I guess I liked it because it was so wild and unpredictable. Full review will be on the blog soon.
Update 30 May 2016:
It's strange that even though I hI guess I liked it because it was so wild and unpredictable. Full review will be on the blog soon.
Update 30 May 2016:
It's strange that even though I have been familiar with the character Alice since childhood (thanks to Disney), I have never actually read the book. While both of the Disney adaptations—the old-school animation and the latest one—are weird, I think the book was even weirder!
Curiouser and curiouser! Alice would say.
Alice, a curious child of seven, thought it was very strange indeed that on a hot day, she should see a White Rabbit that talks and wears a waistcoat and has a watch which he took out from his waistcoat-pocket. Piqued by her own great curiosity, she followed the frantic White Rabbit down a seemingly endless hole. Through the Rabbit-Hole, she was transported to Wonderland, a world in which everything is absurd, fantastical and even ridiculous, and nothing makes sense.
Why is this book so well-loved? I don’t have the answer to that question, but I know that I like this book because:
1. You can never guess what happens next. And Alice as the main character will keep you fascinated. When I decided to read this book I was in need of a sort of escapism, and little did I know that I was in for a treat. This book is a wild journey of imagination.
2. True, this book falls into the “literary nonsense” category, but you can’t help but admire Lewis Carroll’s wordplay. And some parts are just so funny.
Let’s take a look at a passage from The Mock Turtle’s Story:
“I couldn’t afford to learn it,” said the Mock Turtle with a sigh. “I only took the regular course.
“What was that?” inquired Alice.
“Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,” the Mock Turtle replied; “and then the different branches of Arithmetic – Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.” --- “…Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seography: then Drawling—the Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come once a week: he taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.” --- “And how many hours a day did you do lessons?” said Alice, in a hurry to change the subject.
“Ten hours the first day,” said the Mock Turtle, “nine the next, and so on.”
“What a curious plan!” exclaimed Alice.
“That’s the reason they’re called lessons,” the Gryphon remarked: “because they lessen from day to day.”
3. The cover of the edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland I own (published by Puffin Books under the Puffin Chalk series). I mean, the cover alone would have been enough to rate this book 3 stars at least.
To wrap up this nonsense review, I only want to point out that even though I read this book for the first time as an adult, I read it with a mind of a child. I didn’t search for symbols and hidden meanings while reading, because the child in me didn’t need to understand to enjoy the journey.
“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
It comes to this: I was in need of a light read after spending one and a half month preparing for IELTS. I don’tA delightful read.
Update Mar 8, 2016:
It comes to this: I was in need of a light read after spending one and a half month preparing for IELTS. I don’t know exactly why I chose this book—maybe because I suddenly remember my history with The Princess Bride. I first bought The Princess Bride on impulse. The truth is I don’t like fantasy books all that much, and I also didn’t really like the cover, so I sold it to Mbak Dewi (it was a copy with this cover, anyway). Some years later, while casually browsing a pile of used books in a bookshop, I found another copy of The Princess Bride. Having watched the film and seeing that the book has a vintage-looking cover, I decided to buy it. Ha! This time I didn’t regret buying it because in addition to the eyecatching cover, it also has a map. It would make a splendid addition to my collection!
Now, moving on to the story. I will list the characters first.
Buttercup, a Florinese village girl of unmatched beauty.
Westley, an orphaned farm boy who worked (or slaved) for Buttercup’s father.
Prince Humperdinck, a scheming and power-hungry prince who loved hunting above all else.
Count Rugen, Humperdinck’s sidekick and confidant who was obsessed with pain.
Vizzini the brainy Sicilian.
Inigo Montoya the sword-wielding Spaniard.
Fezzik the Turkish giant.
All the Farm Boy ever said to Buttercup was, “As you wish.” Of course what he meant was “I love you” but it took Buttercup some time before she realises this. Not until a visit from Count and Countess Rugen when she saw the Countess seemingly took a fancy of Westley. But just after them realising their true feelings for one another, Westley sailed off to America to seek his fortune, in order to become a man worthy of Buttercup. Buttercup waited and waited, but news came one day that Westley’s ship had been attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts and he never takes prisoners, which means Westley was dead. Heartbroken, Buttercup accepted marriage proposal from Prince Humperdinck (confused? Hang on a bit) with “I can never love him” in mind. Well, it means death if she said no. So began the preparations of the royal wedding, including months of making the village girl into a princess. One day while riding her horse, a weird trio consisted of Vizzini, Inigo, and Fezzik kidnapped her. But the trio’s plan (or more accurately, Vizzini’s plan, since he was the head of the trio) was threatened by the man in black, who followed them as they were sailing to the neighbouring country of Guilder, up the Cliffs of Insanity to the ravines that led to the Fire Swamp. (I'm going to leave it at this moment, there are so much adventures thereafter, but I don't want to ruin your fun by spoiling them all.) ;)
This book is the abriged version of S. Morgenstern’s The Princess Bride, the “good parts” version by William Goldman. (SEE UPDATE AT THE END OF THE POST) I don’t think that this book belongs to the fantasy genre, let alone a fairy tale, even though my copy says “a hot fairy tale”. I think it’s an adventure book with bits of fantastical elements. My copy of The Princess Bride starts with a 29-page introduction, rather too long for my taste. I was tempted to skip it altogether but later realized that it was somewhat necessary to read, that is if you want to know the background on the abridgement of S. Morgenstern’s work by William Goldman. Goldman’s “commentaries” are also scattered all over the book, but mostly they are short so it wouldn’t be a burden to read these additional paragraphs typed in fancy italic. As someone who’s seen the film first then read the book, I must say that I think both are equally entertaining. The film adapted the book very well, from Westley’s wittiness (performed gorgeously by Cary Elwes) to the memorable lines of Inigo (“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”) and of Vizzini (“Inconceivable!”).
Inigo and Fezzik making rhymes is also my favorite part of both the book and the film. Miracle Max and his wife Valerie were hilarious. The one character I like the least is the princess bride herself, in both the book and the film. However, the book can give you much more interesting scenes that didn’t make it to the film. For example Fezzik and Inigo’s adventure when they went through all five levels of Prince Humperdinck’s Zoo of Death to retrieve Westley was thoroughly explained in the book, while in the film it was reduced to short scenes in the Pit of Despair. The writing feels modern, so it easily falls into the “light reading” category. Of course you need to ignore some stuff if you want to enjoy the book, for example Buttercup accepting Humperdinck, the torture scenes, and how a lump of clay coated in chocolate could bring someone back from the dead. All in all, this is a delightful read. You should read it then watch the film. Or vice versa, I don’t really care. Just read it and watch it, in whatever order you’d like. :)
P.S. : I know this review is crap but it doesn’t make the book any less entertaining.
I have just found out that S. Morgenstern is not a real author, thanks to Fingerprinttale and Chiipurai who kindly informed me of this. Explanation on Wikipedia: Simon Morgenstern is both a pseudonym and a narrative device invented by Goldman to add another layer to his novel The Princess Bride. He presents his novel as an abridged version of a work by the fictional Morgenstern, an author from the equally fictional country of Florin. The name may be a reference to Johann Carl Simon Morgenstern, who coined the term Bildungsroman. (Read the rest on Wikipedia)....more