spirits, wild monsters-- I most certainly did not think of moose.

Immediately behind me was a pine tree not more than six feet tall. It looked no different than other small pine trees, cute and well formed, like a little Christmas tree, but in that bull’s mind maybe the tree had done something to insult him, or gotten in his way, or called him out, because he absolutely destroyed that tree.

We have grown away from knowledge, away from knowing what something is really like, toward knowing only what somebody else *says* it is like. There seems to be a desire to ignore the truth in favor of drama.

Anybody who has heard a grouse take off will never forget it. Along with its freeze defense it has evolved a takeoff that is, to say the least, startling. The wings cup the air and beat at a tremendous rate, creating a concussive explosion so loud it sounds like an artillery round going off.
In this case, it was directly in my face. I almost wet myself. Then I fell backward, nearly somersaulting as the grouse flew past where my head had been and vanished into the dappled leaves.
Clearly, I thought, I am doing something wrong.

I’m not sure exactly when, but at some point in my youth, in the wild, I decided that if it didn’t grow or live in the woods I didn’t want it. For a considerable time, in a very real way, I lived not unlike Brian in Hatchet.

To learn, to be willing to learn how a thing works, to understand an animal in nature, or how to write a book or run a dog team or sail a boat, to always keep learning is truly wonderful.

When I set out to write the Brian books I was concerned that everything that happened to Brian should be based on reality, or as near reality as fiction could be. I did not want him to do things that wouldn’t or couldn’t really happen in his situation. Consequently I decided to write only of things that had happened to me or things I purposely did to make certain they would work for Brian.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Debutante Vampire Slayer

Beneath the glitter of dazzling nineteenth-century London Society lurks a bloodthirsty evil…

Vampires have always lived among them, quietly attacking unsuspecting debutantes and dandified lords as well as hackney drivers and Bond Street milliners. If not for the vampire slayers of the Gardella family, these immortal creatures would have long ago taken over the world.

In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the even of her debut, to carry the stake. But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous moonlit streets, Victoria’s heart is torn between London’s most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her duty. And when she comes face-to-face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make a choice between obligation and love…

Title: The Rest Falls Away
Author: Colleen Gleason
Series: Gardella Vampire Chronicles, Book 1
Start & Finished: 4/25/09- 4/26/09
Published: January 2, 2007
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Pages: 347 (paperback)
Genre: Paranormal

There have been vampire hunters since the first whispered stories about those blood-drinking creatures of the night. However, they weren’t too popular in fiction until Professor Van Helsing from Bram Stoker's Dracula came along. Several authors were inspired by his plight but only one has become nearly as popular and only after being adapted into a TV show starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. That show was Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and it had a major hand in helping kick off the urban fantasy/ paranormal genre of late. Author Colleen Gleason decided she wanted to write a story with vampires in it but “couldn’t imagine writing about a sympathetic vampire.” She then found Buffy and the idea of vampires being evil appealed to her “creative muse” so she created a character part Van Helsing, part Buffy Summers (and maybe a bit of Jane Austen too). This character’s name was Victoria Gardella Grantworth and she first appears in Ms. Gleason’s novel The Rest Falls Away.

Just because it is inspired partly by Buffy don’t expect this to be a romance, though it is a love story in part (it is also a historical novel with a very modern feel) but the best way to describe it would be as horror. Not “bloody, gory, scary horror” but again it can hardly be classified at all… exactly like Buffy now that I think about it! Let’s just say that this is an incredibly unique story with a very, very intriguing premise and characters. Where else would you find a debutante "Dancing at balls, attending the theater, [and] stalking vampires?" Of course, since she’s a part of Society she is expected to catch a husband, hopefully during her debut and when she catches the eye of the much sought-after Marquess of Rockley she has to balance out her life of romance and fighting evil: “Fantasies about kissing might not be appropriate thoughts for a young lady, but then again, most young ladies didn’t wear ash stakes in their hair and seek out vampires.”

The Gardella Vampire Chronicles will likely become one of my favorite series even though I usually prefer my vampires a lot less evil and gruesome (I mean, red eyes? Yuck!). The characters are what really made me stay after I realized I wasn’t in for a vampire romance, that and how well thought-out the lore behind the vampires (they’re “offspring” of Judas Iscariot- hence, the reason they don’t like silver) and the vampire hunters (known in the story as Venators). There were times when I wasn’t too impressed with how Victoria acts but they were few and far between. I’ll admit to being more than slightly intrigued by Sebastian and Maximillian though!

The ending of The Rest Falls Away is not a happily ever after one, as fitting for this type of story. Nor did it come as a complete surprise to me though the method did. All in all it was a fitting climax to a dark, light, and sometimes gray novel so I will be reading the second story in this series Rises the Night very soon. Hopefully, more of the maelstrom that is known as Sebastian will have a large part in it!

Gardella Vampire Chronicles
1. The Rest Falls Away (2007)
2. Rises the Night (2007)
3. The Bleeding Dusk (2008)
4. When Twilight Burns (2008)
5. As Shadows Fade (2009)

First Paragraph: His footsteps were soundless, but Victoria felt him moving.

Author Colleen Gleason has her own blog (last update November 3, 2009)

BC Blogcritics
Romance B(u)y the Book
Stainless Steel Droppings

Book Trailer

Interview With B(u)y the Book

Picture Explanations
Hackney: Victoria’s maid has a cousin who owns one of these and she uses it to get around at night to hunt vampires.
Stake: The best way to kill a vampire
Vauxhall Gardens: Victoria and Max have to kill a bunch of vamps here


Dancing at balls, attending the theater, stalking vampires. Without a doubt, Victoria was going to be an extraordinarily busy debutante.

Fantasies about kissing might not be appropriate thoughts for a young lady, but then again, most young ladies didn’t wear ash stakes in their hair and seek out vampires.

Maximillian is known for his cold and calculating kills, true, but apparently, your particular technique of late has sent the undead scurrying. It may have something to do with the fact that you still have in your possession the Book of Antwartha and are one up on Lilith; I am not certain. I just know that the vampires have been more wont to drink kegged blood than fresh in the last few nights.
“So you’ve come to take me to the Chalice, so I can hunt there?”
A look of horror washed the charm off his face.
“Absolutely not!” And then when he saw the faint smile she had allowed, he laughed. “Touché, my dear.”

“When I first accepted the Legacy, I did so innocently-- but I did not understand.”
“I thought it was fun-- to be strong, to be able to walk the streets alone at night, and to know that I could defend myself better than any man could. It gave me freedom that I had never imagined a woman could have!”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One Thousand and One Nights Retelling

Once upon a time is timeless

In a faraway kingdom, a king has been betrayed. Deeply hurt and bitterly angry, he vows never to be deceived again. Unfortunately, the king’s plan to protect himself will endanger all of the realm’s young women, unless one of them will volunteer to marry the king-- and surrender her life.

To everyone’s relief and horror, one young woman steps forward. The daughter of a legendary storyteller, Shahrazad believes it is her destiny to accept this risk and sacrifice herself.

On the night of her wedding to the king, Shahrazad begins to weave a tale. Fascinated, the king lets her live night after night. Just when Shahrazad dares to believe that she has found a way to keep her life-- and an unexpected love-- a treacherous plot will desrupt her plan. Now she can only hope that love is strong enough to save her

Title: The Storyteller’s Daughter: A Retelling of “The Arabian Nights”
Author: Cameron Dokey
Series: Once Upon a Time, Book 1
Start & Finished: 4/21/09-4/22/09
Published: 2002
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 218 (paperback)
Genre: YA- Fantasy/ Fairy Tale

"The original collection has no one author and no one source. The stories are Indian, Persian, and Arabi, and are told in many forms many centuries before they were written down” but One Thousand and One Nights (otherwise known as The Arabian Nights) is still one of the best known collections of stories and folk tales in the world. From this collection came Aladdin, Ali Baba, and of course Scheherazade the teller of these tales. Author Cameron Dokey has adapted this old classic for The Storyteller’s Daughter that is the first in Simon Pulse’s Once Upon a Time series of which Ms. Dokey is the most frequent contributor.

As the tales told by Scheherazade are essentially a series of stories within stories, this author selected only two stories to be told in The Storyteller’s Daughter completely (and one that supposed to represent the one from the actual One Thousand and One Nights that never ends told to Shahriyar): one to Shahrazad as a child by her mother and one that she tells her husband away from the palace. Like a true fairy tale though, these stories do have bearing in the actual tale later on.

“This tale, which you thought so long asleep as to be incapable of offering anything new, has given an unexpected stretch, reached out and caught you in its arms. Even as your mind thought to refuse, your heart reached back, already surrendering to the story’s ancient spell.” Having never actually read One Thousand and One Nights myself I couldn’t say how close of an adaptation that this story was but it did make me want to try to find a good translated copy of the original stories. I am curious if the whole “deciphering of the tale woven into the cloth” thing was something the author created or if it was a part of the actual story though.

“A story is alive, as you or I are.” It “changes with every telling, yet always remain the same. I am a storyteller, like my mother before me and hers before her. These things I know.”

Once Upon a Time Series
1. The Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron Dokey (2002)
2. Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey (2002)
3. Snow by Tracy Lynn (2003)
4. Midnight Pearls by Debbie Viguie (2003)
5. Scarlet Moon by Debbie Viguie (2004)
6. Sunlight and Shadow by Cameron Dokey (2004)
7. Spirited by Nancy Holder (2004)
8. The Night Dance by Suzanne Weyn (2005)
9. Golden by Cameron Dokey (2006)
10. Water Song by Suzanne Weyn (2006)
11. Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey (2007)
12. The Rose Bride Nancy Holder (2007)
13. The Crimson Thread by Suzanne Weyn (2008)
14. Belle by Cameron Dokey (2008)
15. The Wild Orchid by Cameron Dokey (2009)
16. The Diamond Secret by Suzanne Weyn (2009)
17. Winter's Child by Cameron Dokey (2009)
18. Violet Eyes by Debbie Viguie (2010)
19. The World Above by Cameron Dokey (2010)

First Paragraph: Once, in days so long past even the graybeards among you remember them only in stories, there lived a king who had two sons. Their names were Shahrayar and Shazaman.

  • Cameron Dokey doesn't have her own web page but Fantastic Fiction has a list of her complete bibliography.
  • The Once Upon a Time series has its own Wikipedia page with links to pages about the stories that they are retelling.
  • Just about everything you could ever want to know about the original story One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights).

Picture Explanations
Illustration by Walter Paget
Ebony Wood Chest: Maju’s storyteller chest
Golden Fish: A princess wishes to be a fish in one of the stories
Illustration Unknown

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Criminally Good Cozy Culinary Mystery

No visit to Paradise, Colorado is complete without a stop at Divinity Candy Shop for a little taste of heaven. For owner Abby Shaw, it's a sweet deal, too. When her Aunt Grace passed away, Abby inherited Divinity-- and with it the opportunity to leave her career as a corporate lawyer and dump her cheating husband. Now she spends her time serving up delectable treats-- and performing the occasional deductive feat...

Making and selling sweets eases Abby's heartache, but having Brandon Mills sweet on her eases it even more. The owner of a men's clothing store, he invites Abby to the local merchants' meeting where he'll plead his case to extend the city's annual arts festival. And then he wants to cap off the night with a romantic dinner for two.

But Brandon never shows. His store is destroyed by fire and his body is discovered in the rubble-- and Abby is shocked to find that few people in town mourn his death. Paradise's business owners were threatened by Brandon's ambitious nature-- and several men felt threatened by the attention he showered on their wives. And when her brother becomes the number one suspect, Abby holds her own investigation to find out who really killed Brandon-- for love or money...

Includes Candy Recipes

Title: Candy Apple Dead
Author: Sammi Carter
Series: Candy Shop Mysteries, Book 1
Start & Finished: 4/20/09
Published: 2005
Publisher: Prime Crime
Pages: 217 (paperback)
Genre: Cozy Mystery- Culinary

The amateur sleuth in Sammi Carter’s Candy Shop series is tougher than taffy with a red-hot temper to boot who refuses to “sugarcoat [her] words when [she’s] upset.” Candy Apple Dead is the first book in this series, which was inspired by a real-life experience of the author's when a friend had been "found dead inside his men's clothing store after an explosion and fire." However, every thing and everyone else in Paradise is a "figment of [the author's] overly fertile imagination" and "the ultimate solution isn't even close to reality." Ms. Carter says, "The circumstances of my friend's untimely death served only to provide the catalyst for me to start doing what (according to my mother) I do best--making things up."

We learn everything we need to know about the main character in the first few pages: she’s divorced from her cheating husband and has moved back home to a town called Paradise. Recently she inherited her mother’s aunt’s candy shop when she had died and is trying to keep the business going successfully… oh and she has a bit of a temper. Nothing all that new in the way of a cozy culinary mystery and automatically I was reminded of Joanne Fluke and JoAnna Carl which unfortunately continued through most of the book, but it still somehow remained unique. I believe this was mainly because of the characters but also through the idea of an ex-lawyer candy-maker turned amateur sleuth.

The setting of this series reminded me of JoAnna Carl’s little Warner Pier where her heroine Lee helps her aunt run a gourmet chocolate shop though I believe I actually prefer this store more: “Thanks to Aunt Grace’s dramatic sense of style, Divinity occupies a graceful old building that dates back to the earliest days of Paradise’s history. Originally the territorial jail, the building is filled with enough cubbyholes, nooks, and crannies to stir anyone’s imagination. The store and kitchen take up the entire first floor. Storage rooms and a large, airy meeting room-- a courtroom during much of the nineteenth century-- occupy the second level, and my apartment is on the third floor.” I especially was enamored with the “seasonal display window made entirely of candy.” How neat is that?!

Abby herself however reminded me a bit of Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swensen, though only in a subtle way. Mostly in her sleuthing techniques and the fact that she constantly has a police officer on her tail:
Karen: “’That policeman isn’t going to like you snooping around.”
Abby: “Well I don’t like him accusing my brother of murder,” I said, heading toward the refrigerator, “so I guess that makes us even.”
Karen: “Oh you’re even all right. Except he’s the one with handcuffs and keys to the jail. That tilts the scales in his direction just a little.’ ”

The heroine and her cop and their banter makes up a good percentage of why I enjoyed Candy Apple Dead so much. The other of course is learning more about candy making and how a candy shop is run. Not to mention the yummy candy itself! I dare you not to start craving something sweet while reading this story, especially when the author throws in something like this: “If you’ve never had a homemade marshmallow, you don’t know what you’re missing. It differs as much in taste and texture from the store-bought variety as milk chocolate from dark. In ancient Egypt, marshmallow was made by squeezing sap from the mallow plant and mixing it with nuts and honey. It was considered such a delicacy that it was reserved for gods and royalty-- a far cry from today when we pass out handfuls to kids so they can incinerate them over campfires.” Needless to say, I was very impressed with this first book in Sammi Carter’s series and I plan on picking up Chocolate Dipped Death soon.

Candy Shop Mystery
1. Candy Apple Dead (2005)
2. Chocolate Dipped Death (2006)
3. Peppermint Twisted (2007)
4. Goody Goody Gunshots (2008)
5. Sucker Punch (2009)

First Paragraph: "I swear, darlin' " Brandon Mills said in a sexy Texas drawl edged with sugar, "this fudge of yours is going to turn me into a butterball."


2005- Rosett Writes

Picture Explanations
Candy Shop: From the descriptions in the book this is sort of what I imagined the Divinity Candy Shop to look like.
Doberman Pinscher: Brandon's dog Max who becomes an essential part of the plot.
Divine Almond Toffee: Aunt Grace's toffee from the recipe in the book.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It Won't Let Them Go Easily

Past the rusted gates and untrimmed hedges, Hill House broods and waits...

Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting: Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own...

Title: The Haunting of Hill House
Author: Shirley Jackson
Start & Finished: 4/18/09- 4/20/09
Published: 1959
Publisher: Viking Press
Pages: 246
Genre: Horror

Acclaimed by many to be "one of the most frightening books ever written", Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House is probably one of the most well-known haunted house stories and yet there isn’t any actual known ghost in Hill House. It’s just a story about a house, albeit “It was a house without kindness, never meant to be lived in, not a fit place for people or for love or for hope. “Essentially, the evil is the house itself, I think. It has enchained and destroyed its people and their lives, it is a place of contained ill will.” Other times the house is described as “Leprous. Sick. [Or] any of the popular euphemisms for insanity; a deranged house is pretty conceit.”

Doctor Montague’s description of Hill House’s slight off-ness of its angles is probably one of the best ways to describe how I felt about the story. When one of the characters says: “Then everything is a little bit off center?” Theodora asked uncertainly. “That’s why it all feels so disjointed?”, I immediately agreed with her. It took me quite awhile to actually finish the story because it continually kept me off-balance and not in a good way either, especially toward the end. At first everything was progressing nicely and then slowly Eleanor and Theodora started to change personalities without hardly any warning at all (although I‘m still not sure if Theo‘s personality switch was something Eleanor imagined or not…) . Regardless it was unsettling and confusing too.

All of this doesn’t mean that The Haunting of Hill House is a bad story or that it didn’t have some scary moments especially when the house really stops “biding it’s time” and starts to mess with the current occupants. Probably one of the most memorable parts (in the movie adaptations as well) is when it tricks the doctor and Luke into going outside and precedes to as Theo puts it: “Someone knocked on the door with a cannon ball and then tried to get in and eat us, and started laughing its head off when we wouldn’t open the door.” That was extremely creepy or another time when “Hill House went dancing,” Theodora said, “taking us along on a mad midnight fling. At least, I think it was dancing; it might have been turning somersaults.”

Images from the two film adaptations continually intruded while I was reading but they helped somewhat in visualizing the evil of Hill House. However, they also hindered quite a bit as I couldn’t just sit back and read, I had to try and figure out what was going on. There really was no answer to that which is what really disappointed me. What is wrong with Hill House? The 1999 film tried to explain it (unsuccessfully, I might add) but the book doesn’t even attempt it which I found incredibly annoying as I so wanted Hill House to give up its secrets and I ended up being disappointed with the ending too. I can’t deny that it is a powerful story though. Stephen King was obviously influenced greatly by it as several things make it into some of his books and Jackson’s story was even nominated for the National Book Award in 1960 too.

First Paragraph: No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against the hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

Links: Book Wikipedia & Author Wikipedia
My Related Links: 1963 film & 1999 film

Audio with Jackson’s Biographer

Picture Explanations
Hill House: The 1960 film adaptation’s version of Hill House is the closest to the novel one.
Planchette: Mrs. Montague uses this to “communicate” with spirits.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Whole World Inside Its Pages

One cruel night, Meggie's father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART -- and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever. This is INKHEART -- a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life. Dare to read it aloud.

Title: Inkheart
Author: Cornelia Funke
Series: Ink, Book 1
Start & Finished: 4/9/09- 4/15/09
Published: 2003
Publisher: The Chicken House
Pages: 534 (paperback)
Genre: YA- Fantasy

Storytelling is a form of art that “has existed as long as humanity has had language” but now storytellers are mainly known as authors and they spin their yarns in written letters on paper in ink. Cornelia Funke is one such author who writes wonderful books but she’s most famous for her stories in the Ink trilogy. The first one is called Inkheart and it’s a story about another story whose characters have come to life through a skilled storyteller’s voice.

As a child, I loved to be read to and like Meggie, the books were always whispering to me, "promising [me] a thousand unknown stories, a thousand doors into worlds [I] had never seen before.” I also enjoyed reading aloud once I learned how to anyone or any thing that would sit still long enough. Thankfully I never had Mo’s gift with words! As I’ve gotten a little older, the stories stay mainly in my mind when reading but sometimes a book like Inkheart comes along that just begs to be read aloud. Cornelia Funke has created a beautiful story with phrases and paragraphs that I simply had to read and re-read. This book is one that should be 'tasted', 'devoured', and 'chewed throughly' too.

Inkheart is a magical adventure made of more than just words and letters, the author has breathed life into the characters. Everyone from Meggie and Mo to Dustfinger, Elinor, Capricorn, and all the minor characters too. Like in any good children's adventure story, the good characters are almost all true heroes while the villians all have hearts like "black stone with about as much human sympathy as a lump of coal." The only anamoloy really is Dustfinger as he is neither a typical hero nor a hard-hearted villian either… little wonder that he is my favorite character.

The author said, “Which book addict doesn’t know the feeling that the characters in a book can seem more real than the people around us? And there is of course a simple reason for that. For which real person would permit us to look into their hearts as deeply as a storyteller permits us to look into his characters’? Into the deepest regions of their souls we may spy, see all their fears, all their love and all their dreams.” Which pretty much sums up the reason I adore this story. Ms. Funke’s tale has received much attention including several awards as well as recently being adapted into the 2009 film of the same name starring Brendon Fraiser (whom the author has said she based Mo on. He even is the narrator on the audio books for the remaining books).

“Is there anything in the world better than words on the page? Magic signs, the voices of the dead, building blocks to make wonderful worlds better than this one, comforters, companions in lonlieness. Keepers of secrets, speakers of the truth… all those glorious words.” ~ Fenoglio

Ink Series:
1. Inkheart (2003)
2. Inkspell (2005)
3. Inkdeath (2008)

First Paragraph: Rain fell that night, a fine whispering rain. Many years later, Meggie had only to close her eyes and she could still hear it, like tiny fingers tapping on the windowpane. A dog barked somewhere in the darkness, and however often she tossed and turned Meggie couldn't get to sleep.


Bookwrap Central (video)
Magazin- deutschland with Rainer Stumpf

Picture Explanations
Capricorn's village: Actual film location
Gwin: Dustfinger's marten
Fire: Dustfinger's best friend

Search This Blog