Posted by: Lizzie Ross | December 24, 2010

Holiday break

For the holidays, I’m taking time off from Proust, to enjoy food and movies and family.

I’ve been reading the Inkheart series, by Cornelia Funke, set in a deliciously terrifying world where a few people are able to read story-book characters out of the pages and into the world. What’s also interesting is Funke’s take on how a story can get away from an author, with the characters doing things the writer never planned. Whenever her author tries to fix things up, it all goes awry. I love watching him get deeper and deeper into trouble.

Funke has created some of the most evil villains and most complicated heroes I’ve seen in a while, and her writing (in translation from the original German) is a pleasure.

The translator, Anthea Bell, has also done a few of WG Sebald’s books, including Austerlitz, so I trust her work.

Books in the series: Inkheart (2003), Inkspell (2005), Inkdeath (2008)


  1. This looks really good! Will give it a try, mostly on your recommendation of anthea Bell’s translation.

  2. I think you’ll also enjoy the quotes that head each chapter, from writers as varied as Pablo Neruda, Margaret Atwood, and L. Frank Baum!

  3. I was surprised to read that you read Funke.
    I thought, Funke is well known in the German speaking part only. Then I googled…I could read her books in 37 languages! I really underrated her work:/

  4. mARTy–I took me a while to get through the first book, but after 2 failed attempts I forced myself to keep going. Eventually, the story grabbed me, and I’m now a fan. This is a series I’ll happily reread every 2-3 years (as opposed to HP, who probably won’t get a 4th reading).

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