I genuinely couldn’t believe that I had never picked up ‘The Princess Bride’ before, given that it’s such a well known and widely loved classic book. Obviously this was enough to convince me to read it without much further ado. On one hand I enjoyed reading this, yet on the other hand I felt a vague sense of disappointment – as if something was missing or incomplete in a sense. Trouble is, I’m not entirely sure what.
All the characters presented were amazingly rich and vivid. As a reader I felt that they must exist in some parallel fantasy world. I couldn’t help but immediately like the heroes and feel disgust towards the villains. Some of the things the characters said also made me chuckle – they were just outrageously ridiculous!
“True love is the best thing in the world, except for cough drops.”
My favourite character (to my surprise) was Inigo. I felt a sense of admiration for him quite early on which only grew as the story progressed. His journey had been beautifully written. I found his story to be the one with the most emotional depth. I have to say, I did have some trouble relating to Buttercup at times. Although I can appreciate that her character developed the most during the story, there was still something missing from her character. I had very mixed feelings towards her – I couldn’t decide if I liked her or not.
The plot unfurled at a rapid pace. It was fast paced, thrilling and action packed. I have to admit; I found the fight scenes rather epic. So much so, that whilst reading them I held my breath – I was completely ensorcelled! The various settings were described with so much detail and clarity, that I could easily believe they could be real.
“Who are you?”
“No one of consequence.”
“I must know.”
“Get used to disappointment.”
However, a couple of things plot wise were never really explained and sort of brushed over which was a smudge disappointing. It felt as if Goldman was hiding behind Morgenstern to avoid giving the explanation regarding some of the finer plot points. True enough, they were very small points that probably most readers would just overlook and not that big of a deal but for some reason it still bugged me a little.
Having said that, I unquestionably liked the way the book had been written. It was a story within a story, which was amazing. The whole idea of it felt fresh and original. Goldman’s story telling skills are incredible. The tone of the book was light – almost like a conversation in many respects.
Another thing I really liked was how every now and again Goldman would interrupt the narrative, to add in his own piece, before returning back to the main story. I have to say though that towards the end of the book, these interruptions were becoming less welcome. At that point, I just wanted to read the story rather than being constantly interrupted after every couple of paragraphs or so with what seemed at times to be a bit of waffle…
“Why do you wear a mask and hood?”
“I think everybody will in the near future,” was the man in black’s reply. “They’re terribly comfortable.”
The ending was left rather ambiguous. Too much was left unanswered and unaccounted for. The upside is the reader can make up their own ending and it leaves a lot to be discussed with others, which I totally get. Nonetheless, I still would have liked the ending to be tied up properly. On top of that, the ‘sequel’ seemed a little unnecessary. It felt disjointed – like it didn’t quite fit in with the book as a whole.
Overall, this has to be one of the best fairytales I’ve read. It had everything in it – from romance to epic fencing fights to loveable characters. Yes, it had its flaws (what book doesn’t?) but honestly, these can be overlooked. As for feeling that something was incomplete – I’m still trying to figure out what. Then again if I was to side step that issue, it was a pretty amazing book. My only regret is, I wish I had read it when I was younger.