“One of the funniest, most original, and deeply moving novels I have read in a long time.”

 

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

Okay so this is a painful admission for a Reading Addict like myself, but I got to know about this through the marvellous film of the same title.  I didn’t even realise it *was* a book for a while (for some reason, I always missed the very start of the film).  Eventually I realised, put it on my TBR list and got round to reading it a short while ago.

It turns out that all those catch-phrases and snappy, often bizarre exchanges that we love about the film are lifted straight off the page.  There are bits missing from the film of course (aren’t there always?).

Like many books, it goes so much deeper.  What the reader very quickly picks up on is the conceit that the book as presented is actually William Goldman’s pithier summary of a far longer and drawn out book by one S. Morgenstern – who’s magnum opus is portrayed as a rather turgid and long-winded stab at European politics and royalty (with the story being the golden kernel at the heart of it all).

Goldman’s asides as he tells the reader why he is missing out this next bit from Morgenstern’s work are deliciously funny.  It’s a fabulous mechanism to draw the reader in and is just as entertaining as the story itself – which for those who don’t know is a fantasy/romcom/swashbuckling adventure.

A word of caution however, if you buy the same version I did, it will have a section entitled “Buttercup’s Baby” after the end.  This is not worth reading as it is every bit as turgid as the elusive Morgenstern is alleged to be.  Finish at the end of the novel proper and you will consider it time very well spent.

 

Reviewed by:

Debbie McCarthy

Added 27th October 2015

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Debbie McCarthy

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