booktofilm Posts

Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart trilogy by Sarah Rose, 11 yo

The Inkheart trilogy consists of Inkheart, Inkspell and Inkdeath ( Scholastic). This is a fantastic trilogy by author Cornelia Funke, translated by the late Anthea Bell. It is about a man named Mortimer Folchart (or Mo), a bookbinder or a “doctor of books” having these amazing abilities of reading things out of a book. He has a daughter named Meggie who of course has inherited those powers. In the other two books, Meggie, Mo, Resa (Meggie’s long-lost mother), Elinor (Resa’s aunt), Darius (A reader with the same powers as Meggie and Mo) and a few other people find themselves sucked in a book. They have an adventure exploring this new world and its dangers. They discover new kinds of creatures such as the White Women, Night-Mare, Fire Elves, Martins, Giants etc. They also try to escape its horrors and while doing so Mo becomes a little more than a mere bookbinder. 

I immensely enjoyed this trilogy because of its characters, it’s suspense and most of all: the plot. I was hooked after reading the first chapter. I could not stop reading the books in quick succession. So much so that in my edition of Inkspell some of the pages were misprinted. I could not wait for another print edition as I had to read the story. So my mother downloaded it on her Kindle. I read the pages that had been messed up on the Kindle and then went back to reading the print edition as soon as the pages were fine. Because I loved reading it so much, I have started to create a board game based on this story.

I saw a trailer of the film Inkheart and was disappointed. The film seemed to have got some parts of the story like when Dustfinger finds out how he dies, Fenoglio tells him whereas in the book, it is Meggie tells him so as to warn him not to return into the story. In the movie, when Meggie had to read a chapter from Inkheart to release a bad creature into the real world, Fenoglio was in the cage with Resa and he gave a piece of paper to the dog and the dog gave it to Meggie. But in the story, it was very clearly mentioned that in the cage, there were Elinor, Resa and Basta and Fenoglio was sitting next to Capricorn. There was no dog in the story. Meggie, actually took a piece of paper, from the sleeve of her dress. In the movie, it tells us when Meggie found out her powers she was at Elinor’s house. But in the book Meggie was imprisoned in one of Capricorn’s rooms in his giant house and then she found some books under the pillow and she read out Tinker Bell. And this is why film adaptations of books are never satisfying!

When I finally finished this trilogy, I was devastated. I still had questions such as what will the boy who is Meggie’s little brother do next? Will he find out that he does not belong to this world of fantasy? Will he go into the real world with cars and planes? Will there be another call of action for the Bluejay? So many questions!

I love the Inkheart trilogy!

15 July 2021

“Billion Dollar Whale ” by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope

Billion Dollar Whale is an unbelievable story about businessman turned international financier Low Taek Jho or the Asian Gatsby. He was the mastermind at the centre of the extraordinary Malaysian IMDB financial scandal. The 1MDB fund was designed to boost Malaysia’s economy through strategic investments. Instead it turned into a fantastic embezzlement story. The stories told in this book of renting airport hangars to throw extravagant parties with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Pharrell Williams, Swizz Beatz, Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Hosting parties at presidential suites of hotels where Hollywood stars troop in and out to discuss film productions. The manner in which a country was swindled of billions of dollars is astounding. For it to happen because Low Taek Jho managed to convince people around him of his lies is truly mind boggling. This is the information age when much of the information can be verified, so to accept anything that this man said or offered as the truth is quite presposterous. Nevertheless Tom Wright and Bradley Hope interviewed many, many people for this book. It is an attempt at investigating the story.

Today the superyacht linked to this scandal has been sold for $126m which is far less than the original $250m it was bought for!

For now investigation has begun into this financial scandal. Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Najib Razak has gone on trial for his role. He faces seven charges in the first of several criminal cases accusing him of pocketing $681m (£522m) from the sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. ( BBC News, 3 April 2019 “Najib 1MDB trial: Malaysia ex-PM faces court in global financial scandal“) Meanwhile Jho Low remains a fugitive and has been charged in absentia in Malaysia. He is probably in China now. According to the authors this book is really an indictement of the failure of Wall Street, of global finance to self-regulate.

Asia’s Great Gatsby: New book chronicles Malaysia’s fugitive financier from CNBC.

One day this book will be transformed into a film as Michelle Yeoh has optioned for the rights. Till then read the book.

3 April 2019

The Revenant by Michael Punke

Revenant, book coverThe Revenant ( 2001) written by Michael Punke is tipped to win a few Oscars tonight ( 2016). It has been nominated for 12 Academy Award nominations across all categories including the Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio — probably his first in twenty years of being in the movie business.  ( ). I have not seen the film but the book is brutally magnificent and mesmerising with its focus on one man’s quest for revenge. It is powerful. Set in the American wilderness in the early 1800s, frontiersman Hugh Glass is badly mauled by a grizzly and abandoned by his fellow trappers ( intensely described in the stomach churning opening pages of the novel). Barely surviving his wounds, Glass is driven by thoughts of his family and a desire for revenge as he endures the frigid winter and pursues the men who left him for dead.

The author, Michael Punke, is a serving international trade expert and diplomat. He IMG_20160226_092636 (1)serves as the US Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland. The Quartz profiled him:  This is what they say, “Despite the press frenzy ahead of Sunday’s Academy awards, Michael Punke can’t give interviews about his book or make promotional appearances due to his government position. He skipped the film’s December premiere to negotiate a $1.3 trillion trade deal in Nairobi. He can’t even sign copies of his 2002 novel.”

According to Wikipedia, the word revenant is derived from the Latin word reveniens, “returning” (see also the related French verb revenir, meaning “to come back”). A revenant is a visible ghost or animated corpse that is believed to have returned from the grave to terrorize the living. Revenants share some similarities with zombies in modern fiction. This is a result of contemporary depictions of zombies having evolved from vampire fiction. The original folklore about zombies had less in common with revenant legends. Similarities are also obvious with the aptrgangr (literally ‘again-walker’, meaning one who walks after death) of Norse mythology, although the aptrgangr, or draugr, is usually far more powerful, possessing magical abilities and most notably is not confined to a deathlike sleep during the day – although it does usually stay in its burial mound during the daylight hours – and will resist intruders, which renders the destruction of its body a dangerous affair to be undertaken by individual heroes. Consequently, stories involving the aptrgangr often involve direct confrontations with the creature, in which it often reveals to be immune to conventional weapons. Such elements are absent from the revenant lore, where the body is engaged in its inert state in daylight, and rendered harmless. Also references of revenant-like beings come from the Caribbean and are often referred to as ‘The soucouyant’ or ‘soucriant’ in Dominica, Trinidadian and Guadeloupean folklore (also known as Ole-Higue or Loogaroo elsewhere in the Caribbean).

The-RevenantThe last time a film based on a book written by a serving diplomat won many Oscars was Slumdog Millionaire (2008), based on Vikas Swarup’s Q&A ( 2005). He is now the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India (2016).

Michael Punke, The Revenant HarperCollins India, 2016. Pb. 

28 Feb 2016

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