Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Favorite Parts of Books

The Princess Bride, Buttercup and Westley, romantic movies
Those of you who are regulars here already know this but, in my oh-so-humble opinion, The Princess Bride is the best book/movie combo out there. Seriously. Twilight? Pales in comparison. The Princess Diaries? Inconceivable!

My favorite part of "The Princess Bride" - book, not movie - is the introduction. Sure, the actual description of The Pit of Despair is amazeballs. But the introduction is killer. It's the part where the author goes on for pages and pages about how bad the first book was and how confusing that was as a kid because he didn't know his dad was 'only reading the good parts'. I've often wished there was some kind of master list of the good parts of books. Wouldn't that be something? Then, rather than reading 50 pages of what it felt like to be at sea, we could just read about the actual fight with "Moby Dick".

And that brings me to my point: the parts of books I really, really like. No, not the sex parts, I knew you were thinking that since I write and primarily read romance. Actually, the sex scenes can get boring. The Good Parts, those parts that make my eyes roll back in my, drool dripping from the corner of my mouth. The parts of books that make me totally, really, horribly jealous and embarrassed that I attempt to write anything at all.

So, what are the Good Parts to me? Unlike the sections that were included in Goldman's "Princess Bride", most of my swoon-worthy scenes are emotional in nature, not action-y. Don't get me wrong, I love a good gun battle, sword fight or cliff-hanging moment. But when authors get the emotion right, I just cry. Happiness, sadness, excitement...jealousy. You name it. Kristina's over there in a puddle of tears.

Here's my example: In the movie version, after Westley is determined dead by pirates, the narrator says: Buttercup took to her room and didn't come out for days.

And the book version: At first her parents tried to lure her, but she would not have it. They took to leaving food outside her room...There was never noise inside, no wailing, no bitter sounds. And when at last she came out, her eyes were dry. ...The woman who emerged was a trifle thinner, a great deal wiser...This one understood the nature of pain, and beneath the glory of her features, there was character, and a sure knowledge of suffering.

"You're all right?" her mother asked.

"Yes." There was a very long pause. "But I must never love again."

I know, I abbreviated - this is a blog, not a book. But isn't that so much...more that that line in the movie?

So, what are your favorite parts of books?