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The Princess Bride
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Group Reads Discussions 2012 > "The Princess Bride" First Impressions *No Spoilers*

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message 1: by Kim (last edited Dec 01, 2012 06:36AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim A constant runner-up finally becomes a club book. Who is looking forward to reading this? Has anyone not heard of The Princess Bride before? Who is reading this for the first time after seeing the movie multiple times? Let us know your first impressions.


Peggy (psramsey) | 377 comments Not to get all hipster on you guys, but discovered The Princess Bride in a used bookstore ages before it was ever made into a movie. I bought it because I recognized William Goldman's name, and thought it was one of the funniest, most wonderful things I had ever read. My cover looks like this, but sadly, I don't have the map in mine:
http://paperandinkandglue.blogspot.co...

I envy anyone who gets to read it for the first time.


Kori Morris (talionyzero) | 7 comments Fantastic book! For the first part of the intro I wasn't entirely sure whether the believe the author's story or not.


Sharon Pansky (sharonpansky) | 3 comments this is not my first reading, but it shall be my 5 year old's first experience with it :)


Coralie | 75 comments I have neither read the book before nor seen the movie (I don't do movies).


message 6: by M? (new) - rated it 5 stars

M? (everythingbeeps) Peggy wrote: "Not to get all hipster on you guys, but discovered The Princess Bride in a used bookstore ages before it was ever made into a movie. I bought it because I recognized William Goldman's name, and th..."


The book's been revised at least a couple times since that copy (new intros and afterwords which are as much a part of the story as anything else), if you haven't read a recent copy I'd definitely recommend it.


Like most, I'd seen the movie first. But I didn't appreciate the movie that much until I'd read the book.

I don't even remember why I read the book in the first place, but it's become one of my favorites.


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris Nielsen | 187 comments I have definitely heard of it, but have for some reason always actively avoided it. Not sure why, maybe I assumed it was not something I would like. Might have to check it out after all


Evilynn | 332 comments I'm one of the few people who haven't seen the movie or read the book. I hope I'll get around to it this month, but I have a copy of The Diamond Age already, so that'll probably take precedence.


Aaron Gallaway | 15 comments I have seen the movie may 2-3 times, and really enjoy it. I have the 30th anniversary, and when I started reading I was under the impression that William Goldman had written the book under a pen name. I then read the 30th anniversary introduction, and was really confused as he referred to Morgenstern as a real person. I had to do some google research to figure out what was going on. I definitely wouldn't recommend reading the 30th anniversary introduction if you haven't read the book before. He definitely treats the reader as someone re-reading the book. So far I'm enjoying the book. I really enjoy the before/after comments he inserts. It's a witty way of vaguely referring to the time setting of the story.


message 10: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Marchant (JamieMarchant) | 15 comments I've seen the movie several times, and so far the book isn't adding much to what was in the movie, but it's an enjoyable read.


David Haws | 400 comments The film is a favorite of my children, which, I am sure, I have watched an inconceivable number of times;<). I have never read the book, and think that Goldman does an amazing job establishing the frame (although he gives it away when he puts the ducal state between Germany and Sweden). Since films in this genre are often much better than the books, I’m interested in seeing what someone who is at least equal-parts screenwriter can do (I’ve never read any of his books, although I’ve seen most of his films).


Jenelle David wrote: "The film is a favorite of my children, which, I am sure, I have watched an inconceivable number of times;<). I have never read the book, and think that Goldman does an amazing job establishing the ..."

"You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means."

Just kidding. PB is my favorite movie of all time, and one of the few stories where I just can't decide if I like the book or movie better.

The book is FANTASTIC. I remember this was one of the first books to actually make me laugh out loud while reading it to myself.


message 13: by Nuno (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nuno | 6 comments I'm reading the book for the first time, although I saw the movie. But that was so long ago the only thing I remember is that I liked it!
The book is really interesting so far, I love the writing style, so different from the usual. The humor is very good also. I think the sections where reality storms in create a very good comparison effect with the tale, marking two distinct opposites...


Karin Gastreich (karin_gastreich) | 51 comments I have been a big fan of the movie for a long time; last year a friend gave me a copy of the book as a birthday present. I enjoyed the book even more, and have voted for it ever since, as I've really wanted to see it discussed on this forum.

Looking forward to reading & sharing impressions.


message 15: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Marchant (JamieMarchant) | 15 comments I was wondering about the last section, titled "Buttercup's Baby." Is that in every edition? Is it part of the work, or just extra material thrown in my edition?


Aaron Gallaway | 15 comments Jamie wrote: "I was wondering about the last section, titled "Buttercup's Baby." Is that in every edition? Is it part of the work, or just extra material thrown in my edition?"

It's basically a sequel that the author keeps teasing. I haven't finished the book yet, but there is supposed to be a sample chapter at the end of my copy (30th anniversary edition).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prin...


message 17: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz | 179 comments I've had in my hands 3 different editions*, and they have all included "Buttercup's Baby".

*a mass market paperback movie tie-in, a really nice hardbound that we gave my MIL, and my 30th edition ebook.


David Haws | 400 comments I’m about halfway through, and this is what I have so far: Men are valued for their wealth (Humperdinck) skill (Inigo) strength (Fezzik) intellect (Vizzini) or courage (Johnny Cash). Women are valued (singularly) for their beauty—so much so that this world keeps a list of its top 20. Sounds like the 1950s. Was this part of the satire? If so, why did Goldman make Buttercup so two dimensional?


David Haws | 400 comments Okay, I've finished it (first time).

Goldman pushes pretty hard at the membranes between the story, the story-teller, and the reader. As with the similar device in theater and film, it seems like an attempt (successful, but only entertaining the first couple times) to reveal the deus ex machina (no longer a shock to any of us). Subtle asides (Oliver Hardy’s pregnant stare into the camera) can be amusing, but Goldman is too heavy handed and the narrative frame is a distraction. It’s interesting that he puts Stephen King into the narrative (since King sometimes puts himself into his own narratives). But with King, self-reference is just one more oddity that readers more-or-less accept as their required dues.

Goldman is amusing—in an SNL, mass-market kind of way. He has a couple great lines, which will be repeated as long as anyone remembers the story. But all of those lines are from the story, not the frame.


message 20: by Jamie (last edited Dec 15, 2012 12:36PM) (new)

Jamie Marchant (JamieMarchant) | 15 comments David wrote: "Okay, I've finished it (first time).

Goldman pushes pretty hard at the membranes between the story, the story-teller, and the reader. As with the similar device in theater and film, it seems like ..."


I agree the narrative frame is too much and becomes a distraction. I haven't read the last section "Buttercup's Baby" yet, and I'm not sure I will. Anyone want to convince me I should?


Catherine (catjackson) David wrote: "Okay, I've finished it (first time).

Goldman pushes pretty hard at the membranes between the story, the story-teller, and the reader. As with the similar device in theater and film, it seems like ..."


David, I agree that the narrative frame device doesn't really work. If the author had pulled back quite a bit, it would be fine. I found that the movie uses this device much more effectively; I really like the movie better than the book, mostly because of this.

Jamie, I didn't bother reading Buttercup's Baby. Maybe I was just Buttercupped out, but I needed to turn to something else.


David Haws | 400 comments Buttercup is just addenda, and not very good at that. The movie kept the frame simple, and Falk was pretty phenomenal.


message 23: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim I might get you to move this discussion over to the finished reading thread. This thread is for first thoughts.


Coralie | 75 comments Well, I have only just started it. I've read the first 30 pages and so far I'm hating it.


message 25: by M? (new) - rated it 5 stars

M? (everythingbeeps) "Buttercup's Baby" is basically just an "X years later" sort of epilogue. It's presented as the first chapter of a sequel, but it's pretty clear from reading it that there was never going to be any such thing.

It is pretty unnecessary. It has an almost fan-fictiony feel to it.


Matthew | 11 comments I have always loved the movie and have been meaning to read the book for a long time. I am only a few chapters in so far but I am definitely enjoying it so far. I was not really familiar with William Goldman previously so I spent the first chapter jumping between the book and his Wiki page to see the differences between his stated life and actual life. I am looking forward to reading more.


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2114 comments I sort of wish I'd never read the 'Buttercup's Baby' excerpt, to be honest.

In the way of many sequels, it sort of undoes some of what happens, in a way, and, since it's not a real sequel, never wraps them up again.


Coralie | 75 comments I'm halfway through and I'm finding it difficult to believe that people can see anything at all in it to like. If this is the 'good bits' I would hate to read the boring bits (although chapter 4 sounded promising).


message 29: by M? (new) - rated it 5 stars

M? (everythingbeeps) Matthew wrote: "I was not really familiar with William Goldman previously so I spent the first chapter jumping between the book and his Wiki page to see the differences between his stated life and actual life."

I gotta believe all that accomplishes is that it ruins the magic of those sections of the book. When I first read the book, I knew nothing of Goldman's personal life, so I was able to fully believe that his family was really as he said it was. Obviously I knew a lot of it was fictitious, since I knew the book itself wasn't real, but believing the family was real at least made those sections more interesting.


message 30: by Penny (new) - added it

Penny (Penne) | 750 comments I've only read the first few chapters and so far I don't care much for the writing style, namely the comments in parentheses. It feels a bit like he's trying too hard to be clever. I'm not sure when I'll feel inclined to pick this one up again so it might turn into a DNF for me.


message 31: by Marjorie (new) - added it

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 68 comments Penny wrote: "I've only read the first few chapters and so far I don't care much for the writing style, namely the comments in parentheses. It feels a bit like he's trying too hard to be clever. I'm not sure when I'll feel inclined to pick this one up again so it might turn into a DNF for me."

It's worth finishing, Penny. The parenthetical remarks, oddly enough, remind me of Jeff Lindsay's DEXTER books which were made into the famous series on Showtime. I say "oddly enough" because Goldman originated the tactic and Lindsay almost definitely imitated Goldman.

The "overvoice" as it's called in the film media is deliberately there to be snarky but the whole book's supposed to be a satire of sorts. It's not intended to be taken seriously, more....melodramatically :)

I just (finally) requested and received the email from Goldman's "attorneys" regarding why I cannot get the final chapter (or alt. ending or whatever they called it). I find it hilarious that the cult following spawned an entire web site farce about the book's publication--more so that the farce and following and site have been around for a cumulative THIRTY (30) YEARS! If you're not familiar with what I'm referencing, check out Wikipedia for the backstory explanation and links.

-Friday
@phoenicianbooks


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