Great Middle Grade Reads discussion

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SPECIFIC BOOK/SERIES DISCUSSIONS > The Princess Bride

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message 1: by M.G. (last edited Jun 04, 2013 04:42AM) (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments I'm lifting this discussion with Cheryl from THE CLASSICS thread over in THE LIBRARY forum, in case you haven't been following along.

Has anyone read this gem? Better than the movie, if that is possible.
The Princess Bride  by William Goldman


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) What's so great about it is that it can be read on many different levels. Of course when I was a young teen I loved the romance, when I was a young adult I loved the (invented) frame of the 'good parts' of 'Morgenstern's book,' lately I read it for the social satire and also for the father-son dynamic. And I'm sure there are other ways to appreciate it, too.


message 3: by M.G. (last edited Jun 04, 2013 04:43AM) (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "What's so great about it is that it can be read on many different levels. Of course when I was a young teen I loved the romance, when I was a young adult I loved the (invented) frame of the 'good ..."

Yes, the "story within a story" aspect was so much fun (who knew that it was an abridgment from Morgenstern's original?), and he continues to play that up in his 20th anniversary edition with an introductory narrative about his visit to the Morgenstern museum in Florin, where the actual six-fingered sword shines from a glass case.

I can't think of any writer that has pulled off the "intrusive narrator" quite as successfully as William Goldman.


message 4: by M.G. (last edited Jun 04, 2013 08:32AM) (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments There's been a comment in another thread that some of the material in the forward is "sexist", and I have to agree that some of it is a little too adult for middle grade readers -- it had been awhile since I read it, and had forgotten those elements -- I have to admit that sometimes I "edit" when I read aloud to my kids. Please use your judgement.


message 5: by E.S. (new)

E.S. Ivy (esivy) | 133 comments M.G. wrote: "There's been a comment in another thread that some of the material in the forward is "sexist", and I have to agree that some of it is a little too adult for middle grade readers -- it had been awhi..."

I am often surprised by what I don't remember - what I just "edit out" as I read. I often find that I have to check the book out with the specific age group in mind as I reread it. That, or only go with my kids' recommendations. They notice and remember better than I do.


message 6: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Henry | 26 comments I was totally fooled by the reunion seen as a child so I wrote to the address provided and they sent me a letter keeping up appearances about how they could not send it to me because of legal matters. I just love that they took it all the way!


message 7: by M.G. (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments Rebecca wrote: "I was totally fooled by the reunion seen as a child so I wrote to the address provided and they sent me a letter keeping up appearances about how they could not send it to me because of legal matte..."

Oh, that's a great story!


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) The romance itself is a parody. Goldman was mocking people who believe that a physical attraction can lead to the kind of true love that trumps one's desire for life.

Of course, young readers won't see that, and that's why I wouldn't actually share this with people who are still naive about fairy-tale love. It's too powerful - I know, because it influenced me to have expectations for an HEA that it took me a long time to work over into a more realistic world-view.


message 9: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Henry | 26 comments Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "The romance itself is a parody. Goldman was mocking people who believe that a physical attraction can lead to the kind of true love that trumps one's desire for life.

Of course, young readers w..."


Even as a young reader I understood that he was making fun of them. I think it was because of the beginning where he talks about the most beautiful women of all time.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) Good for you! It's funny what some children fall for, and what they see through. You wrote in for the reunion, and I totally knew that was chain-yanking. :smiles:


message 11: by Jaime (new)

Jaime Buckley (wantedhero) | 23 comments I'm going to openly admit and fully expect flying tomatoes, but I have not read this book.

(cringe)

But does it count if I've watched the movie so many times, we wore out the VHS tape?????

Good news is, my darling wife has read it many times and has encouraged our kids to read it. So,....I'll go buy a copy for my Nook and get with the program (smirk).

...but the movie IS really good (AND our Uncle Siala from Samoa looks just like the giant...no joke.)


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) Oh I hope you like the book, too. Do note, of course, that (as usual) reading and watching are different experiences.


message 13: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I have to admit that I was almost all the way through it before I realized that there was no S Morgenstern.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) That's ok. Some people read it several times and never catch on.


message 15: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1664 comments Mod
I read it in high school--I think it was assigned. I remember both enjoying it and hating it, the latter because it was parodying a genre I still held darn near sacred (being a total fan of Tolkien). It was hard to see the beloved conventions of fantasy mocked! (At least at age 15).


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) :chuckle: At 15, we are ready to take offense, that's for sure. But, this was assigned? Seems odd... do you have any idea what the educational value was seen to be, or what point the teacher was trying to make?


message 17: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Douglass (rdouglass) | 1664 comments Mod
It was a very long time ago. I don't have the faintest idea, and won't swear it really was assigned. We might have been studying parody?


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) hm - could be. Or maybe it was one of an approved list of suggested independent reading.


message 19: by Andy (new)

Andy Mulberry (andymulberry) | 15 comments I've seen the movie a gazillion times, love it. But from all the gazillion books I've read, I haven't read the Princess Bride. *hangs head in shame* Glad I saw this thread. Book is on my Kindle now...


message 20: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa I can't seem to bring myself to do it! I have a printed copy (maybe even two, I think), but I love the movie so much I don't want to "spoil" it for myself. I know it sounds crazy, but its the truth!


message 21: by L.R. (last edited Feb 24, 2014 06:52PM) (new)

L.R. S. | 32 comments Jennifer wrote: In a book that's all about true love, that scene made me lose all respect for Buttercup. She then became not worth fighting for, in my mind. Westley then seemed like someone fighting for a beautiful woman rather than someone who was really worth it.

I think the way it's done in the movie is much better, as in that version Buttercup is making a sacrifice to keep Westley, and not herself, alive.
..."


The movie was a favorite of mine, and I was going to read the book, but after reading this, I just can't. I couldn't bear being so disappointed with Buttercup.
Let her live in my mind as I know her now.


message 22: by M.G. (new)

M.G. King (mgking) | 728 comments The book is wonderful in it's own way -- and so many lines are word for word from the book. William Goldman wrote both the book and the script for the movie, so the book is filled with that same spoofy, swashbuckling humor. But he did write it for an adult audience -- I edited a bit when I read it aloud to my kids.


message 23: by L.R. (new)

L.R. S. | 32 comments M.G. wrote: "...so the book is filled with that same spoofy, swashbuckling humor...."

You got me with that line. Just placed it on my overdrive TBR list. Let's see if I'll be brave enough...


message 24: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Goldsmith (suzannegoldsmith) | 35 comments I've never seen the movie OR read the book, which feels like a gap in my education! So this is a great excuse to do both. Will hit the library today!


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) As similar as the movie is to the book in some ways, they are different. The movie is easier to take straight up as an adventurous romance, imo.


message 26: by L.R. (new)

L.R. S. | 32 comments Finally read it. I don't regret reading it, but I think this is the first book-to-movie that I actually prefer the movie version! The sarcasm is a little too heavy handed here.


message 27: by Victor (new)

Victor Kloss (victorkloss) | 23 comments I agree with L.R. - this is one of the few books where I prefer the movie. Everyone was just so perfectly cast.


message 28: by Jim (new)

Jim Maher | 28 comments It's been mentioned, but I don't think the movie would have been nearly half as good had they gotten somebody else to write it. Only Goldman himself could have captured his own wit the way the movie did. That being said, both the book and the movie are near the top of my favourites lists.


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