Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Princess Bride Readalong - Milestone 4

I am not sure why, but as I sit down to write this post the song that has popped into my head and won't go away is My Way. I know it has been sung by numerous people over the years, but it is hard to go past Old Blues Eyes version, and that is the one that I have on a loop in my head!

Part of the reason for this is that Milestone 4 brings us to the end of the story of The Princess Bride itself. There is one more milestone, which is to read the first chapter of the long lost sequel to the book which is called Buttercup's Baby. Another reason is that it seems applicable to all of the characters and to the author too.

And what an ending, or more precisely, what a lack of an ending. To be honest I was a bit disappointed in some ways. The romantic in me wanted a happy ever after and to be honest, based on everything I had ever heard about the book/movie, that's what I expected. These days if we read the actual last line we would definitely apply the term cliffhanger to the ending! Either that or sequel bait, and yet it fits perfectly with the tone of the book, and I loved the idea of the father doing his own editing of the story as he reads the book to his young son, and that William Goldman believed for so long that was the ending, only realising as he came to do the abridgement that there was another ending.

There was a lot that happened in this part of the book! Fezzik and Inigo working as a team as they make their way through the tunnels that form the Zoo of Death, the dreadful treatment of Westley, a visit to Valerie and Miracle Max, the reunion, the wedding!

I thought that Valerie and Miracle Max were such delightful secondary characters! I loved the back and forth between them, and with the other characters:

"You see," Max explained as he pumped, "there's different kinds of dead: there's sort of dead, mostly dead and all dead."


"Sonny, don't you tell me what's worth while - true love is the best thing in the world, except for cough drops. Everybody knows that."

I think it is the secondary characters like Max and Valerie that will be one of the standouts for me from the book. They didn't necessarily get a lot of page time, but these characters, and for example, the Queen, definitely left a big impression. Some of the bad guys were a bit cookie cutter bad guy for me, but I think that was rather the point.

I did like the use of a countdown technique to force the tension to rise for the reader as the reader hoped that Westley would get to the wedding in time, and still be alive enough.

And just because I alluded to it earlier in the post, here is Frank Sinatra singing My Way.

1 comment:

  1. Goldman most definitely used his screenwriting skills for the wedding part!

    Max and Valerie were hilarious. The secondary characters stole the scene in the book. They added so much more to the story.