Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Princess Bride 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...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."

If you're a decent human being, I hope you've seen the Princess Bride. It'd concern me if you haven't. Anyway, the existence of a respective book wasn't ever really on the forefront of my mind or my to-read list, but when I picked this up to occupy me for a 14-hour plane ride, I wasn't disappointed. There's a complete new layer added with the book that I knew little about: Goldman gives this elaborate (and extremely convincing) background of just abridging an old classic. He mentions growing up with it, and gives footnotes during the story like, "And now, Morgenstern goes into a seventeen-page musing on hats, which I've cut out..." and things like that. It's enormously amusing, if not a little brain-twisting. I had to stop halfway through the intro just to make sure there wasn't an original book. And the actual book and dialogue was amazing, unsurprisingly. This is one of the few movies that is basically on par with the book; the dialogue is verbatim about 90% of the time, and the story was insanely accurate. The extra element in the book of character backgrounds (especially Fezzik and Inigo) was an added treat. So, the book's a tiny bit long, but it doesn't feel like it at all. It feels exactly like the movie. Huge approval and thumbs up! There's copies at Blatchley, Sitka High, MEHS, and Kettleson.

No comments:

Post a Comment