Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My hat's off to you, William Goldman

So, I just finished reading The Princess Bride by William Goldman. It's been one of my goals to read some of the classics that I've somehow missed over my past 23 years.

Might I just say - hilarious and fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I LOVED the pretending to skip over satirical, long, dull parts about the royalty picking their clothes and packing them and such, which was supposed to signify how ridiculous the upper classes are, but really would just be boring. Also, those chapters never actually existed, since the "original" book was by William Goldman. The whole facade was genius - I don't know if I could cut my writing enough to do that. Also, it's a story within a story - with enough detail to make your head spin.

However, even though it was fake, it made me think of some other books that would be thoroughly awesome if the boring parts were chopped out of them. Here is my list of ones that come to mind:

Crime and Punishment - really? It took her 10 pages to walk down the stairs?

Grapes of Wrath - I don't care if those intercaloric chapters had a deeper meaning, and the tortoise trying to get across the road signified the people struggling in his story - they were boring and unnecessary, in my opinion. I also don't believe that is a correct interpretation. Steinbeck was padding his novel for all he was worth, making the masses think his third-grade story about his pet was really deeply significant. Yeah, yeah, I might still be bitter for having to read it in 11th grade - if you have read it, you understand. Also, if you cut out those chapters, you lose nothing of the story. Maybe you lose the artistic depth, but that's it. Maybe.

Persuasion - now, I'm not dissing Jane Austen at all. All I'm saying is that there were some parts in this book that were snooze-fests. Cut out all the family tree stuff, please! We don't really need to know the history of the family to understand the idea that the father stunk and pedigree mattered to him. Besides that, I heart this book.

Now that I've thoroughly alienated the entire English academic community, I'll move on.

Actually, I lied. I want to talk about the movie The Princess Bride first.

I love when writers take actual dialogue from the book to use in the movie. If the author has a great line in there, why not use it? Thank you, William Goldman, for doing just that. Bless you. It was so fun to hear lines from the movie that I'd read in the book. The casting was also fabulous. Lots of no-name actors, except Mandy Patinkin - Becca has informed me, but marvelous acting nonetheless. Might I say near-perfect matching of the characters in the book to the movie? I just did.

Other random thoughts I'd like to share:

I made a thumb cake for Becca's birthday, like the one in an episode of the TV show Glee. It was mostly thought up by my mom, but mostly executed by me. I'll post a pic of it on here when I find the camera.

Micah is still hilarious. Lately, he's had a sarcastic laugh that I blame Calvin and Hobbes for: the classic "Har har". I can't help but laugh when he whips that one out. Also, he's let us know that the first commandment is not actually love God like you all thought, but, and I quote, "Have babies." Wow. Thanks Micah, for that information.

I'm actually kind of getting into a video game. I know! Hang me now. But I started playing around with Boom Blox, and although I've mostly given up on some parts, there are levels I've tried a good 20 times to do well in. I can't believe it, but it's true.

I still love Harry Potter. I used to read them all in order right before J.K. would put out another one, and now that I've missed a few summers, I've found they're still just as enjoyable.


Andersen Family said...

Oh Barrus. I find it very refreshing to read your review. I miss you!!

Becca said...

*sighs* You just don't understand... Grapes of Wrath is so raw and real! It's life coming full circle!