[DWJ] OT: Book recommendations

Belben, Philip (Energy Wholesale) Philip.Belben at eon-uk.com
Tue Jun 19 04:02:10 EDT 2007

> > > My *dis*recommendation is "Inkheart", by Cornelia Funke, which I
> > > read recently and thought very dull.  The protagonist failed to
> > > protag, the characters lacked personality, and the story plodded
> > > along in such a pedestrian manner that even when things did
> > > happen, they didn't *feel* as if they did.
> >
> > Yes, my daughter (who has read and liked other things by Cornelia
> > Funke) noticed that too, "I wish they'd *do* something!"
> It fell into a pattern I've come to identify with far too much modern
> fantasy for children, where the adults do all the important and
> adventurous stuff and the children get to watch. Mary Hoffman's
> Stravaganza fell into this pattern as well: the children await rescue
> in a dungeon. In *proper* kids fantasy, the children should do the
> rescuing [g].

Farah, you've hit the nail on the head!  That's exactly what's wrong
with Inkheart.  And yet Funke gets this exactly _right_ in Dragon Rider!

The reason Dragon Rider was my favourite book of 2005, rather than 2004,
was that in 2004 I tried to read Inkheart in the original German.  A
slow-paced narrative becomes _really_ slow when you need two trips to
the dictionary for each sentence!  I don't think I got beyond the third
page.  This put me off attempting DR, which I'd bought at the same time,
for several months.

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