Thursday, October 14, 2010

Readalong : The Princess Bride : Week two

The Princess Bride readalong is hosted by Chrisbookarama. To see Chris' week two post, click here. Week two's reading assignment was Part Five. I think this story is well-known enough that spoilers aren't really an issue, but if you're worried, you might want to skip my posts on this readalong.

Enter the Sicilian, the Turk and the Spaniard.

This colorful band of hired assassins kidnaps Buttercup to help start a war between Florin and Guilder, but they weren't expecting the mysterious man in black who is determined to foil their plans. The Sicilian, Vizzini, is the leader, while Fezzik, the Turk, and Inigo, the Spaniard obey his every word. Each member of this trio has a special skill - Vizzini has intelligence, Fezzik has strength, and Inigo has swordsmanship. The special skill of each is tested and bested by the man in black who, of course, is Buttercup's long lost love, Westley.

His struggles, however, aren't over after defeating the assassins. Prince Humperdinck is hot on his trail, and he and Buttercup are headed straight for the Fire Swamp. Needless to say, they make it through the Fire Swamp though not easily. Part Five ends with the momentary defeat of Westley.

Part Five provides more back story on Inigo and Fezzik than I recall from the movie. As each of them wait to kill the man in black, Goldman flashes back to their lives before Vizzini. These passages create fuller characters and more empathy in the reader than I remember feeling for the caricature-esque characters of the film. I enjoyed getting greater insight into how they came to be where they are.

I'm still loving this book. Goldman continues to interrupt the narrative with asides. Rather than being disruptive, I think these asides add to the story and provide quirky touches of humor that I enjoy. One such aside is about a section he wanted to add describing the reunion of Buttercup and Westley. Apparently, some readers followed Goldman's suggestion to write the publisher to get the reunion scene and were disappointed to receive instead a fictious letter detailing a legal battle with the Morgenstern estate. The edition I'm reading contains a footnote stating that the scene is now available online at, which doesn't exist. However, if you visit this site, you can request the missing scene. Although you still won't get it, the letter from Mr. Goldman should make you smile.

Related Posts:
Readalong : The Princess Bride
Readalong : The Princess Bride : Week one
Readalong : The Princess Bride : Week three
Readalong : The Princess Bride : Week four
Readalong : The Princess Bride : Week five


  1. Goldman knew how to make the book interactive! I loved the added backstory of Fezzik and Inigo

  2. I loved this part of the story! Especially the interactions between each of the rogues and the masked man. Great reading. I've also got a post on this on my blog, if you're interested

  3. Goldman is a masterful writer of dialogue, isn't he. I can't really figure out how I feel about his "personal" interjections, but this section reminded me of how well his work transfers to film!