The Princess Bride Read-A-Long Week 1
October 2, 2010 19 Comments
October 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 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.