The Princess Bride by William Goldman and S. Morganstern
March 24, 2014
The latest Deep Thoughts from Damp Tresses is being dedicated to my hair dryer. She and I had a good run but she passed away on Friday. RIP old buddy... may we meet again in that big hair salon in the sky.
The final Deep Thoughts from Damp Tresses with this particular hair dryer was The Princess Bride by William Goldman and "S. Morganstern"*.
Of course I've seen the movie and can recite Inigo Montoya's parting words to the Six Fingered Man and enjoy mispronouncing "marriage", however I had never read the book. When a friend caught wind of that, she let me borrow her copy so I could rectify the situation.
And I have to say, it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. With recent heavy material like Hamlet and Nietzsche, it was relaxing to read something so funny, satirical and self-effacing. This book is corny, but relishes it's own cheese factor... and as a corny person myself, I can definitely appreciate that.
And in Holy Shit News... I just went to Google an image or more information on S. Morganstern and learned that Morganstern was simply a literary device for William Goldman's telling of the story. MIND.BLOWN. Seriously, I did not see that coming. An abridgment of a novel that didn't even exist?! He made up an entire conversation with Stephen King about fighting for the rights to write the sequel to his own story?! That's it... the man's a genius. Everyone go read this book right now. I have a goal of buying Lorelai a book to add to her "grown up" library every year for her birthday. And Mr. Goldman's "classic tale of true love and high adventure" just secured it's purchase for 2014!
*Note that I credited this book initially to S. Morganstern as I began to write this. But I felt it was only fitting to keep his name in the title of this blog post.
Anyone who lived through the 1980s may find it impossible—inconceivable, even—to equate The Princess Bride with anything other than the sweet, celluloid romance of Westley and Buttercup, but the film is only a fraction of the ingenious storytelling you'll find in these pages. Rich in character and satire, the novel is set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin that's home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions.”