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Princess Bride (1973)
par William Goldman
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470 ( )
I was 25% into the book before it occured to me that S. Morganstern was a device and not a real person. This device is original (as far as frame stories go) in the way it is used and it allows Goldman to speed the story along, not just in supposedly dumping Morgansterns boring parts, but there is a lot of information contained in his parts. He tells us that Westley will die, for instance. There's another part where Goldman glosses over some sword fights because by that point in the novel, we have already had several of them and one more wouldn't move the plot along. The whole novel, especially with Goldman's sections, is a looking-at-the-camera, tongue-in-cheek swashbuckling tale. I am assuming that it is a spoof, which makes it easier for me to appreciate the Buttercup character.
I don't hate her because she's beautiful. I hate her because she doesn't DO anything. She WAITS. She waits for Westley to go make his fortune and come back for her, she waits for something else to happen in her life when she thinks he is dead. She waits for Westley to save her at the Fire Swamp and never thinks about helping him. She just goes along with whatever happens, being engaged to the wrong man, standing at the altar with the wrong man while she waits for Westley to fight off whatever gets in the way of him rescuing her. She does not even try to rescue herself, she never questions what the Prince tells her about what he did with Westley, she never investigates the premises just in case Westley is being held in a dungeon (which all castles had back then). Even Fezz at least tries to think about things to do while he waits for someone to boss him around.
Westley, I liked. My problem with him slapping her is that it didn't happen at the Fire Swamp when she didn't help him to help her. I liked how Westley had a story arc and goals and it was comical to me that he never got his feathers ruffled about anything. That's a nod to the British swashbucklers in literature and movies (they had a lot of those back then, like "The Sea Witch" by Alexander Laing and The Sea Hawk with Errol Flynn).
Inigo Montoya was the only character with what could possibly have been considered a character arc. Inigo fails and gets in with the wrong crowd. He hits rock bottom with his drinking and ultimately achieves his goal. He has feelings and passion that set him apart from every other character.
I do recommend this book. I would teach it in an undergrad literature course on literary devices and narrative structure. It's a great example of the frame story modified so that the frame competes with the story itself.
I read this years and years ago near the time when I first discovered the movie, and I liked it ok. Reading it this second time I didn't like it as much. The narrator and his frame story got on my last nerve. I was irritated for about the last half. For the record, I think the movie is still great!
I think maybe the feeling I got from this narrator was very similar to what I felt when I tried to read a Douglas Adams book...all I could see was the author sitting somewhere writing his book with a self-satisfied smirk on his face, "Look how clever I am! Clever, clever, clever, random, random, clever! I'm the height of hilarious!"
Not my type of narrator...too egotistic...
But, again, the movie fixes this issue, so yay the movie.
Let me start off by saying that the movie was better. And I hate admitting that. But it really was.
This book started off amazingly, it really did. I was so into the story, I loved the writing and I loved how the characters interacted and were so damn funny. I loved how it started off as a fairy tale and then just became so entertaining beyond what I could have imagined. And then about two hundred pages in…it lost me.
What on God’s green earth was that ending?!
The story is a fairy tale-like epic saga of a woman named Buttercup who is the most beautiful woman alive. She falls in love with a farm hand who works on their farm, Westley, but he leaves and disappears for years and she gives up on him. The Prince of her country falls in love with her in turn, and she accepts, although she makes it clear that she will never love the Prince, which he seems to be alright with and appreciates her honesty. They are due to be wed, but before their wedding can go ahead as planned, Buttercup is kidnapped by three strange characters – a very strong Turk (like…really strong), a hardcore fencing Spaniard with an amazing backstory and a plot for revenge (you might know him from the phrase “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.”), and a Sicilian who’s just plan evil. However, running after these three kidnappers is not only the Prince trying to save his wife-to-be, but also a masked stranger. And that story is incredible. But the ending just…sucked.
Listen, I get it. I get the book is trying to be smart, being a book within a book, making a fictional country with a story and William Goldman is just somebody who is trying to gather information about this amazing story that he was told as a child by his grandfather who was from this mysterious country, and how he wants to continue the story of his characters. But the movie had the best idea with it when it ended the story with Buttercup and Wesley. The way the story continued just left me feeling very sad and confused.
There are moments when the author ‘inserting’ themselves into the story works – how Naomi Alderman did it in ‘The Power’ was so smart, for example. The way Margaret Atwood in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ gives that exposition in the last chapter is a work of genius. But how Goldman does it just makes me so uncomfortable and sad. I hated it. And the rest of the book was so good, so I really don’t get where it all went wrong and that upsets me.
And usually I can get behind a book with an amazing story but an ending that was less than satisfactory. But in this case, I just couldn’t. The writing is great, the story starts off so strong, and then the book ruins itself. So unfortunately, this is a 2/5 stars for me.
La bella Buttercup jura amor eterno a Westley, que parte en busca de furtuna y es asesinado por unos piratas. La doncella, obligada, se promete al príncipe Humperdinck de Florin, un bellaco al cual sólo le interesa la caza.
El mejor esgrimista, el hombre más inteligente y el más fuerte del mundo son contratados por los enemigos de Florin para raptar a Buttercup. En la huida, sufren la incansable persecución de un hombre enmascarado que los retará uno a uno en su propio terreno. En La Princesa Prometida, William Goldman ha reunido todos los elementos clásicos de los grandes relatos, ambientados en un mundo de fantasía medieval, imprimiéndoles su fino sentido del humor. Sus personajes representan a todos los héroes y villanos de nuestros cuentos de infancia y rinden un brillante homenaje a la novela de aventuras.
Affichage de 1-5 de 514 (suivant | tout afficher)
The book is clearly a witty, affectionate send-up of the adventure-yarn form, which Goldman obviously loves and knows how to manipulate with enormous skill.
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A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts.
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Classification décimale de Melvil (CDD)813.54Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
Classification de la Bibliothèque du Congrès
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