Thanks for all the books: the surprise element

Is there anything better than being taken completely by surprise by a book? Ok, it’s not quite world peace or anything, but there is something very special about going into a book with low expectations, and having these blown out of the water by some great writing.

This just happened to me with The Princess Bride by William Goldman.


I’m not entirely sure why I had low expectations, because I love the movie. I just don’t think I was convinced that it would work well on paper – and like the dummy that I am, I was totally wrong. The way Goldman structured this works so well – I’m not going to talk too much about the actual book because there were elements to it that I think deserve to be a bit of a surprise, but I’ll just say that it’s a fairly unusual format and I’d be lying if I said that the first Google search I did on finishing the book wasn’t “the princess bride what just happened?” It wasn’t that the story was confusing or complicated – it’s just that the structure poses more questions than it answers, but I didn’t want to Google anything while I was reading it – I loved being completely swept away (and fooled) by Goldman’s wit and superb story telling.

The Princess Bride is a magical book – if you enjoyed the movie, I would absolutely recommend reading the book; it’s one of those rare cases where the book actually serves as a great companion to the movie.

What books have surprised you lately?

6 replies »

  1. The most recent book that surprised me was Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I started reading the book without too much expectations because I’ve heard all the hype and didn’t want to be let down. Boy, was I wrong! I ended up loving it, I mean it wasn’t perfect but a very pleasant surprise. 😀
    Glad you enjoyed Princess Diaries. I’ve tried reading it myself but could never really get past the first chapter. I’ll have to give it another try.


  2. The Princess Bride has always been one of my favorite movies. Like you, I was so scared to read the book. I finally read it a couple of months ago and I am so glad I did. I freaking LOVED it! The entire book just made me so happy while I was reading it. I have it on my Kindle, but now I need to get the hardback version for my collection.


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