Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Princess Bride - William Goldman

Here's a thing. Oh, it's called a book review, isn't it?

I know! It's OK, I'll just wait and give you all time to recover from the shock of me posting an actual book review (and it's not even a Doctor Who book!)...

Are you recovered now, or do you need a bit more time? (I'm sorry, I should have given you some warning, shouldn't I?)


Book review. So about 500 years after the rest of the world, I finally got around to reading William Goldman's The Princess Bride (What can I say? Bandwagons generally pass me by as they're careering madly downhill while I plod upwards!)

Someone mentioned the book somewhere (I suspect it was a less-Doctor-Who-obsessed Live Journal friend of mine), and I thought "Huh, I've heard a lot about that, never read it. Wonder if they library's got it?" And they did have it - though it's so wildly popular I had to wait two weeks to get hold of it! - and I rather enjoyed it.

I'm sure everyone else is already familiar with the fact that this book is a rather tongue-in-cheek fairytale of love, life, death, action, and life again. Featuring the obligatory handsome Prince (Westley - I kept calling him Wesley, too much Buffy, methinks!) and a incredibly beautiful princess (improbably named Buttercup). It also boasts a Spanish sword wizard ("Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."); a terrifying Zoo of Death; an immense, chocolate-coated resurrection pill, and a whole lot of villains, who run the gamut from evil, through even more evil, to (blimey!) most evil.

And then there's Fezzik, the gentle giant who's addicted to rhyming but too afraid to tell most people.

William Goldman - who's twice won an Oscar for his screenwriting (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President's Men if you're interested) - has always claimed he merely abridged this text, extracting the "good parts" from an inventive yet wordy and political satire by Florinese literary superstar, S Morgenstern.

Whether or not that's the case, doesn't really matter. This is a fun book. Also gripping, with edge-of-the-seat suspense by the bucketload.

If by any chance I'm NOT the last person in the English-speaking world to read this book, do grab a copy and be prepared for a tale of "true love and high adventure".


Kelly said...

Staggering back...

a book review!! And not Doctor Who!!

Thanks for the recommendation :)

Jen Robinson said...

Good to hear from you, Michele. Hope that you're having a good summer!

Michele said...

Thanks Jen.

Busy, busy summer...

Michele said...

I knew people would be staggered. I should have issued an alert! :D