Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bookish Review: The Princess Bride

Sure, you've seen the movie, but have you read the book? (What do you mean, you haven't seen the movie? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? Sorry, I didn't mean that; of course I didn't. I just should see it. Your proper answer? "Aaaaasssss yoooouuuuu wiiiiiiiiisssshhhhh..." See the movie, and you will get that. It is funny, trust me.)

So, the book is supposed to be an abridgement by William Goldman of a much longer work by S. Morganstern. The thing is...there is no S. Morganstern. The whole thing is fictional. The author also wrote the movie screenplay, as well as the screenplays for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Misery (! Can you believe the same person wrote both of those?), and many others. The book is a fairy tale of sorts, involving a milkmaid and a farm boy (who eventually become a princess and a pirate), as well as a giant, a zoo of death, a fire swamp, a Spaniard who is a fencing master, and 4 white horses. Intruiged yet? There are also fun asides from the "original" author, S. Morganstern, as well as Goldman's notes on his "abridgement." The whole frame story around the book is that Goldman's father originally read the book to him when he was a child sick with pneumonia, and he left out all of the boring parts, which is how Goldman came to write the abridgement. It truly would be a good read-aloud for children, and you could skip all of the asides and just read the action and the love story. For adults, the metafictional aspects add to the fun (at least for nerdy adults like me). It is a fun read, especially if you have fond memories of the movie. Even if you don't, if you like a love story, it is a book for you, for there never was a love like that of Westley and his Buttercup.

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