The Whole Shablog

The ideas, rants, rambles, reads and writings of a growing human.

Book Ramble: The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern

IMG_0671” ‘Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.’

‘Sounds okay.’ “

 

This is S. Morgenstern’s classic tale, of which most people know for the movie. I had heard, however that the book is just as good. It did not disappoint. It was captivating with brilliant sword fights and evil plots, and a set of characters that are endearing and colorful. Witty. Charming. Adventurous. Just enough romance, so not to be too soppy. I loved it. It is immediately one of my favorite books, one that I know I’ll end up rereading again and again. I can’t possibly explain how good it is without just saying everything that everyone has already said. You will love it.

I read the version that was abridged by William Goldman and the “bookends” about what the story means to him only made it feel more important. He did the actual abridgment very well. The plot continued at a fast pace, constantly packed with action and the notes that he wrote about what he took out helps you to fully understand the story without the extensive retaliations of Florinese history and what the Queen packs in her suitcase. I would most certainly suggest the abridged copy, if you don’t want to spend your time in near-Lord-of-the-Rings-like-agony as you try to get through the original story.

As I’ve said, I highly suggest this book to anyone, regardless of normal book preference. For the rest of the ramble I will be talking about the plot, so if you haven’t read it, leave now. Enjoy!

“True love is the best thing in the world, except for cough drops. Everybody knows that.”   -Miracle Max

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As I said before, I really enjoyed what William Goldman wrote about the book, before and after. The story about how his father reading the story to him and how he read it to his son and grandson really added extra meaning to the story, and almost gave you another plot to think about. I also liked that he gave us as much as he could of Buttercup’s Baby, the sequel. He has a very good voice, one that makes you fall in love with him while your reading the notes that he wrote throughout the story.

As for the actual story, I love how Morgenstern wrote. From the very beginning, when he talks about all of the most beautiful women in the world leading up to Buttercup, to Inigo and Fezzik’s backstory and how he showed all three of the men’s strengths as they fought Westley, it’s delightful. As for the characters, I love the four main characters: Buttercup, Westley, Inigo Montoya, and Fezzik. They complement each other so well and as you watch their struggles, triumphs and relationships, you can’t help but become attached.

Morgenstern doesn’t leave us without fantastic bad guys, either. Prince Humperdinck is one of the most interesting antagonists I have read about. His Zoo of Death is sickening, yet exactly what you need in a story like this. It also creates a great backdrop for the best Inigo-Fezzik scene in the book, when they rely on each other and battle their way to the fifth floor to find the man in black. It provides backdrop to the Count’s torture on Westley (which is just as much, if not more sickening then the zoo). Over all, the antagonists are well written, just terrifying enough, with good flaws and witty humor.

The best part of the book for me, however, was the climax scene. They way Morgenstern built suspense; gave us things the characters didn’t know; the way he jumped from one character to another rapidly and how he would tie them all together; while constantly giving the time until the wedding, until Wesley’s miracle pill ran out. It was fantastic. Reading it, you feel your heart rate speed up at every turn, when it ends you’re left out of breath. Morgenstern knew how to play with and build suspense, and he showed off with this part most especially. And may I add, it was extremely satisfying to see Inigo run his sword through the six-fingered man. Extremely.

I truly can’t find any major things that I would change in the story. This abridgment, as I said is very good at keeping the plot clipping away at a very fast pace. The only thing I would have liked to have seen, was an abridged section of Inigo and Fezzik retrieving the ingredients for Miracle Max’s pill. I think it would not only be interesting and enhance the plot, but add to the next scene, when they storm the castle. It would add more meaning to the Holocaust cloak and give you more time with Miracle Max, a minor character whom I adore. Other than that, I disagree with Goldman, the abridger, in the fact that I don’t mind not seeing Buttercup and Westley’s reunion. I think it would have made the entire novel far too cheesy, which Morgenstern skillfully avoided and was able to keep a balance. Lastly, I loved Morgenstern’s ending, I thought even though it was abrupt, it was appropriate for the story, anything more fairy-tale like would have seemed unnatural and forced.

I will assume that because you are reading this section, you have already read the book, if not, stop and read it now! Everyone that I have talked to about the book or story has loved it. The theme of true love prevails, and sticks with you. I loved it, and hope to read it again. I hope you’ve enjoyed!

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya.You killed my father. Prepare to die!” 

I’m sorry, I just love that scene. Violent, I know. Unhealthy, even. But I love it.

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This entry was posted on April 18, 2016 by and tagged , , , .
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