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Old 04-20-2012, 02:14 PM   #1
WT Sharpe
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April Discussion: The Princess Bride by William Goldman (spoilers)

Let's discuss the April MobileRead Book Club selection, The Princess Bride by William Goldman . What did you think?
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:22 PM   #2
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After I read the book, I saw the movie. I liked the movie better, but the book had its charms. Even though I knew from the start that the source book by S. Morgenstern was a pure fabrication, William Goldman is such a convincing liar that when he began to talk about the lawsuits from the Morgenstern estate and how they would all go away if he agreed to let Stephen King write the sequel, I nearly believed him. He wrote so convincingly about his non-existent psychologist ex-wife and obese son, that I was surprised to learn he actually had two daughters and no sons (although he and his non-psychologist wife did divorce in 1991).
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:17 PM   #3
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I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the fictional part before the actual story started, and the story itself. The part about the Morgenstern Library and Stephen King left me scratching my head a little bit; Knowing that it was fictional, and not being able to separate fact from fiction, I didn't really see a point in including Stephen King in the narrative (it seemed to pull me out of the story somewhat).

Having seen the movie first, I also liked how the "Life is pain ..." was kept in the movie and used by Wesley instead of his parents. I can imagine how a writer would want to keep that line.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:45 PM   #4
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This is one of my all-time favorites. I'd read the book years before the movie came out, and was annoyed that the movie removed one of the best lines in the book.
Quote:
"Inigo has not lost to the man in black, he has defeated him. And to prove it he has put on all the man in black's clothes and masks and hoods and boots and gained eighty pounds."
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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I haven't seen the movie. Never even heard of it before this month!

I have only just started the book, and have only read the "introductions" and knowing it is all fake makes it extra funny!
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:23 PM   #6
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I like the way Wesley is subtly tested by the author all along the way in the book. Each test helpd to re-inforce Wesley's worthyness as a person for Buttercup.

And the ending challenges you... Are you worthy of the fairy tale?

Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 04-20-2012 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:41 AM   #7
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I didn't know until I read the copyright page...
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:20 AM   #8
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I have to agree with others who having previously seen the film enjoyed that more than the book. I obtained the 30th Anniversary Edition as an ebook, which meant that there were two Introductions to plow through (for the 30th and 25th Anniversary Editions) neither of which added anything to the actual story for me.

The book is just a light, fun, and comic fairytale. Trying to make it more than that seems silly.
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:44 AM   #9
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That's the one I got. I haven't seen such long preliminaries to a story since Bertrand Russell's long-winded introduction to Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (which is actually a fairly short book).
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:55 AM   #10
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Yes, I have the same version. I admit to be in two minds when I read the intro(s) as to whether it was genuine, fictional, or indeed a mix of both. I was particularly unsure about Morgenstern, and whether he genuinely existed. I eventually came to realise it must be made up, but I did find it fun to read, though I kept wanting the story for real to start.

I really enjoyed the humourous style that Goldman employs. Very much up my street. The story itself was fun and engaging, and I am looking forward to seeing the movie, if it is indeed better than the book.

I was a little confused over the inclusion of Buttercup Baby (in this edition, at least). Whilst I understand that it forms almost an epilogue function for the Princess Bride, it also raises more questions, and leaves more things hanging, than did Bride. For example - do Fezzik and the baby survive the fall from the cliffs? No small matter. I just wished he had taken it further and wrapped up some of the loose ends.

A worthy selection, all said and done .
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53 View Post
I have to agree with others who having previously seen the film enjoyed that more than the book. I obtained the 30th Anniversary Edition as an ebook, which meant that there were two Introductions to plow through (for the 30th and 25th Anniversary Editions) neither of which added anything to the actual story for me.

The book is just a light, fun, and comic fairytale. Trying to make it more than that seems silly.
I also got this edition from the library. I got so bored reading the overly long introductions I haven't even started the book. Add me to the short list of those who had never heard of the book or seen the movie and don't plan to ever do so.
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:52 AM   #12
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By the way, here's Fezzik (André René Roussimoff aka André the Giant) in another role. Before his actual death of congestive heart failure on 27 January 1993, he was killed in the ring by Jake the Snake Roberts on October 25, 1988 in Baltimore.

The spoiler is in place for those members who may have a phobia of snakes.

Spoiler:


Yeah, I know it's a bit off-topic, but when else am I going to speak of two folks who were among my favorite wrestlers back in the day?

Sadly, his opponent in this match, Jake "The Snake" Roberts (real name Aurelian Smith Jr.), had a checkered personal history that included bar fights, drug abuse, and the charge of animal cruelty in 2004 for allowing Damian (the snake in the video) to starve to death in his garage.

Getting back on topic, according to Wikipedia, Fezzik was André "The Giant" Roussimoff's favorite role.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 04-21-2012 at 10:55 AM. Reason: Replaced period typo with comma.
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Old 04-21-2012, 03:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by orlok View Post
...I was a little confused over the inclusion of Buttercup Baby (in this edition, at least). Whilst I understand that it forms almost an epilogue function for the Princess Bride, it also raises more questions, and leaves more things hanging, than did Bride. For example - do Fezzik and the baby survive the fall from the cliffs? No small matter. I just wished he had taken it further and wrapped up some of the loose ends...
Perhaps the 40th anniversary edition will add a another chapter to further clear things up...
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:53 PM   #14
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I think he's afraid of failure. That's why there's no Buttercup's Baby. He knows he hit a home run the first time out, and he fears the sequel wouldn't live up to everyone's expectations. That's as good a reason as any for a 39 year long writer's block.
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
I think he's afraid of failure. That's why there's no Buttercup's Baby. He knows he hit a home run the first time out, and he fears the sequel wouldn't live up to everyone's expectations. That's as good a reason as any for a 39 year long writer's block.
First time out? Goldman had been a successful novelist and screenwriter for years before & after The Princess Bride. (He doesn't seem to have written novels after TPB hit the movies, though.
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