The Princess Bride:
S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale
of True Love and High Adventure
MY OWN THOUGHTS
This review on the last book read in 2010 begins like a mystery.
I had heard about The Princess Bride, but when I was looking for it in my library, I always ended up on this “good parts version, abridged by…”. If you know me, you understand that an abridged version will NOT do. So after much frustration, I turned to our librarians. I explained my problem.
A few minutes later, the librarian comes back to me, and says, actually the real author is Morgenstern, not Goldman. Do you still want this book? – Definitely.
A few more minutes later: well, I cannot find it, it seems more complex than that. And then she printed for me this wikipedia article, which explains the whole thing; basically, it’s a literary fake, a device used by Goldman. The reason why I just could not put my hand on the unabridged version is simply that it does not exist, Goldman made it all up, as well as Morgensen’s name, the supposedly original author. I wished I had started by Wikipedia!
On that basis, my feelings are very much divided. As for the story itself, I enjoyed it, as you would enjoy a relaxing book with adventure and romance, though I found the heroine’s character rather obnoxious. I actually expected a bit more depth to it, but maybe it is I’m enough a child in heart to fully appreciate it.
What really got on my nerves is the whole literary device. It’s very heavily insisted upon, and I think I would have understood right away what was going on if I had just opened that book with no introduction remarks. It felt VERY artificial, not done in a fancy or delicate way. And really, was it needed? What does it add to the book? I still don’t find anything to answer that question. I have seen lots of literary devices, such as a book within a book, but this one her, the way Goldman used it, dd not work at all for me.
Now, I’ll try to watch the movie, where I hope I’ll got only the ‘good parts’, LOL, meaning nothing of the literary device added by Goldman, but just the plot itself. Guess what, I am almost ready to write an abridged version of the abridged version!!
ABOUT THE BOOK
What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams?
As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the “S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears.
Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.
What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.
In short, it’s about everything.
Eventually to be adapted for the silver screen, THE PRINCESS BRIDE was originally a beautifully simple, insightfully comic story of what happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince in the world–and he turnsout to be a son of a bitch. Guaranteed to entertain both young and old alike by combining scenes of rowsing fantasy with hilarious reality, THE PRINCESS BRIDE secures Goldman’s place as a master storyteller.
William Goldman’s beloved novel has sold over one million copies [really?? If your dad read you this book as a kid, he skipped Goldman’s stuff, didn’t he? Be honest!] . A movie, released twenty years ago, perfectly captured the spirit of the book and has introduced new fans to its pages ever since. In 1941 a young boy lies bedridden from pneumonia. His perpetually disheveled and unattractive father, an immigrant from Florin with terribly broken English, shuffles into his bedroom carrying a book. The boy wants to know if it has any sports. His father says, “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions. Miracles.” And the little boy, though he doesn’t know it, is about to change forever. As Goldman says, “What happened was just this. I got hooked on the story.” And coming generations of readers will, too.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
William Goldman has been writing books and movies for more than forty years. He has won two Academy Awards (for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men), and three Lifetime Achievement Awards in screenwriting.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS BOOK ?
HOW DID YOU REACT TO THE LITERARY DEVICE PARTS
WHEN YOU READ IT?
WHAT’S THE POINT OF USING THIS DEVICE?
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN A COMMENT PLEASE
Now reading: The Crying of Lot 49 – a reread, for a Reading Challenge
Now listening to: The Canterbury Tales. I enjoy it very much!
New posts coming soon on :
– A Year in reading – 2010, as soon as I find this funny list of questions to which you answer with titles of books you read during the past year. Please forward if you have one.
– 2011 reading plan
– New TBR!
Maybe it’s because I associate this book with reading it aloud to my son when he was a little boy, but whatever the reason I LOVED this book and it has always remained dear to my heart. It was a fairy tale that both of us could enjoy.
Trisha, were you reading him also the italics passage, the parts that look like ‘added’ by Goldman? or only the story parts?