Our fantastic teen volunteer and TAB member, Johanna is back with a classic:
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
I always considered The Princess Bride by William Goldman a “classic” in the back of mind that I should read. Usually books with that classification don’t get read. But one day I stumbled over it in the school library, so I decided to see what it was all about.
The Princess Bride’s format is pretty unusual. It is narrated by Goldman as though he abridged another author’s story, and it includes numerous italicized tangents from Goldman commenting on the story or his own life.
The story itself is also pretty unusual; it is a fairy tale that knows how obviously stereotypical it is – until it suddenly breaks out of convention and makes you question everything!! It is alternately over-the-top, unexpectedly deep, and giggle-out-loud farce. Plus all the adventure and suspense you would expect from a novel about the most beautiful girl in the world, a giant, as word master, and a sadistic prince with a “zoo of death.”
I took a while to get into it because of Goldman’s narration style (I don’t usually appreciate any absurdities besides my own), but I stuck it out and then it hooked me in. And his comments were great once I got the background of the story.
I haven’t watched the movie yet, but I heard from others that you should read the book first. (That’s pretty much a given for any book-movie combo.)
I particularly like one review from the back cover: “A ‘classic’ medieval melodrama that sounds like all the Saturday serials you ever saw feverishly reworked by the Marx Brothers.”