As a huge fan of the Princess Bride, I really looked forward to reading this book. In my family, the Princess Bride was a favorite movie to watch andAs a huge fan of the Princess Bride, I really looked forward to reading this book. In my family, the Princess Bride was a favorite movie to watch and Elwes provides background into the making of the movie. I don't think it will change your enjoyment of the movie, but it adds some hilarity of behind the scenes (e.g. William Goldman freaking out when Robin Wrights dress intentionally caught on fire, Cary Elwes wrestling a rubber R.O.U.S.) and also personalizes some of the actors. In terms of paleopathology, I remember my classes discussing Andre the Giant because of him having acromegaly (the pituitary gland secretes excessive growth hormone and causes gigantism) but I really liked how Elwes provided an alternative view of Andre (e.g. he was a connoisseur of food and he wholeheartedly believed that wrestling was not fake).
I think this is an excellent addition to any fan of the Princess Bride. ...more
This book really grabbed my attention. On the blurb it said: "... the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marsThis book really grabbed my attention. On the blurb it said: "... the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true." The last sentence caused a bit of debate in the lab I was working in and after some research on NPR. It was actually a thing but it ended up falling through.
Anyway, the story mainly focuses on Winslow Houndstooth who has been paid to run an operation to relocate feral hippos,but Houndstooth has an alterior motive, he also has plans for revenge. He hires Hero (the demolitions expert), Archie (an excellent con-woman), Adelia (an assassin), and Cal (one of fastest sharpshooter).
This book has a definite western feel to it, which I absolutely loved (I grew up on spaghetti westerns and I have a special place in my heart for them). One of the most interesting parts about it is that the characters use hippo's as mounts. I nearly died over that. Another thing I loved was the LGBTQIA representation in the book. Hero is a non-binary individual who uses the gender neutral pronouns of they/their. I've seen some reviews saying that Houndstooth is gay but I think that he might be bisexual (view spoiler)[ on page 18 Nadine asks:
"Where've you been, Winslow? Out with some new girl?" He winked at her, and she tapped the brim of his hat to set it back askance. "Ah, some new boy...
Also, page 84 Archie tells Hero about Houndstooths falling love with a woman. But she left him for a postman. (hide spoiler)]
This worked out beautifully for me because I've been trying to find more LGBTQIA fiction to read. But I was really touched over Houndstooth being bisexual and Hero as a transgender person, because of the amount of biphobia and transphobia present in our culture. Houndstooths sexuality was fully accepted. Hero had a bit more trouble when other characters had made assumptions about their gender.
The only drawback for me was the length of the book. This book covers a lot of ground and it's only around 160 pages. I wish the story would have been fleshed out more. But Gailey does an excellent job of fleshing out the characters, but there could have been more developed in the character interactions, perhaps more on the alternative history of hippo's being used as a food source (there was not much mention in the book of hippos being used as food. So I'm curious if in this story that plan was abandoned), or even the characters background. All in all, I really enjoyed the book and I'm really looking forward to the sequel....more