The Princess Bride

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Original title: The Princess Bride

Title of this edition: The Princess Bride

Author: William Goldman

Gender: Fantasy/Adventure.

Saga: —

Editorial: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Edition year: 1, 2007.

Prizes: …

Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]: This book is written as a story inside a story, so this edition speaks about how Goldman wrote the book, and he pretends it was actually an adaptation from an older one. At the same time, the movie tells us the story as a grandpa reading the book to his grandchild. And it’s like this:

Buttercup is going to become the most beautiful woman in the world… when she grows up. Right now she is only the daughter of a farmer, and Westley is a homeless boy who works for Buttercup’s father. But none of that matters, because Westley is the only who loves Buttercup as she is, and also… Westley is the only one that Buttercup loves.

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But there is a problem. Wesly doesn’t have anything, so he cannot offer anything to her. The only way for Westley to prove he is good enough for Buttercup is leaving to America searching for fortune… but his boat is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts who never makes prisoners.

Knowing about Westley’s dead Buttercup wishes to die, but she is so beautiful that the prince know about her and ask her to be his wife.  She doesn’t want this marriage, but also she doesn’t want to disobey her prince. What she doesn’t know is that the passion of the prince is not for her but for hunting and war and he has a secret plan to kill her and make it look like a plot from another country.

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That is why Vizzini, Iñigo and Fezzik kidnap the princess and are going to kill her. But they didn’t count with the masked man in black. He is able to follow Fezzik climbing the cliffs of insanity, he can beat Iñigo Montoya, the best swordsman in the world. The defeat Fezzik the giant in a hand to hand battle, and he kills Vizzini in an intellect battle.

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Who is this masked man that did all this to rescue the princess? It’s the Dread Pirate Roberts (who never makes prisoners). Well… not exactly. Westley boat was captured by Roberts and when he was about to kill Westley he said “please, I need to live”, and being the only one that didn’t try to bribe Roberts for his live, he was curious and allow him to live one day more. Every day Westley learned something from Roberts, and every night Roberts said “well done Westley, I’m not killing you today, but maybe tomorrow”. And so was life for 5 years.

After those years of serving Roberts, he revealed the secret to Westley “I’m not the Dread Pirate Roberts, I inherit the name and the ship from the previous Pirate Roberts, who also was not the Dread Pirate Roberts. The real Pirate Roberts is retired living like a king with his bounty”. And he said also “you know, in piracy the inly important thing is the name” and he start calling Roberts to Westley and hire a new crew for him and he became Roberts.

When Buttercup finds this she becomes the most happy girl in the world. She is in love with Westley, she really never love the prince, and Westley loves her, he overpass all this just to rescue her.

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It’s a moment of great passion. Love reunited, love against every challenge in the world. Love.

But the story doesn’t finish here, The princess is trying to chase them. At the beginning was fake, just to cover his plot, but now he has to recover the princess and kill her himself. Westley has his ship ready to scape, but they need to cross the fire swamp to reach it and they didn’t manage to do it in time. The prince has them.

To save Westley’s live, Buttercup accept to marry the prince if he let Westley go.

But is all a tramp. Westley is sent to Count Rugen (Prince right hand). The count has been studying pain all his life and wants to become immortal writing a book about pain. That’s why he has created a machine that sucks life and produces the most horrible pain.

For months, while the wedding is being arranged, Westley supports all this pain, broken bones, blood, hurts… He was trained to do that… but he was not trained to support loosing Buttercup and that is what they use to break him. He starts suffering when they tell him that Buttercup doesn’t love him anymore. And the pain is so intense that they torture him to death.

With Westley dead, Vizzini dead and the princess ready to become queen, the plans of the prince to start a war quilling the queen are ready…. But he didn’t count with Fezzik and Iñigo.

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Iñigo is the best swordsman in the world for one reason, avenge his father who was killed by the man with six fingers… the man who is torturing Westley… count Rugen. But count Rugen is in the castle with the prince, and the castle is protected with by brute squad. With Vizzini death, who is intelligent enough to enter the castle with only 2 men? The dread Pirate Roberts!

They find Westley just to discover he is dead. But Iñigo is not going to fail! Miracle Max has to revive him. But before doing a miracle, and without so much money… there must be a reason for helping Westley. With his instruments, Miracle Max manages to give a little life to Westley, enough for a couple of words “true love”.

With Westley coming back from death and only a few hours up to the wedding, the chances of killing Count Rugen, stopping the Prince and rescuing the princess are almost null.

But the man who defeated Vizzini has a plan, and they manage to enter the castle and Iñigo faces the count and Westley meets the prince. Almost diying Iñigo manages to kill the count

“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
 

And Westley faces the prince… without being able to move a single muscle. But he doesn’t know and as the coward he is, he surrenders and everybody manage to escape the castle.

Personal Review: I cannot just simply comment or review this book, because the movie, which I watched when I was a kid, is one of my big movies. The things that marked my life. And nowadays memes from this story are everywhere, it’s “inconceivable”.

To put you in situation, I watched the movie many years ago, but know about the book just one year back, and was something quite random, somebody just took a fancy book to the lab… I look at it bored, just being curious… and there it was! The princess bride book! I liked so much the movie that I brought the book straight away… and didn’t read it. What if it is not good? What if the story is different?

I waited for months with the book always next to my bed… and when I flew to Italy I rode it. I was on the plane and It was amazing. The flight was so short that I stay awake on the hotel trying to finish it before the next day (which was my first day on a short stay at INRIM).

I admit that the story is a fantasy/adventure, so ideal that most of the people will say it’s for kids. Is it for kids? I mean, maybe it’s not a story to be taken as a love tragedy but as an epic battle. If you consider it this way…

Buttercup and Westley become in love just after knowing each other for a while, and not because of their appearance or rich families, just because they care about each other.

Iñigo studied for 20 years to avenge his father. In the book the story is much more rich with many details. He travelled the world learning from every master, always wishing to fulfil his task to allow his father rest in peace.

Fezzik was a good fellow, he was just big, too big. In the book he travelled the world as a professional wrestler, and when nobody wanted to fight with him, he started fighting groups (that’s where the movie quote “i specialized on groups” come from. And eventually he was completely alone in the world, with nobody who wanted to be near him. That’s a love story again.

When Westley leaves to try to offer something better to Buttercup, that is love again. He could have stay and lived on Buttercup’s parent’s, but he decided to go away for her, to be able to offer something to make her happy.

When Roberts is about to kill Westley and he ask “please I need to live”, that is a tremendous epic moment. His life doesn’t mean being surrounded by pleasures, treasures, women… no, his life is for Buttercup, that’s why he asks to live.

The rescue of Buttercup it’s another proof of love. Don’t you think that Westley, being the Dread pirate Roberts and with fame and fortune, knowing about Buttercup’s wedding could have left her marry the prince? Why he goes back? Because he still loves her and despite everything looks lost, he risks his life trying to see if love is lost or there is a chance. He never give back.

And the sacrifice of Buttercup, accepting the prince to try to protect Westley’s live, that’s again, her life is not her, but for Westley.

The most impressive moment is when they torture Westley. Now they proof again that love is what really matter to him. They can crush his bones and his flesh, but know Buttercup loves him gives him enough strength to overcome it.

And finally, when Westley comes back to live to fight the final battle, with all the odds against him… that is epic. I mean, it’s not just restoring life, it’s fighting for love, coming back to live because his loved is in danger and needs him.

I think the movie can be more commercial, and also the book, but the ingredients for an epic story are there, and in some ways is better not to change it, because it’s perfect as it is. Maybe tragedy is not shown as in other stories, but is there, and love as the most powerful, irresistible, force is also there.

I need to say also that this movie is one special case of becoming better with the ages. Because it seems it is always gaining more fans. It’s more popular now than when it was released, and the memes from it are making it a part of our culture.

I think I cannot say anything more about this story. Just enjoy it, and if you don’t like it, be it.

Just one thing, if you didn’t watch the swords video, this is at the end of it:

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And that is all.

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What?

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Oh, c’mon, ok, here it is, Lego Princess Bride (kid, grandpa, duel, fight, intellect battle… and kiss)

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Ok, here is the real ending, enjoy ;)

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One thought on “The Princess Bride”

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