Wednesday, October 29, 2008

S. Morgenstern's Classi Tale of True Love and High Adventure -- The Princess Bride

Satire. That is about all I have to say.

Satire. Satire. Satire.

If you like satire, you will love this book, if you cannot stand it and it drives you crazy- do yourself a favor and do not read The Princess Bride- you will go insane.

Goldman uses a very distinct writing style- that involves a LOT of satire- you either like it or you do not.

***MINOR WRITING-STYLE-SPOILER ALERT*** Goldman claims that he is abridging S. Morgenstern's Classic tale, the princess Bride. He tells this whole story about why he got into the abridgment, and about his fat son and genius wife. He constantly interrupts the story to tell you what he took out and why, or how to read the parenthesis.... it is all fake. There is no Morgensstern. Goldman wrote the whole. Thing. There is no such place as Florin.... ***END SPOILER ALERT***

If you can get over that, you will be fine. Honestly, I really enjoyed this book. It was a little frustrating at times, but that just goes to show how good of an author Goldman is; he can stir up such feelings in the reader with what seems like no effort.

The Princess Bride starts where most fairy tales end; the poor girl is engaged to the Prince. Only one problem, the girl, Buttercup, does not really want to marry him. She had planned to marry Westley, but he had no money. He sailed to America to seek his fortune, and she promised herself to him. After all, they had true love, and so they HAD to end up together, right? Soon she gets news that he had been killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Several years later she agrees to marry the Prince, not that she has much choice... She gets kidnapped by Vizzini, Fezzik, and Inigo Montoya... but who hired them? and why? who is the man in black? is he 'a good guy' or not? Will you get through the book without screaming?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Out of the Silent Planet


I found bits and pieces of this book hard to understand. C.S. Lewis was a Professor at Cambridge, and he definitely used Collage-Professor-Sized words. Malediction, sanguine, intelligentsia, infinitesimally, and many other words of that size are used throughout the story. Granted, one can guess at their meaning by reading the rest of their sentence, but it takes away from the overall reading experience. I do like how Lewis changed things from how we are used to them on earth, such as the giant 'trees', thought process of the creatures that live on the other planet, the shapes of mountains, the intelligence of the 'aliens', and the temperature of the water... the storyline was fresh too, it is not one I have read before:

Ransom is a philologist , he studies languages. When we first see him he is hiking - he does this often when he does not have work. The place where he was going to spend the night turned him down. S, it is getting steadily darker, he is in the middle of nowhere, and he has no where to stay. Ransom ends up getting kidnapped, and when he wakes up he in a spaceship- looking out of the window he sees earth floating away, already the size of the moon. Who exactly are the people who kidnapped him? He finds out that they plan to leave him with the natives of where-ever-they-are-going, but why? Will there be any chance of escape? And then survival? Will he ever get back to earth, alive?

Be forewarned, this is the first in a trilogy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hans Christian Anderson

I have been reading some fairy tales by author Hans Christian Anderson. I had been curios about them for a while, and decided to pick up a book with several of the short stories in it.
I was astonished. People get their heads chopped off, mothers give up all they have to save their children (who die anyway), even the story of The Little Mermaid was different! In the original version, she ends up dieing and does not get to marry the Prince.
And people read these stories to their children as bedtime stories!?!?!?

Yet for some reason I kept reading. There is something about the stories that kept me interested. A friend of mine said that she read them mainly because they were a bit spooky- sort of a children's scary books. So, if that is the type of book you enjoy, pick up some of Anderson's works!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Twenty-six thousand one hundred and fifty-nine words. One hundred and eighty-five pictures. Five hundred twenty-five pages. One amazing book. Selznick combines art and literature in a wonderful way. The transition from page to page of pictures was smooth, the pictures linked together telling half of the story by themselves. It is surprising to realize how much more one understands about the character's worry or astonishment by looking at them, and not just reading about them.

Twelve year-old Hugo has a secret. He lives in the train station and keeps the clock working, just like his Uncle taught him. He is afraid to tell anyone about his secret, lest it be taken from him. He has to fix this object, and being good with tools it is not as hard as it seems. The only way to get the parts for the mending is to steal them, so Hugo thinks. So he steels from an old man with a tool booth. One day, the man catches him and ends up taking the 'blueprints' for the boys secret. Hugo is persistent. This secret and the notebook are the only things he has left of his father; and he wants the book back so he can fix the secret. Things prove harder than they seem.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Enchanted Castle

The Enchanted Castle was written by Edith Nesbit. It was first published in 1907, so you wont find it in the 'new books' section of your library :D. The novel was written in such a way that whenever it started winding down something new and exciting happened. It seemed to me that Nesbit did not want her book to end. At times it dragged a bit, but do not let that keep you from reading The Enchanted Castle; the story itself is pretty good.

Gerald, Jimmy and Kathleen are siblings living in England at about the time the book was written. Their cousin gets sick just in time for the holidays, so the the children cannot go home lest they get sick too. The French Governess at Kathleen's school had been planning on staying at the school anyway, so she agrees when asked to watch the three children. The children convince her to let them take their lunch out of doors and eat in the woods, unchaperoned. While on the path they get lost and soon stumble upon a wonderful garden and a castle. Following the clue they find a princess asleep on the bench in the middle of the maze. After they wake her, she feeds them a most interesting meal and brings them to a secret toom. In this room she points out a magical ring she clams will turn the wearer invisible. And then the adventures begin.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008