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Saturday, June 03, 2006

cover of The Princess Bride

Borrowed this book for a month while I was on a trip. A friend believes that the movie the princess bride is not so much about Buttercup, Westley, and the others -- but instead about the relationship of the grandfather to the grandson. Which I had never thought about until he said so. But it does make sense. A story within a story. Something to ponder. In the meantime, the main characters of the inner story are Buttercup (the perfect woman), Westley (her true love), Fezzik (friendly powerful giant), Inigo (on a search for his father's murderer), Vizzini (almost a mastermind), Prince Humperdinck (evil troublemaker with too much power), Count Rugen (enjoys others' pain, friend to the prince), and Miracle Max (plays an important role involving undeath). And there you have it. A motley crew of characters who together create a beautiful, humorous story.

Grew up with this movie as a part of my family culture, so it was fun to finally read the book. An interesting mix of fact and fiction. I mean, it's all fiction, but Goldman refers to a book by S. Morgenstern which does not exist. And there are some references to meetings with Morgenstern's lawyers etc. which can be nothing but facetious if there is no such book. But it makes for some interesting questions about what really happened (that Goldman refers to) and what didn't happen at all. [reminds me of 'The Da Vinci Code' in which the author also mixes fact and fiction. But this seems much less dangerous, because the suggestions of truth aren't as vital to inner beliefs.]

As always, there are differences between the book and the movie. But one difference that I was glad for was the Zoo of Death. This is a location the Prince and the Count visit often, and only they (and one other) knows of it. The Prince loves to kill things, so he has collected a wide variety of things to kill with various challenges. Some are strong, some are poisonous, some are fast...whatever he may feel like on certain days. But the descriptions of that place were plenty for my imagination. Seeing it on screen would have drastically changed the movie for the worse. Did like the idea that they created 5 levels with each getting more dangerous. And the fifth level had remained empty until Humperdinck came upon Westley, who was honored by being taken to that level of the most dangerous, most worthy challenger of Humperdinck.

Title:The Princess Bride
Author: William Goldman
Date published:1973
Genre: Fantasy, Humor
Number of pages: 398
Notes: Borrowed from Rikki


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