When this selection came up for the Go Fug Yourself Book Club on Goodreads I was convinced I didn’t want to read it. I don’t remember who I heard it from, but somewhere along the way I had been convinced that the book didn’t live up to the movie. And I love the movie and didn’t really want to impinge on that in any way. I expressed said concern upon the book’s selection and our very own Malin let me know that this was a position I might wish to reconsider and beseeched me to read the book. Knowing when it’s time to listen to the wisdom of others, I borrowed a copy from the library and got to reading. As usual, Malin was right.
Inside the pages of this book, this very strange and odd book is the story we know and love (I’m assuming you know and love it, otherwise who are you and how did we miss giving you the chip?). But, the added bit of fun is that Goldman is playing at an idea with the larger narrative. Yes, this is a story about true love and daring do, but it’s also a sly commentary on writing and probably the world at large.
You see, Goldman presents The Princess Bride as the work of another, a S. Morgenstern of Florin, and this is his ‘only the good stuff’ abridgement of that story, the version his father read to him as a small boy. In that way we see what becomes the framing device for the movie, but it also gives Goldman license to comment on both the narrative of the story, what it really is, how it should be proceeding, and the authorial intentions of the wholly invented Morgenstern and the history of Florin. It’s very good, and very funny.
The book also reads incredibly quickly. I was able to blow through hundred page sections in a single sitting (not the usual for me). The copy I had, the 30th anniversary edition, had lots of additional stuff, and was also marked as YA. I don’t know how I feel about that designation, but I guess the movie is of a similar rating, but it does help me add a book to my Read Harder challenge goals.