The Princess Bride Read-A-Long Week 1

The Princess Bride by William GoldmanOctober is the month of the Princess Bride Read-A-Long! Chris from Chrisbookarama is hosting this event. I’ve neither read the book before nor seen the movie so it’s all new for me.

This week we read: the introduction and Parts 1-4.

What I thought:

The introductionS were fun but also a little long. I was keen to start the actual story, but there were the introduction to the 30th anniversary edition, one for the 25th anniversary edition, and then the original introduction to the book. So, I was quite happy when the actual story finally started.

The introductions contained all kinds of information about the book and the writer, but the best one was the actual introduction to the book itself: William Goldman, the writer, wanted to buy The Princess Bride by Morgenstern for his son Jason but found it almost impossible to obtain a copy. Then when he did, Jason didn’t like it because it was so longwinded.

So, Goldman decided to write an abridged version of the book, the one we are reading now. There was obviously something not quite realistic about the introduction as it mentions the country of Florin, where the story of The Princess Bride really happened. OK, not possible. Goldman even mentions himself as a descendant of Florin.

From Chris at Chrisbookarama, who did a bit more research than I did, I found out that there were many more fibs: he didn’t have a son and there wasn’t a previous book by an author called S. Morgenstern. So, the book is fiction from the beginning until the end. I thought that was quite a nice thing to do – make it all up and pretend it’s real.

The Princess Bride by William GoldmanThe story itself: there isn’t that much of a story in parts 1-4, but we get introduced to Buttercup, a milk maid, who is close to being the most beautiful girl on earth. Her lover, Westley, whom she kisses just once before he goes on a big trip. Prince Humperdinck who needs a wife but isn’t exactly the most handsome and pleasant young man on earth.

My book has a map of Florin and its neighboring country Guilder, which is quite good fun. It made me  think at first that this is a kids’ book, but it isn’t.

Florin and Guilder: two countries in Europe. Now, until we were introduced to the Euro (€) we actually had guilders in the Netherlands (where I live) as our currency. We wrote the monetary amounts as fl followed by the number of guilders, e.g., fl 5.80. The fl hails from an older time in the Netherlands when the florin was the currency in my country.

So, there you have it: guilders and florins! Isn’t that fun?

I’m looking forward to the next installment of the book, although I do find it a little childish. I’m not one for fairy tales, and this is quite close to being a fairy tale. On the other hand, the way it is written and the things that are happenings are quite fun, so I’m more than happy to continue reading the book.

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19 Responses to The Princess Bride Read-A-Long Week 1

  1. I was anxious to get past the intro too. I love that you have a map in your book! I wish I did.

    That’s interesting about guilders and florins, so I guess he didn’t pull those names out of thin air!

  2. Dorte H says:

    I have never read the book, but I like your informative post on it, especially the bit about the many layers of fiction.

  3. Jordyn says:

    Oh goodness you’ve NEVER seen the movie or read the book? haha! I’m excited to read what you think about the rest of it if that’s the case. :)

    • leeswammes says:

      That’s right, Jordyn. Isn’t it odd? I will try and see the movie after I’ve read the book. Not sure where I was when the movie happened! Maybe it wasn’t marketed all that well in the Netherlands.

  4. Julie says:

    This one has been on my wish list for a long time. I am not going to participate in your read-along, but I look forward to your posts…..

  5. Great post — it looks like you had an easier time with the Introduction than I did! I never made the connection about the guilders and florins, but I love it now that you explained it — when Goldman said Florin was between Sweden and Germany, I was kind of thinking it had disappeared beneath the Baltic! Now I get it.

    • leeswammes says:

      Well, the Netherlands is exactly between Germany and Sweden, but close enough, Col. I’ll check your blog to see if you did a post on the first milestone…

  6. BookQuoter says:

    I think that abridgement story is so smart. I was one who thought it was real in the beginning.

    • leeswammes says:

      I did think it was true, too, BookQuoter! It seemed quite possible that there was a longer version of this story. Only because he mentioned the country of Florin, I didn’t know what to believe anymore. Because I knew that was definitely not true!

  7. Shelley says:

    I have the same edition as you and I love the map! I’m so glad you shared the tidbit about guilders and florins.
    When I was at the bookstore to buy this, I actually looked in the YA section first, then adult fiction, and then finally I realized it would be in the fantasy section. It’s a hard book to categorize!

  8. Kris says:

    I really hope you enjoy this one! I loved this book when I read it in highschool and I’m still in love with the movie.

    In fact, in highschool, for a school project, myself and 2 guys I was friends with re-enacted the Battle of Wits scene. One of the guys had a lisp and he matched the one guy from the movie perfectly. The other guy was going to be Wesley, but couldn’t get the lines down. so he was the princess and I was Wesley. haha! It was really funny. but..well…sorry about the trip down memory line.

  9. Rikki says:

    I agree, the currency thing is fun. I’m sure Goldman took the names from there.
    I’d love to have a map in my copy. Bummer!

  10. Rikki says:

    Oh, I just noticed that my book does have a colored map. I found it when I marked the end of part 5. Awesome!

  11. Rikki says:

    Yes, it is right at the end of part 5. It is colored and folds out. Too nice!

  12. Pingback: Friday Blog Hop « Leeswammes' Blog

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