Friday, April 24, 2015

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

"The Princess Bride" S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure: The "Good Parts" Version Abridged by William Goldman.

"What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be a son of a b****"

Fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautifulest ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion and miracles.

My family, and I, were obsessed with The Princess Bride movie when I was growing up. I remember seeing it for the first time at the age of nine, and I kid you not when I say that we probably watched that movie at least once a week thereafter. It was a family ritual. We adored it, and could recite it quote for quote. I did not know that the movie was adapted from a book until I was into my late teens, upon which I promptly read it. I remember loving it at that time, and having the feeling that the book and the movie were very similar. I re-visited that magical world. Upon re-reading it, I was disappointed. Chapter one, The Bride, did not feel familiar to me. The story was still there, but it was ... different from the movie. As was chapter two, The Groom, chapter three, The Courtship, and chapter four, The Preparations. By chapter five, The Announcement, I was starting to see more of the movie emerging, and from there on out it was nearly my beloved movie coming through, word for word. I would have loved this book even if I had never seen the movie, but because I was first a fan of the movie, this book became even more magical for me. I could see the actors and actresses while reading, their facial expressions, their voices. It is amazing how closely the movie followed the book (Goldman did write the screenplay).

Vizzini, Ingio, and Fezzik would have to be my favorite characters in the book. Anyone who has read the book and/or watched the movie, will remember Vizzini repeatedly saying the phrase "Inconceivable!". Ingio eventually gets tired of this and tells Vizzini, "I don't think it means what you think it does". Classic. Another well known quote being, "My name is Ingio Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die". And I do not know why, but I literally cracked up when Fezzik screams in pure terror and says "HERE COME THE KING BATS!", followed by, "Rabies! Rabies!" (not in the movie). And who can forget the "Mawidge" ceremony?

Westley is of course the dashing hero, while Prince Humperdinck and Count Rugen the delightful villains. I have to say though, that I do not like Buttercup. She feels shallow and transparent as a character, and her proclaimed love for Westley feels false and weak.

Rarely do I read a book that contains such humor and witty writing.

Interesting fact. S. Morganstern does not exist, and there is no original version of the book. It is in fact written by William Goldman. Another interesting fact, the parts where the author seemly interrupts throughout the story? Also fictional. This is a story, within a story. It is pure, and utter genius.

My Rating : *****

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