Title: The Princess Bride
Author: William Goldman
Length: 255 pages
People give me crap about it all the time, especially my fellow book clubbers: I won’t watch movies unless I’ve read the book first. There is a reason I keep this rule. A very BIG reason…
It has to do with my brain.
The Princess Bride reminded me why I try so hard to keep this rule, as I’ve seen the movie thousands of times, but find myself now slowly plodding through the book for what may be either the first or second time – I cannot remember.
And the characters on the pages of the book and the ones so steadfastly lodged in my brain from the movie are at constant war with each other. Robin Wright Penn viciously competing for equal stage time with The Bride of Goldman’s original imagination. Summoning up a girl who won’t bathe is extremely difficult when you have the movie raging in full sound, color, and all manners of vivid presentation in your brain. The Sicilian doesn’t quite look like the Sicilian, close but not quite… the Giant doesn’t quite look like the Andre the Giant. My image of Westley is slightly skewed. And Mandy Pantinkin and Inigo Montoya don’t quite jive the way they should, even though I wouldn’t cast Inigo Montoya by anyone but Mandy Pantinkin in a million years.
The movie is flawless and the book is good. But for whatever reason, my brain can make the transition from this is how I imagined it to this is what made it to screen much more smoothly than this is the screen presentation, yet you may imagine it differently.
I keep these rules of book first and movie later with good reason and I do not like my system to be tampered with! Sometimes, though, it cannot be helped. Things like The Princess Bride get introduced to me long before I know it is a book, sadly enough.
So, no, I am not enjoying The Princess Bride, even though it is a great book. I am not enjoying it because I cannot get into it. I cannot get into because the characters are at war with their movie selves… and I keep hearing the voices of Fred Savage and Peter Falk at inappropriate times. My brain likes order, and this has gone against the order of things.
Half Price Books Humble will be discussing this in the store Monday night (June 3rd, 2013) at 7:30 pm. Come join us and add your two cents.