Wednesday, July 20, 2011

01: The Princess Bride

I decided to go ahead and start up my restructured posts, since it turns out I won't be out of town quite as much as I thought!

Fred is my typing assistant, today, but Bronte is the cat who felt she needed to help me get pictures.

The Princess Bride
William Goldman

Published: 1973

Bronte enjoys snuggling up with my favorite edition of The Princess Bride.

Personal Story: When I decided to abandon sanity and recommend 365 books in 365 days, The Princess Bride informed me immediately that it would be first on the list. Nothing changed when I reorganized my brain for the 182 list; not that this would surprise anyone whose known me for more than five minutes! I first read The Princess Bride when I was 13 years old. I fell immediately and irrevocably in love. I read it now about once a year, whenever I’m feeling down. Sometimes, it’s the entire book, sometimes it’s just the highlights. I’ve found it’s fairly impossible to remain down in the dumps when you’re reading about Inigo and Fezzik’s adventures in the Zoo of Death, or the Man in Black’s successes against three semi-evil kidnappers. As a special bonus, I also discovered several years ago that I had inadvertently memorized the entire first page, a useful skill for amusing people at parties, right? (The year that Buttercup was born, the most beautiful woman in the world was a French scullery maid named Annette..) My students find this both awesome and hilarious.

The only possible downside to this novel is the addition, at the 25th anniversary, of the first chapter of an unwritten (and hopefully never-written) sequel, Buttercup's Baby. Avoid it. It's bad stuff.

Gist: The Princess Bride is a story of adventure, romance, action, and humor. Almost everyone I know has seen the movie and loved it. I always tell them the same thing: read the book! Everyone’s story is deeper and richer than even the excellent film could contain. Buttercup, the most beautiful woman in the world, and her lost love Westley will pull at your heartstrings and bring along the giggles. The backgrounds of sword wizard Inigo and the giant Fezzik are the best parts of the book, and Humperdinck is a delightful villain.

The book begins with the frame story, which takes a bit of getting through. Goldman claims that his father read him this book, but only the “good bits,” leaving out all the boring historical descriptions. Scattered throughout the text of the story are Goldman’s brilliant editing comments and personal remembrances, which add another layer to an already excellent narrative.

Bonus Trivia: Goldman has only admitted once, during a small interview that doesn't even have an existing recording, that he wrote The Princess Bride. Every other time, he's talked about his respect for S. Morgensterns's story!

Perfect For: Ages 12 and up to infinity; people with a need for a pick-me-up or a quirky sense of humor

Genres: Fiction, Novel
Keywords: Humor, Romance, Adventure, Fantasy

These shots are from my well-loved favorite edition. I love it for not having the addition of Buttercup's Baby, and because it traveled the Caribbean with me. I have...four copies? I think, now. I gave some away. (...What?) I'd do a "family shot" but two of them are at work.




No comments:

Post a Comment