I'd never seen The Princess Bride movie until last night when I drove my boyfriend around our entire town looking for a video store that had4.5 stars
I'd never seen The Princess Bride movie until last night when I drove my boyfriend around our entire town looking for a video store that had it because I had finished the book day before and I just had to see the movie now, and, when we came back home disappointed, discovered that Holy Amazon now rents movies for online streaming and basically all of dreams came true because I no longer even have to get up from bed to rent a movie that's not available on Netflix. I know, I know, what kind of reader or child of the 90's I am that I'd never even heard of The Princess Bride until recently? I've never seen Labyrinth or The Never Ending Story, so sue me.
I was strictly an animated Disney child. Ask me to sing you the entire soundtrack to any Disney movie from the 90s and I will do it with pride and probably throw in a carefully choreographed dance routine. But The Princess Bride? I knew about the meme. That's about as far as I went. Now, though? I think I've done nothing but quote Inigo Montoya for the last 24 hours, you know what line. Yup. That one.
I didn't expect to love this book. I was expecting to develop some sort of appreciation for it, there has to be reason why it is a classic, but this book is entertaining and funny and engaging and the pages flew by without me even realizing it. This story reads like a fairy tale, and it might've been written in the 70's but it feels timeless. It is as compulsively readable today and it probably was back there and it doesn't feel like it's aged at all in 40 years. It has all the qualities of the type of fantasy story that prevails the test of time while maintaining a certain modern age that keeps it relevant to the current generations. I was never once bored and I loved the characters. Sometimes they were annoying, sometimes they felt like a stereotype, but they were so funny, so engaging and lovable and surprisingly layered at many points in the story. I had a really hard time tearing myself from the novel.
Goldman did such a wonderful job with the satire in the novel and not taking itself too seriously, which gave the novel the freedom to take some plot lines, give the characters new layers and make them engage in hilarious, totally stupid, but ultimately satisfying and, of course, effective actions that moved the plot along without making it obvious that it was a blatant plot device that relied too much on convenience or too little on sense, because, dammit, it was just that much fun.
Sadly, the book does fall prey to some of the conventions of the time and that is the position of the woman in the story. There were some scenes in there were Buttercup took a hold of her own destiny, showed a backbone and delivered some pretty great lines and insults. But, for the most part, she was a very passive aspect of the story and, of course, she just sat down and waited to be rescued. I wasn't bothered by that as much as it bothered me how some male characters, including the narrator/author reacted to her. They talked down to her, they insulted her, they even hit her and it wasn't only the villain of the story. I'm glad they took that scene from the movie because it was enough of a downer for me to take one star off the rating of the book and I probably would've ended up hating the movie as a whole if that hadn't been edited in the film.
All in all, this was an extremely pleasurable experience, both the book and the movie, and I am extremely glad I decided to give this book a chance. It might've not been perfect for me, but it really felt perfect while I read it. The 4 stars is the result of some consideration of the elements of the novel, but trust me, my heart said 5 stars the whole time I read it. Now, if you excuse me, I have to go annoy trolls on the internet who whine about feminism with this awesome line from the movie. Yes, you know the one.
I know 3 stars usually means you didn't exactly love something, but, as it is the case with The Great Gatsby, I actually kind of did. When I3.5 stars
I know 3 stars usually means you didn't exactly love something, but, as it is the case with The Great Gatsby, I actually kind of did. When I give a book a rating in Goodreads I try to strike a balance between my enjoyment of the book and the quality of the work. Now, these two don't always go hand in hand, for I sometimes may not like a book that I acknowledge was of quality and worth, just like I sometimes may love a book that I am fully aware is not exactly of the best quality. So, in the case of The Great Gatsby, I must say that, while I am in love with the quality of it, this is not a book I enjoyed that much, hence the 3 stars.
Fitzgerald's writing is undeniably beautiful, poetic and yet so incredibly profound. Almost every line inspired deep thoughts about our very own humanities and I don't think I've ever encountered an author with such an honest and profound conception of humanity. I loved the portrait he painted of the jazz era, the senseless debauchery and fickle way of life.
My problem with the novel is the representation of women in this novel. We get only three females in here and they are all shallow, untrustworthy, selfish and materialistic. The best of the three was Jordan and still her character lacked the depth Nick gave her in his eyes. Their characters never transcended and they were all punished in one way or another even for the mistakes their men did, even when they never did (especially Tom, for whom I continually wished bad, bad things). The story also took a while to pick up and it wasn't until the last 30 pages or so that I truly found myself transfixed by the story.
So, all in all, I understand why this novel is a classic. Nick's voice could've used a bit more personality, but I loved the way he saw the world and communicated it. The elements in the novel were marvelously constructed and Fitzgerald's writing is amazing. I had my issues with the characterization, but still, this is a wonderful book....more
Good story and truly stellar writing. The book is just so long and there were long passages were nothing happened and then there were even lo3.5 stars
Good story and truly stellar writing. The book is just so long and there were long passages were nothing happened and then there were even longer passages of flowery scenery descriptions. This is one to take slowly and with a big amount of paience. ...more
I liked the beginning of the story and I was very interested in the psychology behind Kurtz's character, but I am afraid the racism, stereotypes and mI liked the beginning of the story and I was very interested in the psychology behind Kurtz's character, but I am afraid the racism, stereotypes and misogynistic themes of this book, although perhaps "appropriate" for that time, did not sit well with me and distracted the reader from the real point of the novel. ...more
I honestly didn't think I'd have this much fun reading The Way of the World. Fascinating, morally-ambiguous characters and a twisty, complex plot makeI honestly didn't think I'd have this much fun reading The Way of the World. Fascinating, morally-ambiguous characters and a twisty, complex plot makes this play a new favorite. ...more
It will never cease to baffle me how Romeo and Juliet is considered the greatest love story ever told. Of course, what kind of English Lit graduate woIt will never cease to baffle me how Romeo and Juliet is considered the greatest love story ever told. Of course, what kind of English Lit graduate would I'd be if I didn't believe in everyone's right to interpret a story and see whatever they want to see in it? Like Oscar Wilde said, "The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things." So, if people want to see this as a love story, then that's fine, but its reputation as the greatest love story is based almost entirely on hearsay and eye-roll inducing references to it, like those by a Swift song and Twilight, rather than actual and careful reading of the play. The love story is but the most basic of the play's elements, and for far too long this book has been twisted, it's message bastardized and whored to cater to the hopeless and tragic romantics. This book is not romantic and it's not about love. Quite the contrary, Romeo & Juliet is kind of a cautionary tale against the type of shallow, brief, lust-driven, and selfish young "love" that this novel is usually, - and ironically -, used to defend. Actually, both Romeo and Juliet are repeatedly told throughout the play that they are being kind of stupid and that they are confusing lust with love. Juliet was 13, for chrissakes, and Romeo had gone to the party at her house following another woman he claimed to love desperately, a woman he promptly forgets as soon as he sees Juliet and thinks her beautiful in his vaguely pedo way, and I don't think I need to point out that their very short lived romance had very dire consequences for several characters around them.
If you want a great love story written by Shakespare, check out Much Ado About Nothing. Romeo and Juliet have nothing on Beatrice and Benedict, mostly because Beatrice and Benedict are not two foolish pre-teens confusing hormones with ever lasting love and wreaking havoc on the lives of their loved ones and their own for it.
As far as Shakespeare's plays go, this is definitely not one of his best. Acceptable, of course, as are all pieces written by him, but hardly worthy of all the recognition it has as, most likely, Shakespeare's most well known work. I expected to hate it, and I was pleasantly surprised to see I'd enjoy it, even though I should've expected it considering how biased I am when it comes to Shakespeare. Romeo & Juliet is a nice enough play that's, sadly, been overdone and taken too far away from what it originally intended to be. ...more