Eszter's Reviews > The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
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did not like it
bookshelves: contemporary, fiction, acquired-hard-copy, adventure, fairy-tales
Recommended for: Adults who are not sensitive

** spoiler alert ** * This review may contain spoilers, please proceed with caution... *

I am probably the one and only who did not like this book, and NOT because it had been boring or worse than the film. I haven't seen the film yet and I'm not sure I want to. I read the 2013 edition with the two lengthy introductions, and even though I couldn't wait for the real story to begin, I quite enjoyed the introductions and Goldman's satire/humour. Once the story began, I grow very fond of Inigo and Fezzik, although I didn't really care for Buttercup, the heroine, who is an empty-headed Barbie doll. (I have yet to find a male writer who is able to write a strong female character, all of my favourite female characters were penned by women...) Still, up until page 247 I rather enjoyed the book, though there were some disturbing moments, such as the death of a character who wasn't a really bad villain, just a petty criminal. I didn't understand why it was necessary to kill him off. But back to page 247, which is when all the torture began. I DID NOT enjoy it and it came as a shock that in the middle of a "fairy tale" I had to read very detailed descriptions of such a cruel torture. Up until a certain point I was able to continue reading, but when a completely innocent dog was tortured to death in order to test a torture machine, I gave up. I DID not read the scene how the machine was used for torturing the human being. The rest of the book I just skimmed, so as to find out how this awful story ends. Regrettably, even the ending was just as bad, because there was no real happy ending, but what is more, one of the major villains hasn't even been punished!!! After that, I had no interest whatsoever to read the first part of the planned sequel "Buttercup's Baby", especially as its title is "Fezzik Dies". No need to read that. William Goldman may be a wonderful writer, but he has definitely no idea about the genre FAIRY TALE. He keeps repeating that "life is not fair" and that's reason enough to kill off innocent people and animals. He is of course right, life isn't fair, and if I had wanted to read a book on the Holocaust, Kosovo, or Rwanda, I wouldn't have been surprised by the torture. But for goodness sake, I was reading a book which had been characterised by the New York Times as a "funny fable" (see dust jacket)! According to "My Encyclopaedia of Fairy Tales", fairy tales have at least three defining features, namely: (1) Happy Ending, (2) Good Conquering Evil, and (3) Suitable for Children to read. Goldman failed all of these, I'm afraid. I would never ever give this book to a child, because of the cruelty to animals/people it depicts. The whole concept of the Zoo of Death is awful and out of place in a fairy tale for children. Even though I'm an adult and regularly watch TV series containing cruel scenes, such as the CSI, upon reading this book, I will have some nightmares I'm sure. Imagine what a child would feel! As I've mentioned, I haven't watched the film yet, and lots of people say it's better than the book. I can only hope that the torture scenes are less naturalistic on the screen...
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Reading Progress

April 27, 2013 – Shelved
April 27, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
April 27, 2013 – Shelved as: contemporary
April 27, 2013 – Shelved as: fiction
January 8, 2014 – Shelved as: wishlist
January 10, 2014 – Shelved as: acquired-hard-copy
January 10, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 10, 2014 – Shelved as: adventure
March 27, 2014 – Started Reading
March 28, 2014 –
page 12
2.67%
March 28, 2014 –
page 24
5.33%
March 28, 2014 –
page 34
7.56%
March 29, 2014 –
page 48
10.67%
March 29, 2014 –
page 54
12.0%
March 30, 2014 –
page 70
15.56%
March 30, 2014 –
page 113
25.11%
August 17, 2015 –
page 123
27.33%
August 18, 2015 –
page 159
35.33%
August 19, 2015 –
page 166
36.89%
August 21, 2015 –
page 203
45.11%
August 21, 2015 –
page 240
53.33%
August 23, 2015 – Shelved as: fairy-tales
August 23, 2015 – Finished Reading

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