17 November 2014

The Princess Bride

On Goodreads here | On Amazon UK here
The blurb: Beautiful, flaxen haired Buttercup has fallen for Westley, the farm boy, and when he departs to make his fortune she vows never to love another. When she hears that his ship has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts - who never leaves survivors - her heart is broken. But her charms draw the attention of the relentless Prince Humperdinck who wants a wife and will go to any lengths to have Buttercup. So starts a fairy tale like no other, of fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautifulest ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion and miracles.

Rating: 3/5 stars

I liked:

• The Princess Bride really does tick all the fairytale boxes! I loved the mixture of romance and adventure and I really enjoyed reading about the love story between Buttercup and Westley. I thought their relationship was quite realistic even though they were in a fairy tale, and I like that Goldman included times that they bickered as well as times they were proclaiming their love for one another.
I thought the narrative flowed really well and Goldman's writing style, although quite different, was really easy to read and lended itself brilliantly to the fairy tale genre.
• The mixture of characters was brilliant and I loved how much you got to know about each person's back story and their motives. All the characters are really memorable - I liked Fezzik the giant most!
• It's probably one of the funniest books I've read in a while!

I didn't like:

• The book is written as a novel within a novel, in the sense that the reader is told that Goldman is actually abridging a much older story by fictional author S Morgenstern. Because of this, throughout the book the narrative is interrupted with snippets of Goldman's own (fictional) account of hearing the story for his time as read to him by his father, detailing where Goldman had himself left parts out or summarised whole chapters of the original work. This is different from anything I've read before and, although I think it's a very clever idea, I found this to be quite annoying, especially as at times the narrative was cut off in the middle of a sentence. I found myself skipping these to read the fairytale without the interruptions.
• In a similar point, Goldman's voice in these extracts made me think he wasn't really a very likeable person, and this spoilt my enjoyment of what is otherwise a great adventure story just a little bit.


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