I don’t even know what to call this. Epilogue? Bonus chapter? Glorified fanfiction? Ugh, so I read most of Buttercup’s Baby and I don’t like it, so here’s me yelling about it.
I will start off saying this: when the introduction to a story is better than the story itself, I think there’s a genuine problem.
Wow, I don’t that I’ve ever been so bored by something in Mark Reads history. I don’t think Morgenstern wrote this. It feels like him at certain points, but it also feels like someone is merely imitating his style.
But it’s also gotten me thinking about this phenomenon, and my brain instantly goes to the Star Wars prequel movies. It’s no secret that I adore the original trilogy. Anyone who has met me probably got the chance to see the tattoo sleeve on my right arm that takes cues from the first and third films. (That’s also more of an emotional thing. I wasn’t terribly close with my father, but we shared a love of Star Wars with each other. When he passed away in the summer of 2006, I wanted to get tattooed with something that would make me feel fondly about him when I looked at it. It took a few months to come up with a concept, but I knew that there wasn’t a better way to honor the memory I had of him.) I grew up on the films and watched them so often that there was indeed a point at which my brother and I could recite the lines back at the characters on the screen. We tried to build model X-Wings and TIE Fighters out of LEGOs. (We couldn’t afford the actual models when they came out. Actually, I think they may not have been made when we were kids. I do own a couple of them now!)
God, I remember how unbearably excited my brother and I were when those movies were about to come out. I’m serious, we didn’t even attempt to not be fucking irritating to our mother, bothering her as much as possible to convince her to take us to the theater the weekend it opened. It was one of those rare things that my mother was perfectly fine with us watching, so she didn’t even put up a fight. (Which is just more evidence that my brother and I were annoying: we still bugged her even after she said yes.)
It still happens to me from time to time, but when I was younger, it was a lot easier for me to get so excited about something that I would be unable to sleep the night before. My family got to see the first film on a weekend, which was good because that meant I didn’t have to worry about lasting through a school day before seeing The Phantom Menace. Still, it was disgusting how much pain I felt just thinking about the chance to see that movie, to get more information about this fictional world (I hadn’t read much of the Star Wars novelizations at that point in my life; that came later), and to hopefully see characters I’d come to enjoy.
I admit that I was very, very excited and satisfied for the first thirty minutes, though I feel like I’m being generous with that. It was probably much less than that. I don’t even know if I could pinpoint the exact moment, scene, or line where I started feeling uncomfortable, but I do recall staring in horror at the people in my theater who applauded the film when the final credits rolled. Excuse me! I wanted to shout. You can’t honestly say you liked that, can you?
My brother was quiet after the film, and it took a while before we both (begrudgingly) had to admit that we were disappointed. When it came out on DVD, we gave it another chance. We hated Jar Jar Binks even more the second time around. The plot made less sense. The visuals looked like everything was constructed out of overly-shined plastic. The movie made no sense. And no matter how badly we wanted this to be good, to enjoy it, and to be “good” fans, it never got any better.
It sucks to be disappointed by something you love.
I suppose that certainly goes for people, too, but in the context of fiction, there’s that same breach of trust you feel. You allowed this author’s words and people and feelings into your heart, and then they write something and it’s ruined. Well, it feels like that, at least. I stopped caring about Star Wars for years after that, and only saw the other two prequel films because I was with other people who really wanted to see them. I personally just ignore them now so that they don’t ruin my memory of the original trilogy.
I wouldn’t say that Buttercup’s Baby or Goldman’s increasingly irritating asides ruin The Princess Bride to me. I think I’ll just refuse to accept them as canon because this is totally a healthy, rational thing, right? The thing is, I don’t think I want to know what happened after the story. I don’t want to know more of Inigo’s backstory. The Princess Bride feels complete as it is! Does that make sense? It’s not like how I feel about Harry Potter, where I want every canon detail that has ever existed in the history of the universe. This is complete, and it’s dependable. Who’s Pierre? Why should I care about him? So I’m going to resolve to not care, and I don’t want to finish reading this.
I had something Princess Bride related planned for tomorrow, but you’re getting a surprise. I’ve never done it for Mark Reads, and it’s about time. So, y’all aren’t prepared. I’ll work out scheduling of The Princess Bride liveblog as soon as possible. I have a friend who has NEVER SEEN IT. WHAT!!!! So let me coordinate this with him so he may experience the joy of that film.
Oh god, Sandman starts on Monday. HELP.
Mark Links Stuff
– My eBook adaptations of reviews I’ve posted are on sale at MarkDoesStuff.com. 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 the following cities this month (click the name for the Facebook RSVP page): San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, Albuquerque, Denver, Salt Lake City, Boise, Spokane, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver B.C. I still need venues/spaces in San Diego, Salt Lake City, Spokane, and Portland. Even if it’s your house, I don’t care. I’ll show up! Please let me know if you have any ideas. 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!
– Mark Watches The Return of the King will happen most likely on Sunday at 1pm PDT, which is the same as this past weekend. Y’all better break the comment record again AND IT WILL NEVER BE BROKEN AFTER THAT.
– I finish Mark Reads The Princess Bride on April 13th, and then Mark Reads Sandman begins on Monday, April 16th. I will split up reviews by issue, and I will be reading the extra books/volumes. IT SHALL BE GRAND.
– I’m on Twitter (@MarkDoesStuff) and I have a Facebook page y’all can Like and flail about on. Join me!
– This is my fifth consecutive year riding in the AIDS/LifeCycle! I’m aiming to raise $10,000 this year. For every $1,000 I raise, I will make a video live reading of a community-chosen fanfic. I am not bluffing. I will read as much of it as possible, and it will be beautiful. Help me out if you can!