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William Goldman's beloved novel has sold over one million copies. A movie, released twenty years ago, perfectly captured the spirit of the book and has introduced new fans to its pages ever since. In 1941 a young boy lies bedridden from pneumonia. His perpetually disheveled and unattractive father, an immigrant from Florin with terribly broken English, shuffles into his bedroom carrying a book. The boy wants to know if it has any sports. His father says, "Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions. Miracles." And the little boy, though he doesn't know it, is about to change forever. As Goldman says, "What happened was just this. I got hooked on the story." And coming generations of readers will, too. And coming generations of readers will too.
William Goldman has been writing books and movies for more than forty years. He has won two Academy Awards (for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President's Men), and three Lifetime Achievement Awards in screenwriting.
Table of Contents
|Introduction to the 30th Anniversary Edition||p. vii|
|Introduction to the 25th Anniversary Edition||p. xxxi|
|The Princess Bride||p. 1|
|Buttercup’s Baby: An Explanation||p. 359|
|Buttercup’s Baby, Chapter One: Fezzik Dies||p. 389|
|Reading Group Guide||p. 451|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|
ONEThe BrideThe year that Buttercup was born, the most beautiful woman in the world was a French scullery maid named Annette. Annette worked in Paris for the Duke and Duchess de Guiche, and it did not escape the Dukes notice that someone extraordinary was polishing the pewter. The Dukes notice did not escape the notice of the Duchess either, who was not very beautiful and not very rich, but plenty smart. The Duchess set about studying Annette and shortly found her adversarys tragic flaw. Chocolate. Armed now, the Duchess set to work. The Palace de Guiche turned into a candy castle. Everywhere you looked, bonbons. There were piles of chocolate-covered mints in the drawing rooms, baskets of chocolate-covered nougats in the parlors. Annette never had a chance. Inside a season, she went from delicate to whopping, and the Duke never glanced in her direction without sad bewilderment clouding his eyes. (Annette, it might be noted, seemed only cheerier throughout her enlargement. She eventually married the pastry chef and they both ate a lot until old age claimed them. Things, it might also be noted, did not fare so cheerily for the Duchess. The Duke, for reasons passing understanding, next became smitten with his very own mother-in-law, which caused the Duchess ulcers, only they didnt have ulcers yet. More precisely, ulcers existed, people had them, but they werent called ulcers. The medical profession at that time called them stomach pains and felt the best cure was coffee dolloped with brandy twice a day until the pains subsided. The Duchess took her mixture faithfully, watching through the years as her husband and her mother blew kisses at each other behind her back. Not surprisingly, the Duchesss grumpiness became legendary, as Voltaire has so ably chronicled. Except this was before Voltaire.) The year Buttercup turned ten, the most beautiful woman lived in Bengal, the daughter of a successful tea merchant. This girls name was Aluthra, and her skin was of a dusky perfection unseen in India for eighty years. (There have only been eleven perfect complexions in all of India since accurate accounting began.) Aluthra was nineteen the year the pox plague hit Bengal. The girl survived, even if her skin did not. When Buttercup was fifteen, Adela Terrell, of Sussex on the Thames, was easily the most beautiful creature. Adela was twenty, and so far did she outdistance the world that it seemed certain she would be the most beautiful for many, many years. But then one day, one of her suitors (she had 104 of them) exclaimed that without question Adela must be the most ideal item yet spawned. Adela, flattered, began to ponder on the truth of the statement. That night, alone in her room, she examined herself pore by pore in her mirror. (This was after mirrors.) It took her until close to dawn to finish her inspection, but by that time it was clear to her that the young man had been quite correct in his assessment: she was, through no real faults of h
Excerpted from The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - The Good Parts Version by William Goldman
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