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Book Review: The Princess Bride

Okay, seriously guys, if you are reading this blog entry because you didn't even know there was a book... I might actually cry.

The movie is excellent, worth raising your children on (as I have done), but if you want the full story you've got to go pick up the book. It's written by the same guy that did the screen play so it follows the story better than any book/movie combo I've ever come across, but with more depth.

You get Inigo's back-story, you get Fezzik's back-story (why was he in Greenland?). You get a much better picture of Buttercup and Wesley's relationship.

I laughed so hard at this book that I nearly peed my pants (so it's probably good I read this book for the first time before I had children).

There's only one downside, and that's the commentary. The literary tool that Goldman uses to unfold his tale is rather unusual in that he pretends to be abridging a classic work of an obscure author (S. Morgenstern). It's creative, I'll give him that, but he gets into some rather long interruptions where he describes what he is 'taking out' of the original.

Also one or two of these interruptions go into annoying detail about the hot (not his wife) woman he's flirting with or the rather fat child he has been strapped with raising.

My suggestion for the first time reader is to skim the italics so you don't miss anything. Then ignore them forever more.

And you will be reading it again, guaranteed, because like the movie, this book is a classic in all things adventure and love and certain to win the hearts of the most skeptical person.

Comments

Claire Wessel said…
my husband has this book. I'm lame. I haven't read it. He mentioned to me that the guy wrote a lot about trees in the sequel because he got a little nuts over some forest around his house. That's my version. My husband's version is much more detailed. I think it is mentioned in one of the edition's as an editor's note or something.
Jennifer said…
Hate, hate, hate the book. Love the story. Great story. Hate the commentary. It absolutely ruins the book. The first time I ran into The Princess Bride was a reader's theater entry at a high school drama competition. I was riveted. A few years later I saw the book and grabbed it.

I was horrified. The commentary is nasty and bitter, and I was young enough to identify strongly with the character of the writer's son. The running attacks on him and the wife really upset me. I hated the commentary, and came away from the whole thing swearing I'd never read the book again.

Looking at the book from the perspective of my current age and life experience, i can understand what the writer was trying to do. I still hate it. There is a lot of good stuff in the book - if you skip the commentary, the book is much better than the movie - it's just that the commentary spoils the whole thing, IMO. Kind of like trying to eat an ice cream cone that has large lumps of baking soda scattered through it. Some tartness to cut the sweet is nice - but this just doesn't work that way.
cannwin said…
Baking soda and ice cream? Is that an actual combination? Cause it sounds horrible, but I agree that it is a great analogy of the commentary in this book. It annoys me as well.

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