Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride was our sci-fi/fantasy book club's selection for January -- we are reading a few classics of the genre this year, and this is one of the ones we picked.  Most likely everyone has seen the movie, which is not just a classic, but also a childhood staple; the book isn't as widely known, but it is still a landmark classic in the fantasy genre.

I read The Princess Bride in high school, but I don't remember noticing how closely it follows the movie (or, rather, how closely the movie follows the book -- even much of the dialogue is right from the book).  This time, however, I couldn't help but see and hear the movie as I was reading it.  As one person in our book club commented, it shows how well cast the movie was, that we can see and hear the actors when we read the dialogue in the book.

Although I don't often like the movie better than the book, I think in this case I do, for the most part.  There are some things that are included in the book that I liked reading, such as Inigo's and Fezzik's stories; however, I really think it was the perfect casting of the movie that made it so exceptional.  Most kids fantasy movies fall out of favor after a few years, but The Princess Bride has been around for nearly 30 years now, and kids are still growing up on it just as my generation did.

One thing we talked about in book club, however, is how the effect is different in another format.  The movie is funny, but the book is much more satirical -- where the movie gently pokes fun of the "happily ever after" genre, the book is a little bit more critical.  It's a good read, though, and sure to put a smile on your face -- especially if you loved the movie as much as I did growing up!

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