Friday, February 10, 2006
The Princess Bride - William Goldman (January/06)
This is one of my favourite fantasy novels of all times. I had read it a few years ago, but it came up again in one of my university classes this semester so I found myself diving into it again. It is a hard book to talk about because the point of the story is to not know anything but what you learn through the pages, and since I know a few people do check my journal from time to time, I don't want to ruin the book for them.
So, brief synopsis: This is an adventure story. The main female character is Buttercup is believed to be the most beautiful woman in the world. She lives a small existence on a farm where she meets Westley, the hero of the tale and falls in love with him. He is handsome and throughout the novel you will see instances where he risks death and much worse for the woman that he loves. There is a prince, Humperdinck, who collects beautiful things and he intends for Buttercup to be one of them. (This was made into a movie, I can imagine it would have been difficult to cast Buttercup because who can really say who the most beautiful actress in the world is...) He is also very addicted to battle, he likes a challenge, but of course he is a conceited Prince and intends to always win whatever he desires.
The novel also has two allies to the valiant Westley. It is hard to explain just how they come to his aid, as in one point of the novel they kidnap Buttercup, but they do nonetheless. They are Inigo, a character that is memorable to me, who is a Spanish swordsman who lives only to avenge the death of his father. I have to say it, but of course his adventures lead him to the man that killed his father, what adventure story would it be if there was not a clear path once in a while. And then there is Fezzik, a gentle giant with the capability to uproot a tree. They make an interesting pair, and I would normally reward them the position of comedical relief, but the whole story is funny and the narrator interrupts quite often to offer his point of view on the story as a whole. It can be annoying, but he puts it in different font so that you can skip over it if the need takes you.
There is also Vizzini, who is an evil man with a mind so keen he's foiled by his own perfect logic. (Funny scene). Count Rugen works for the Prince and all I can say is the guy is crazy, but then I did say that the Prince likes battle. That takes in death as well, and the Count is perfecting the death part because he loves to watch people suffer. One of my favourite characters in the book is Miracle Max because he can sort of raise the dead, and he is just a simply laughable character to me.
Did I give too much away? It is hard to say, because everything is supposed to be a mystery, but I am sure even if you know one thing there are many other twists and turns to explore. I highly recommend this novel.