Thursday, May 2, 2013

A classic tale of true love and high adventure.

And now a review of one of my favorite books (it's a great movie too).


Title: The Princess Bride.

Author: William Goldman.

Synopsis: I don't even know how to summarize this book... So I guess I'll just steal the Goodreads summary:
What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be...well...a lot less than the man of her dreams?
Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Love.

In short, it's about everything.

My rating: 9/10 stars.

Things I liked/me gushing about this amazing book: THIS BOOK IS A WORK OF GENIUS!!!!! Seriously, it really is. William Goldman tricks his readers into thinking that he's abridging his favorite book from when he was a child, which is by the author S. Morgenstern. Really, of course, this is all a story telling device... and it works brilliantly! I think that William Goldman is incredibly clever for writing the book this way.
His whole writing style is laced with satire. The whole first chapter he keeps interrupting himself to say that this was after stew and Paris, but before Shakespeare. It's hilarious.
William Goldman is always interrupting the narrative of the story to add his own comments. His comments are italicized, so you know when he's talking, but it can be kind of confusing.
The whole book is just so entertaining... and the characters are great.
For those of you who like the movie, the book is pretty much exactly like the movie, except more. There is the whole Zoo of Death sequence, which, to my memory, isn't in the movie. The scene with the Zoo of Death (in the book) where Inigo and Fezzik are travelling down to try and find Westley is so great... It really shows the friendship between the two characters. I love the scene, despite the evil, poisonous, green spider (which Inigo squishes with his boot so it's all good).
Lots of stuff from the movie is in the book (because the book was written first. Goldman also wrote the screenplay for the movie, which, of course, he based off of the book). Some memorable things that fans of the movie will find are... Miracle Max and Valerie ("I'm not a witch, I'm your wife!" also in the book), and, of course, "I am Inigo Montoyo, you killed my father, prepare to die," also... "Mawridge is what bwings us togeder today." Yes, that is in the book. Written like that. It was so cool to read that part.
Pretty much everything else in the movie is in the book... the pellet with the poison in the flagon with the dragon (wait, wrong movie. But anyway, the whole scene with the iocane powder and Vizzini is in the book).
Something else really cool about the book is the fact that Goldman gives us background stories for Inigo and Fezzik. We get to see the six fingered man kill Inigo's father, and we get to see Fezzik, at age six, fighting men (because he's so big already). It's really cool. Also kind of frustrating because the background information comes right before the duel the man in black fights with Inigo on the cliff tops and right before he suffocates Fezzik.
Oh yeah, and remember that super cool sword fight Inigo and the man in black have on the cliff tops? That is all in the book. It's super cool. And it isn't glazed over either, it is described. Not boringly, coolly. It's cool. Like bowties.
This is such an amazing book. If you are a fan of the movie, I think you will be a fan of the book as well.

Things I disliked/things you should know: A couple swear words, of course. -.- Also some kissing. In some places more than kissing is implied... But nothing is described in detail.
Beware of long chapters. (I think there is, like, eleven chapters in all. One chapter is about two pages long. Then there's the SUPER LONG middle chapter which is about 70-100 pages long....
And also some gory/scary/intense stuff. Mostly having to do with Westley. Him and Buttercup are drowning in snow sand in one part and *shivers* I really don't like reading that part. Then Westley gets attacked by a R.O.U.S. (Rodents Of Unusual Size) and it really injuries his shoulder (which I hate in the movie. It isn't as gory in the book... but it is still bad). Then there's the part where Westley gets his life sucked away. Again, nothing in too much detail. But it is still there.

Have I read it before? Yes!

Will I read it again? Absolutely! I can't wait until I have kids... Then, when they're old enough, and sick, I can pull out The Princess Bride for the first time and read it to them.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely yes! It is definitely a classic, in my mind, even though it was written in the '70's. I would, however, recommend this book to people over the age of... I don't know. Ten? Somewhere around there. Twelve? Eight? Somewhere in that vicinity.

Have fun storming the castle!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I'm so glad you liked the book! Someday, I will find it, and I will read it. Especially with such a glowing review from you! I absolutely loved the movie.