For the #BlogJune project (blog every day in June; simple huh?), I think I might instigate #ConfessionThursday in which I reveal my inner nerd/geek (still trying to figure out the difference :D). This inaugural post focuses on an old favourite – The Princess Bride.
I. Love. The. Princess. Bride.
In all its manifestations; movie, script, audio, and book.
I know it’s cheesy and SOOO ’80s and is often labelled a “cult film” but I love it nonetheless. As William Goldman writes:
Love is many things, none of them logical. (p. 105)
I was first introduced to the Princess Bride at a sleepover when I was about 11 or 12. I loved the story – my favourite bit was (and still is) the sword fight between Westley and Inigo on top of the Cliffs of Insanity. After I watched the movie, I just couldn’t get it out of my head. I found a website on the internet (not sure if it still exists) that had the entire screenplay in HTML (cue scrolling to infinity and beyond). I must have read it dozens of times and have basically memorized the whole script. And then I had a revelation.
I discovered the book!
Or to be more precise, the abbreviated audio version (read by Rob Reiner). It came in a bulky, white case from the library with at least 4 cassette tapes in it. I listened to the entire thing with my sister my hot summer’s afternoon – I was entranced! There was so much more to the story – including chapter 1 with the low-down on the most beautiful woman in the world (it wasn’t always Buttercup), and chapter 7 with the Zoo of Death – the most thrilling part that unfortunately never made it to the movie screen. Rob Reiner read it dynamically with an American accent; I loved every minute of it, but I wanted more. What were the parts that they had abbreviated and left out of this version? Unfortunately, the library didn’t have the book version so I waited until we moved back to New Zealand (I was in Australia at the time) and went to the Pukekohe library.
Back in those days, I didn’t have a lot of loose change so I didn’t want to place a hold on it at the library because that cost money! So I looked at the library catalogue every day and would walk down to the library as soon as the Princess Bride was returned. But when I got there; someone had always got to it before me! Until the fateful day, I went and it was on the shelf right where it was supposed to be.
It was magic!
As William Goldman writes:
Who can tell when his world is going to change?… Even a week later I was not aware of what had begun that night, the doors that were slamming shut while others slid into the clear. Perhaps I should have at least known something, but maybe not; who can sense revelation in the wind?
What happened was just this: I got hooked on the story. (p. 8-9)
And for those of you who don’t know; the full title of the book is: “The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s classic tale of true love and high adventure. The “good parts” version abridged by William Goldman.”
The thing I love about the book (and if you haven’t read it, I’m not going to spoil it for you. Much), is that William Goldman made up this other dude, Simon Morgenstern, a classic Florinese writer, and then said that he abridged Morgenstern’s book to the good version. So this book is not only the story of the princess bride as you know it, but the story of an abbreviation, a life (often made up), and an enduring love of story that is very heart-warming.
My advice to you is to go out and get a copy of the book NOW and read it! I bought this one off Trademe, and it is one of my prize possessions. I have reread it so many times I can’t remember how many, and it’s the perfect book for every occasion – deadpan, humourous, satirical, hilarious, but never over-the-top 🙂
The only thing I didn’t like about the story is the ending.
*spoiler alert* it’s not the happy ending of the movie. Or to be more precise, that is one possible ending among several. *end semi-spoiler alert*
Goldman abbreviated the first chapter of Buttercup’s Baby (the sequel) in which he continues the story, but is unable to continue his version between Stephen King was given the role of doing it (true story. Yeah, maybe not).
So my goal, one of these days, is to write the sequel.
I’ve written quite a bit already (but not much recently), and it’s a mix-up of relations, revenge, and happy endings (yes, I’m a sucker for those). My favourite character is Inigo Montoya so the key angle is helping him a happy ending. But more on this another time – I’m not going to give away all my secrets at once!