Today is the last day Of Beasts and Beauties. It's also the last day of the Cinderella Ball and THE GIVEAWAY! So I hope you join in the fun if you haven't yet. Thank you all so much for reading! It's been a lot of fun.
It's the last day of the party and I'm going to talk about The Princess Bride?
Every reader should make their way through this long book at least once. (Though after you've read it, you'll probably want to do it more often.) I know it isn't technically a fairytale, BUT it has a lot of fairytale elements. Mostly because it satirizes these elements that we find strange, outlandish, and hard to believe.
So why should you read it?
1. It’s a satire.
I think a lot people miss this point. They pass off The Princess Bride as a cheesy love film. What they don’t realize is that it’s actually making fun of everything by taking it to extreme lengths. You’re not supposed to take it seriously.
It pokes fun at the literary world as well as the publishing industry.
It also makes fun of a lot of tropes/elements that I think fairytales have influenced in media. For instance the inevitability of true love. The inconceivable invincibility of the hero. The miraculous resurrection of the hero. The endless beauty of the lady. That endless beauty can overlook all other faults. The lady’s inability to save herself. The driving force of revenge. The epic and yet frequent kiss. The evil that is evil for the sake of being evil. It even laughs at our happily ever afters.
The delivery of it all is even better.
2. Inigo and Fezzik
If you’ve seen the movie, you know these two are the best. We know a little of Inigo’s history from the movie, but there’s more in the book. The book also delves into Fezzik’s history.
One of the things that I super love, is that these two have a strong friendship. It comes out more in the book. There’s more of their rhymes. The rhyming part only happened once in the movie and I didn’t really understand until reading the book. Also, there’s a hilarious scene with these two down in Humperdinck’s Zoo of Death. Why did they leave that out of the movie?
Oh, and keeping to satire, when we read Inigo’s and Fezzik’s backstories, the book stops the whole story for some drawn out flashbacks.
3. The historical inaccuracies and other parenthetical elements
Did you know they had jeans back then? Yeah. . . also, we’re informed that
(This was before Europe.)
Although later, Westley says he’s going to America to seek his fortune:
(This was just after America, but long after fortunes.)
It’s so funny and sometimes we get told the “origins” of random things.
(Originally, jealousy pertained solely to plants, other people’s cactus or ginkgoes, or, later, when there was grass, grass, which is why, even to this day, we say that someone is green with jealousy.)
The parenthetical elements are one of my favorite parts.
4. The complexity
Goldman presents the book as his “good parts” version of a much older book by S. Morgenstern. Goldman’s father read this book to him when he was sick, his father who is in fact Florinese. When Goldman is older he realizes his father didn’t read the whole book to him because Morgenstern had written a historical account and spends lengthy pages on things like culture and customs. His father had left out all the boring history parts and only read the “good parts” to Goldman.
Spoiler Of Sorts
Goldman tells us that this stuff really did happen.
I believed him the first time I read it. It’s was kind of nice, to at least pretend that it’s all real. I was a little upset (like most people) to find out it was a trick. Even the real world aspects of the book are made up, like Goldman’s family, the scene with Stephen King, etc.
But I really admire the complexity of it. Just how far Goldman carried the ruse was what made it so believable. Another thing I think helps believability is that he framed the story first in the real world than transitioned to Buttercup and Westley’s world. The whole book is very elaborate. It must’ve been a difficult book to write. Sometimes Goldman stops the story to sum up a part that the “original” author Morgenstern took too many pages to indulge in. Whenever Goldman interrupts the story (frequently might I add) he usually criticizes the non-existent Morgenstern or the publishing world or whatever he feels moody against at the moment. It’s really funny and I admire all the work and intricacy it required.
Spoiler Of Sorts Ended
This is also what puts most people off, I think. When they open the book, they expect to dive right into Buttercup and Westley’s world. Instead the book starts out in the real world, with Goldman, his dysfunctional family, and his publishing problems. (It’s not the cleanest of reads either; there’s some lust involved in the “real world” parts.)
If you want to read that, that’s fine. It is lengthy though. If you want to begin with Buttercup and Westley’s world start where it reads
You may definitely want to backtrack later and read everything you skipped over.
And just believe everything. That’s the whole fun in it.
5. It is enormously quotable.
"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!"
If you've never heard that line, there you must be from another planet or something. The Princess Bride (along with The Book Thief) is one of the most quotable books I've read. People spout of the movie lines all the time, and the book is even better.
Do you know how many times I want to end a post with
6. Life isn’t fair.
One of the things that most fairytales teach is that life is fair. The person who’s preserved all their lives and done good things will be reward with a royal life in the end. A person with bad intentions who treat other cruelly will meet a cruel end, sometimes interlaced with poetic justice. Disobedient little girls get eaten. Good boys get princesses. And so on.
But real life does not work like a fairytale. Sometimes in real life, you can do the best anyone ever could do and you’re still the one left behind in the end. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometimes the “bad guys” get away. Inconceivable, I know.
I’d love to tell you how The Princess Bride ends. But I’ve already gave you spoilers, so I’ll keep my mouth shut.
(Did I quote that right? Aw, well.)
Tomorrow I will announce the winner of the giveaway. Just to let you know, the post will probably be titled Starting Sparks or something like that. You may want to mentally prepare yourself for wholly absurd adventure with the Oddball Foursome.
Oddball hates me right now.
Have you read or seen The Princess Bride? Any thoughts?