Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Princess Bride: Milestone 2

Okay, now we're getting somewhere!

* Spoiler Alert -- If you haven't read The Princess Bride, or seen the movie, you probably don't want to read further*

In this week's reading, "The Announcement," Buttercup is engaged to the (I think pretty evil) Prince Humperdinck, taught to be a princess (but that isn't one of the "good parts," so Goldman claims to have cut it out), kidnapped by Vizzini, Inigo and Fezzik (who plan to kill her on the Guilder frontier), and liberated from her kidnappers by the even-more-frightening Man in Black.

The Man in Black, it turns out, is Westley, who has returned to Florin as the Dread Pirate Roberts to save Buttercup. The dialogue in this section is wonderful, as Westley takes on each of the members of the villianous trio, besting Inigo at swordplay, besting Fezzik in brute strength, and besting Vizzini at a battle of wits. So funny. So clever. So quick. This section reminded me why I loved the movie so much in the first place.

But it's even better than that, because this section offers something the movie didn't - the backstory on two of literature's most endearing felons: Inigo and Fezzik. We come to understand how these men turned to a life of crime, which actually matters, because reconciling the characters at the beginning of the story (where they conspire to murder Buttercup) and at the end (where they ultimately join forces with the Man in Black) has always been a weakness of the story as far as I was concerned.

And then comes the Fire Swamp - again, the book helps us understand how Westley comes to make the tactical error of wandering into it, even as we know his considerable skills will get him and Buttercup through. The end of the reading is sad, as Humperdinck bundles Buttercup back to Florin, and Westley is taken prisoner by the evil Count Rugen.

With this week's reading, Goldman has made good on his title promise of "true love and high adventure." I am hooked, and eager to read on!

Thanks again to Chris at Chrisbookarama for hosting this readalong!


  1. Definitely a high adventure section!

  2. I am not doing read-along, but I really liked the movie. It's not surprising that the book has fun stuff that was left out of the movie!


I absolutely love comments. Thanks for taking the time to share! Col