Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Review: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

When I expressed an interest to read this novel - because I love the movie, of course - the few people I knew who'd done so warned me that it was very, very different. I suppose it's because of their warnings that I was able to [mostly] separate the two, though I have to agree with the many people who say that this is one of those 'the movie is actually better than the book' cases.


When it comes to the books that I enjoy, I actually prefer the more cynical ones, the ones with open or downright unhappy endings, and the overall tone of this novel - which so many movie lovers harp on - really didn't bother me. I was even generally amused by Goldman's asides throughout his 'abridgement' of the fictional S. Morgenstern's fictional novel The Princess Bride.

And yet it didn't sit well with me, overall. The best thing about it was the extra back story that we got on many of the characters, yet that additional information actually made me dislike some of them (namely Buttercup and Westley), despite liking them in the movie. I saw another review that mentioned the author's overuse of device and that because of it the actual story suffered, and I completely agree.

Honestly though, who doesn't want more Princess Bride? Unless you desperately need a wrapped-up, happy ending (and also seriously despise parentheses), I say give it a read. 3.5/5 stars.

"Who can know when his world is going to change? Who can tell before it happens, that every prior experience, all the years, were a preparation for...nothing."

"It was all part of growing up. You got these little quick passions, you blinked and, they were gone. You forgave faults, found perfection, fell madly; then the next day the sun came up and it was over."

"'I've been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn't listen. Every time you said 'Farm Boy do this' you thought I was answering 'As you wish' but that's only because you were hearing wrong. 'I love you' was what it was, but you never heard, and you never heard.'"

"In point of fact, she had never looked as well. She had entered her room as just an impossibly lovely girl; the woman who emerged was a trifle thinner, a great deal wiser, an ocean sadder. This one understood the nature of pain, and beneath the glory of her features, there was character, and a sure knowledge of suffering."

" is many things, none of them logical."

"'Life is pain...Anybody that says different is selling something.'"

"'I have come to terms with my life, and that is my affair...I am not cold, I swear, but I have decided certain things, it is best for me to ignore emotion; I have not been happy dealing with it -' Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high. 'I loved once...It worked out badly.'"

"'I always think everything is a trap until proven otherwise...which is why I'm still alive.'"

"...just as he knew that the sun was obliged to rise each morning in the east, no matter how much a western arisal might have pleased it, so he knew that Buttercup was obliged to spend her love on him. Gold was inviting, and so was royalty, but they could not match the fever in his heart, and sooner or later she would have to catch it. She had less choice than the sun."

"' mind is like fine wine; it travels badly. I go from thought to thought but not with logic, and I forget things...'"

"'She loves you...She loves you still and you love her, so think of that...think of this too: in all the world, you might have been happy, genuinely happy. Not one couple in a century has that chance, not really, no matter what the storybooks say, but you could have had it, and so, I would think, no one will ever suffer a loss as great as you.'" Pin It

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