Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Princess Bride - the book, not the movie

I love "The Princess Bride", both the movie and the book. The movie is more fairytale-like, more romantic (compare the movie version and the book version of the quote about the five greatest kisses to see what I mean), and with a definite happy ending. The book reads more like a satire of the movie (even though the book came first)... and yet there is one thing that adds dimension to the book.

Now, if you haven't read the book, don't go any further before you get hold of the copy and read the introduction.

Spoilers ahead.

I mean it.

For those of you who've read the book (including at least one introduction), hands up those who also had tears in their eyes when they read the lines:
  • "This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it."
  • and "Picture this now: an all-but-illiterate old man struggling with an enemy tongue, an all-but-exhausted young boy fighting against sleep. And nothing between them but the words of another alien, painfully translated from native sounds to foreign. Who could suspect that in the morning a different child would wake?"
  • and "Even today, that's how I summon back my father when the need arises. Slumped and squinting and halting over words, giving me Morgenstern's masterpiece as best he could. The Princess Bride belonged to my father."
Knowing how much the book meant to the author, that bond between father and son, made it all the more special. And for one crazy moment I imagined visiting the museum of "The Princess Bride" in Florin with my children when they turn ten.... OK, what can I say? I'm a sucker for words, they can fool me every time.

It was not until I read about the geographic location of Florin: "The land of Florin was set between where Sweden and Germany would eventually settle. (This was before Europe.)" that I began to suspect foul play....

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