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Nessa's Thoughts

Just a British girl who reads a bit too much.

Currently reading

The Dead Zone
Stephen King
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Jean-Dominique Bauby
Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady
Samuel Richardson, Angus Ross
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
Piper Kerman
The Cuckoo's Calling
Robert Galbraith
The Princess Bride - William Goldman I am currently writing this review, having stayed up all night with the beginnings of a cold, and being sick from something I ate yesterday.Unfortunately, I live on my own and both my male grandparents are no longer with us, so I didn't get to sit up in bed and listen to S. Morgenstern's classic tale of true love and high adventure – the 'good parts' version – being narrated by my grandfather, like the kid in the movie. Also, my dad is generally too busy, so that cuts William Goldman's own account out of the picture.No, my friends. I had to read this all by myself, whilst sat in bed nursing a nasty case of the rumbly tumbly and the drippy nose. But what the hey, I bet that's how most of us read it. Unless, of course, we happen to be of Florinese or Guilder lineage?Okay, enough about the movie, more about the book. This book is so damn happy. It clearly loves the fairytale tropes it pokes fun at, and there's never any sour feeling to the satire. As Mel Brooks once said, you've got to love the genre you're parodying. The Princess Bride has its tongue firmly placed in its cheek, and the humour it employs is absolutely delicious. I know the story basically inside out, because my brother used to make me watch the movie all the time when we were growing up. (We shared a room with bunk-beds for five years. Ain't that cute.) Of course, I do really like the movie, and reading the book is a nice little compliment. It follows the film pretty much exactly. Honestly, it's the most faithful book to movie adaptation you will ever see. ...Well, excepting Goldman's occasional commentary on the story, which was turned into the grandfather reading to his grandson in the movie.Goldman's commentary is hilarious. He satirises university professors who read way too much into what is a pretty simple story, how so many classics have a ridiculous amount of unnecessary information crammed into their pages (like the wardrobes and hat collections of the queen and the countess, if I remember correctly)... you get the idea. And it's true – we do skim to the 'best parts' of fairy tales, and perhaps sanitise them a little bit for the young audience. I have a pretty vivid memory of my mum reading me The Little Mermaid, and hastily adding 'and they lived happily ever after', which seemed a little suspect. I looked in the book some time later, and indeed, we had the edition in which the poor little mermaid dies by turning into sea foam.Speaking of this, though, both ways work wonderfully as a storytelling device. William Goldman's writing is a cross between a traditional fairy tale and a work of comedic genius. In fact, it mostly reminds me of the Discworld books, except with perhaps a little bit more knowing winks at the reader every now and again. That's a pretty good thing to be, in my book.The dialogue is also hilarious. I mean, come on. You have a master swordsman whose response to seeing his father murdered by a nobleman is to train around the continent for ten years and rehearse the famous line: 'My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.' And then when he does catch up to his father's murderer, the Count runs away squealing like a coward. In my head, the look on Inigo's face at that moment is absolutely priceless.Also, for a traditional fairy tale, it ends in a pretty silly way, but it fits the story absolutely perfectly. I also love how it's open to interpretation, enflaming the imaginations of children everywhere. Didn't anyone else ever imagine alternate endings to their favourite fairy tales? Clearly, seeing as there have been so many DAAARK fairy tale retellings in the cinemas recently. (Keep your greasy mitts off this one, though, Hollywood.)I adored this book and I'm really glad I read it after tracking down a copy on back-order. My cover is a little bit dorky – a sentiment felt by me and the lady at the book shop, but what the hey. I'm going to give this a 5/5. It's short, sweet, and an absolutely wonderful read.(Also, as I learned when I finished this book, William Goldman wrote Marathon Man, which has 'made him famous in dentists' offices all around the globe.' Pfft.)(This review is also available on my blog: http://book-wyrm.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/book-review-princess-bride-by-william.html)