Posted in Blog Posts, Read Me, Week of Love

The Princess Bride, by William Goldman: a Novel review

Synopsis:

From the back cover:

“As Florin and Gilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini- the criminal philosopher who’ll so anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik- the gentle giant; Inigo- the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen-the evil mastermind behind it all.  Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.”

General Information:

-Genre: Romantic Fantasy Action

-Author: William Goldman

-Number of Pages:

-Main Characters: Westley, Buttercup, Humperdinck, The Six-Fingered Man, Vicinni, Fessik, Iniego Montoya

-Where to Read: support local booksellers (many can order items that may not be in stock) or look for it at your local library!

-Page of Reference in RP1: 38

Review (contains spoilers):

I read this book long after I had first seen the movie.  In fact I didn’t realize it was a book until many, many years after my introduction to the film.

I enjoyed the book overall, though I do enjoy the film more.  It seems to do better in a format with visuals more than in novel form.  But that isn’t to say that the book isn’t down right hilarious and I do appreciate the addition of the short story Buttercup’s Baby that is at the end of the novel.

The characters are about the same as they are in the movie, fleshed out and realistic.  Yet there is a beautiful film of fantasy woven throughout the whole thing.  The descriptions of the world are comprehensive yet not overly dry or longwinded as they are in some other fantasy novels (I’m looking at you Outlander).  The action is vibrant and the story is relatable…even though we don’t live in a medival time period with a stunning farm boy fighting his way across the high seas to rescue us.

A wonderful read that I highly recommend particularly to people who enjoy stories of action, intrique, wit and true love.

Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, LOTR, Read Me

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, by JRR Tolkien: a Book Review

Synopsis:

“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.”

-lifted from the back cover synopsis

General Information:

-Genre: Epic Fantasy

-Author: JRR Tolkien

-Number of Pages: 423

-Main Characters: Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee, Merry , Pippin Took, Gandalf the Wizard, Strider, Gimli, Legolas, Boromir

-Where to Read: support local booksellers (many can order items that may not be in stock) or look for it at your local library!

-Page of Reference in RP1/RP2: 62/

Review (contains spoilers):

I have a love-hate relationship with this book. Honestly I have a love-hate relationship with a lot of adult epic fantasy books…and classics…and this is both.  Maybe I have too much baggage associated with it to truly enjoy the story anymore, even the older I get.

But that aside this is a solid story.  Essential Tolkien.  Long winded, overly detailed and with quite a bit of superfluous and frankly unnecessary details (why do you need a whole chapter of “begots”…do we really need to know who your great-to-the-millionth grandfather was… I mean unless you’re Aragorn it doesn’t really matter…does it?).

Other than that the character and world building is what so many authors aspire to today.  It has truly transcended the ages. So many new authors I do love were heavily influenced by these books… yet this is one of the few times that I really do think the visuals in the films captured the true essence of the story in a much better way than the actual books did…shoot me if you want.

Review:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Posted in Blog Posts, LOTR, Read Me

The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien: a Book Review

Synopsis:

Bilbo Baggins, of the Bag’s End Bagginses, is minding his own business when Gandalf the Grey comes to visit.  As a flustered Bilbo invites Gandalf to tea the plotting wizard marks his door with a symbol: “Burglar wants a good job, plenty of excitement and reasonable reward”.

Soon 13 dwarfs arrive at the house talking of their treasure hunting endeavor and crashing on Bilbo’s obligatory hospitality.  As the night wears on Gandalf pulls out a map and arranges the job on Bilbo’s (fairly) stunned behalf to help break the bad luck of the number 13. 

The goal: find the secret passage to the Lonely Mountian, send their thief in to assess and steal what he can, then go and kill Smaug the Dragon to steal the rest of the riches that he hoards in his lair.

After nearly missing the start of the journey Bilbo is off with the dwarfs on an epic adventure of danger, intrigue, treasure and, most of all, more excitement than any Hobbit could imagine in even their wildest dreams.

General Information:

-Genre: Epic Fantasy

-Author: JRR Tolkien

-Number of Pages: 310

-Main Characters: Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, Thorin Oakenshield, Gloin, Oin, Ori, Nori, Dori, Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Smaug

-Where to Read: support local booksellers (many can order items that may not be in stock) or look for it at your local library!

-Page of Reference in RP1/RP2: 62/

Review (contains spoilers):

I have such very fond memories of this book, unlike the other books in the Lord of the Rings.  My dad used to read this, chapter by chapter, to my brother and I as a bedtime story.  Re-reading this book was just a delight.

This story was full of action and adventure…not nearly as much description of the world as his other books.  Tolkien was absolutely on his game with this one. 

I think this is a great book to share with your kids.  It has some violence and some slightly scary parts with attacks by orcs and of course the dragon. But overall, it’s a wonderful way to introduce your children into the fantasy genre.  Even though I didn’t go on to enjoy other epic adult fantasy…or the rest of the Lord of the Rings books… it did solidify my love of fantasy as a genre.

Review:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.