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The Princess Bride William Goldman

Default Smiles I like to kick these reviews off with ‘imagine’, but this time it’s hard to pin down just one protagonist for you to imagine to be. Imagine you’re a farm boy who gets captured by a terrifying pirate. Imagine you’re the most beautiful woman in the world. Imagine you’re a ruthless prince who needs an heir. Imagine you’re the greatest sword-master in living memory. Imagine you’re all these things. But then also imagine you’re a little boy, in bed with the flu, listening to an amazing, fantastic adventure that sticks with you all your life.
Surprised Sharky The reason it’s hard is that the book itself has two… levels to it. One is the fantastic adventure, with occasionally amusing comments in brackets. The other level is the completely made up story of the boy who had this story read to him as a child, and as an adult discovers his dad only read the good bits to him. So he decides to abridge the ‘original’ novel by cutting out all the boring parts his dad used to skip over. The second level of the story shows up in the form of annotations, in brackets and italics, mentioning that a certain scene was cut here for these reasons, or that an upcoming scene had a huge impact on him as a child when he first heard it, complete with anecdote. It’s all very clever, well woven together, and very… convincing.
Shocked Smiles I really thought it was an abridged version of a real book for a while… I wasn’t expecting this level of meta-fiction with my fun adventure novel. The weirdest part was when the guy making the cuts to the ‘original’ story interrupts an irrelevant anecdote of the author’s with an irrelevant anecdote of his own. Only remember, these are all the same guy pretending to be interrupting the aside of an author who is writing this story. Yeah. Wrap your head around that.
Default Sharky Speaking of the adventure novel, which is all we really want to talk about, be ready to accept a whole lot of nonsense.
Default Smiles Oh yes. You need to leave your sense of disbelief at the door, or this book is going to leave you far behind as you shake your fists at the sky, screaming that nothing makes sense. It’s one of those good old ‘take you by the hand and jump off a cliff’ kind of books. You just have to accept the world and the characters its creating. It helps that it comes with a stylish little map.

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Default Sharky It’s just less of a headache to go along with it. If I rolled my eyes at everything I’d sprain something. The heroine is the most stunningly beautiful woman in the world, because of course she is. The hero is handsome, intelligent, daring and talented at every fighting style under the sun, because of course he is. They’re madly, eternally in love with each other but have to work through at least three moments where they’re convinced the other never loved them because of course they do. The good-hearted minions of the villain attach themselves to the hero because of course they do. There’s dozens of last minute rescues and ‘how could they possible survive that’ moments because of COURSE there are. And of course the hero saves the girl just before the villain comes to take her aw- what, he doesn’t? And what do you mean the minions have a good long time of depressed lonliness ahead of them before they think of looking for the hero?
Shocked Smiles What Sharky’s trying to say is, the broad strokes of the story are completely predictable, though the execution of those broad strokes is very unique, witty, and definitely not what we expected. And then it trips you up with things completely out of left field.
Sassy Sharky It’s a roller coaster, for sure. I’m actually pretty glad the main plot and characters are predictable, because it’d be overwhelming otherwise. But nothing’s as simple as that. Sure, Buttercup is the most beautiful woman in the world. But the story kicks off with this great opening about how when she was born, and as she grew, certain other people were the most beautiful woman in the world. And when she was sixteen she wasn’t even in the top twenty. Interestingly, she only really starts climbing the ranks when she A: feels love for someone and B: (this one less poetic and more amusing) actually starts taking care of herself, like brushing her hair and washing her face
Default Smiles This is also another one of those books we really want to talk a lot about, but if we say anything else we’ll spoil the fun of you reading things for yourself. But fair warning, this book isn’t all witty wordings and over the top adventure. Bad things happen. Sad things happen. Sometimes a lot of them all at once. Just something to keep in mind. But is it worth it, Sharky?
Default Sharky It’s really cheesy.
Happy Smiles But is it worth it, Sharky?
Default Sharky And some of the bits-
Happy Smiles But is it worth it, Sharky?!
Happy Sharky2 Yes, yes, alright, it’s a lot of good fun and definitely worth a look. Or if you don’t want to read it yourself, borrow a copy and give it to a friend like Smiles. I guarantee you they’ll be following you around and reading quotes out loud for a good, long time, like a few of the books we’ve reviewed already.
Default Smiles That’s how Sharky read the book at first. That’s how he reads a lot of the books I like, actually.
Happy Sharky2 Not willingly, and not actually reading. But lucky I tend to like them.
Happy Smiles SEE! My following you around reading quotes is always a good thing!
Angry Sharky 3 I didn’t say THAT.
smiles-intensifies TOO LATE!

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