Mark Reads ‘The Princess Bride’: Introductions and THE RULES


Introduction To Every Version. Or Something.

I don’t think it’s at all a surprise that The Princess Bride has had a huge affect on my life.

I wanted to read this book for Mark Reads because it was too good of an idea to pass up. As I’m sure y’all have noticed, I’m quite obsessed with meta narratives, breaking the fourth wall, and real-time commentary. It’s pretty much the point of Mark Reads and Mark Watches, I’d say. I owe it all to that brilliant film adaptation of this novel (which we will liveblog the HELL out of once I’m done this), which I must have seen at least twenty times by the age of fifteen. Everything about the way it was framed was the best joke I could have ever asked for. I adored the constant focus on the meaning of words. I loved that it was a subversion of the fairy tale romance while still being a fairy tale romance. I loved Andre the Giant so wholly and completely and I just wanted to be friends with him. There was nothing I disliked about this movie.

It’s strange, then, that I never went back and read the source material. Well, the abridged version of the source material, if we’re being specific. I love books! I almost always prefer them to movie adaptations! So why didn’t I go find this book immediately and read it?

This presents a very unique predicament on Mark Reads, the first of it’s kind: I’m spoiled. Horrifically spoiled. Nearly completely and totally spoiled. I know entire scenes by heart. And while I’m sure there’s a bunch of differences between the two, this pretty much goes against the entire point of this whole thing. And guess who cares? Not me.

That means we get to bend the rules just this one time: There is no spoiler policy for Mark Reads The Princess Bride. Yep, no rot13 needed at all. This is not only to deal with the fact that pretending to be unspoiled is a horrific idea, but to experiment with writing about something in the most spoilerific way imaginable. (True story: If I can pull this off, I really want to do Mark Watches The X-Files by the end of 2012.) So, unfortunately, if you’ve not read this book, you might want to read the whole thing before you venture forth into the reviews for the next two weeks. I know there’s a particularly long chapter in here, and I’ll have to figure out how to split it up, but I don’t think this should take more than ten reviews or so. OH GOD THEN MARK READS SANDMAN IS NEXT OH MY GOD.

Anyway, unlike The Lord of the Rings, I actually did read the introduction to this book. Well, both introductions. For both editions. What. It made me miss André the Giant, first of all. I wasn’t even ten years old when he died, and it fucked me up for weeks. My mom had to talk to me about death because it was technically the first time I’d ever had to deal with it. Yeah, that’s how ridiculous I was at nine years old, I swear. I later learned that André filmed most of The Princess Bride while in pain due to his acromegaly, and that made me appreciate his contribution even more than I did before.

But that’s not all the two Introductions did for me. It’s clear that William Goldman is all over this abridged story, and I’m interested to see how exactly the book is framed versus the movie. I can see very quickly that S. Morgenstern’s classic tale has truly affected this man even more than I suspected. Going so far as to visit Florin? Color me jealous. I can’t help but love that the 30th Anniversary Introduction focuses so much on the joy this story brings to children. I know I’m twenty-eight now, but even when I was watching the movie as a young kid, I was aware of how brilliant the trope subversion was. There really is something innocent and hopeful about this love story.

Both introductions really deal more with the movie being made, which makes sense, since the movie brought new fans to the original book. Er – the abridged story, I mean. I’m nearly forty years late reading The Princess Bride, but I think it’s certainly time to stop avoiding it. Tomorrow, I’ll read the proper introduction, and then Wednesday, we’ll jump into chapter one.

Oh god, there are no spoilers. THIS IS SO REFRESHING.

Mark Links Stuff

– My eBook adaptations of reviews I’ve posted are on sale at Harry Potter, Twilight, and Firefly books are priced from $2.99 to $3.99 a piece, and are available in ePub (iBook, iPod, iPad, Nook), Kindle, and PDF files.
– I now have a Lulu storefront, where you can purchase physical copies of all of my previously released books, including a full Mark Reads Twilight book that includes all four sets of Twilight reviews.
– I am going on tour in April and May across the western half of North America! Please check this post for tour dates and to see which cities I still need help finding venues in. You can RSVP for any date by clicking on the city name and using the Facebook page for it, or you can just leave a comment! If you have access to a venue, know of a good book store or coffee shop that hosts events, or would be willing to host an event at your house or work (I DON’T CARE WHERE, I WILL SHOW UP), please comment on that post to let me know. I can also be reached at markreadsandwatches [at] gmail [dot] com.
– I am presenting for three days at Ascendio 2012! Come hang out and have the best weekend ever in July!
– Liveblogs for Game of Thrones season 2 start on April 1st. For the time being, there will be no proper reviews, just liveblogs.
– Since Legend of Korra has now been released, I’ll review the first two episodes over the course of the next week or two; once the show starts back up again, we’ll do weekly liveblogs and I’ll have reviews of it up on Sunday.
– Mark Watches The Lord of the Rings films starts on March 31st. Each consecutive Saturday, I’ll watch the three LOTR films in order and host a liveblog; I’ll post a loose review of them on Sunday morning!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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3 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Princess Bride’: Introductions and THE RULES

  1. ScarlettMi says:

    I… can’t tell if you should actually be spoiler-free or not. I’m just gonna not say anything and see how this all plays out.

  2. IBringTheLight says:

    Is it wrong that I freaked out the second you mentioned LoK? I blame living in England. Nothing ever happens in England.

  3. Lady X says:

    The Princess Bride? Color me intrigued. Also, TPB liveblog will be the BEST. It just has to be.

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