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I ordered this book knowing nothing about it, except that a lot of people I knew were crazy about it. Or rather, they were crazy about the movie, which, incidentally, I haven't watched either. I was curious to see what all the fuss was about.
At first I was flabbergasted. Since I didn't know anything about the author either, I assumed the stories he described about himself in the introduction were true. But I couldn't bring myself to belief such an (apparently) narcissistic, egotistical person could have written a book that was so widely loved. I mean, pages and pages of whining about your cold wife, your fat son and some girl you meet in LA but can't get hooked up with because you're tracking down a book for your son? The back story of his father reading to him was better, but did little to make up for my frustrations, specially because the interruptions (after you start the story itself) were so numerous and, at first, rather annoying. After one chapter I started thinking all of this was very odd and inconsistent, with the fact that I had never heard of a country (past or present) called Florin adding to the notion that no one could be that annoying and get away with it. So I googled it and, sure enough, it wasn't true.
Morgenstern is an author created by William Goldman himself, who wrote the original story (it's not an abridgment) and all the stories about his family and publishers are fictional too.
After you become aware of this, you realize the "notes from the author" and the introduction is just another story, parallel and intertwining with the actual story. You also realize it's supposed to be ironic, like a satire. But (and I'm going to be very honest here), while not uninteresting, for me, it did little for the story (with a few exceptions towards the end).
I found the main story to be pretty remarkable. It feels like a fairy tale, and it almost fools into believing it is one, but it's so cruel, unfair and funny that it ends up being almost the opposite. It's unpredictable and original, with unique and funny characters.
The only reason why I don't give this book five stars is because of the fictional story about the author. I wish it had been less extent and intrusive, but alas, the way it was, it did more to dampen the excitement of the story than to increase its enjoyment. Still, a really good book, and I recommend it.