Welcome to The Princess Bride Readalong! We will be discussing Milestone 1 this week. Please see this post for the full schedule. If you haven't read up to this point, remember beyond this paragraph there may be spoilers.
I'm in love with this book already! First the introduction, how much is fact and how much is fiction? William Goldman is a Hollywood screenwriter who has written the movies Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Stepford Wives, that part is true. He wife's name was Ilene not Helen and he has 2 daughters not an only son. The biggest fib in the introduction though is S Morgenstern, the writer of The Princess Bride.
Despite the confusion, I think it's very clever. It makes Goldman a character in his fictional story. I like the 'sitting around the campfire telling a whopper' feel to it. It's more storytelling than novel writing.
Finally, we get to the good parts, the story Part 1, The Bride, and meet a few of the principal characters, most importantly Buttercup and Westley. We find out that Buttercup isn't the prettiest girl in the world but she's up there. Westley works on her father's farm and only says, "As you wish." Swoon! He's handsome and muscular and it takes a fit of jealousy for Buttercup to realize that she loves him. He promptly leaves and dies.
I love the characters in the story so far. Buttercup's parents argue but really love each other. Tomboyish Buttercup has no idea she has such an effect on the males around her. Westley is somewhat of an enigma. He doesn't say much other than "As you wish" and "I love you." Now it appears that he is dead (or is he?), murdered by the Dread Pirate Roberts. And what are the Count and Countess up to anyway?
Part 2, The Groom, Part 3, The Courtship and Part 4 The Preparations, all of what, 10 pages? We see more of Prince Humperdinck and it's not good. He keeps a Zoo of Death where he has animals waiting to be hunted by him. Here's a foreboding passage:
Once he was determined, once he had focused on an object, the Prince was relentless. He never tired, never wavered, neither ate nor slept.
During The Courtship, we meet King Lotharon and Queen Bella. What a perfect combination; he mumbles and she interprets- in her own way. We also find out about the relationship between Florin and Guilder, constantly at war. Unsuccessful at matching Humperdinck to Guilder royalty, they try their own backyard: Buttercup. She's completely heartbroken and won't marry for love because she has no love to give. Faced with death or marriage, she chooses marriage to the Prince. All "The Preparations" tell us is that 3 years have passed. What will happen next?
So, what are your thoughts so far? Are you enjoying The Princess Bride as much as I am? Leave your thoughts in the comments section or leave a link to your own blog post. I will post them in the body of the post as they arrive.
Here are some other thoughts on Milestone 1:
The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader
Reading Through Life
Reader for Life