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Friday, 14 November 2014

When I was your age, television was called books...

Dearest friends,

Today I will share with you some thoughts upon a book I borrowed from a dear sweet friend - thank you Siepka for it, one more time :* I love books, my adorable Polish husband even makes fun of me and tells me that I do not read them, I rather eat/devour them. I sometimes think he might have a point there, considering the amount of books I read each year and how many books I still buy. Recently I have been refraining myself as there is not much more place I could store them - hence borrowing books from friends, when they recommend me some :)  
Even my Goodreads account shows me I went way overboard! Last year/beginning of this year, I setup a Reading challenge: 12 books in 12 months. Well guess what? Here is my status of the day: We love an overachiever! You have read 20 of 12 books - 10 books ahead of schedule - 167% of what I promised :) And that is just because I put a break and I am reading only on my train to/from work + the bus... 
The book of the day is The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern and abridged by Goldman :) What's it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex. In short, it's about everything :) 
The Princess Bride starts with Goldman telling us that this is the book of his childhood, the booked that saved him from death (from pneumonia) twice in his life. He also shares with us that the book by Morgenstern has both good parts and boring parts - we are instructed that for our very own benefit, the boring parts are cut out, but tell you the truth it makes me wonder how the book would be with the boring parts as well... it makes me feel that I would have rather skipped it than someone cutting it out for me. If you feel that you might know the title from somewhere you are not mistaken ;) the book was adapted into a movie with the dashing Cary Elwes (whom you might know from Robin Hood - Men in Tights) and Robin Wright (Forrest Gump, House of Cards).
The story starts with Buttercup - not yet a princess - and takes us from her being the 20th most beautiful woman in the world to the first place. She falls in love with the farm boy but figures it out only too late. Westley - whom, to his defence, always loved Buttercup - hears her confess her love and makes up his mind to run to America and make a fortune and come back to win her hand. Later on we find that the ship he boarded was taken in by The Dreaded Pirate Roberts and that he leaves no survivors => Westley is dead => Buttercup is heartbroken and vows never to love again.
The Princess Bride is engaging and easy to read - though it has almost 400 pages it took me less than a week to finish it off and that is good timing, considering I read daily around 40 minutes (total time on the train to/from work). Everyone will have a favourite in the book: be it Buttercup, the lovely suave princess in need of saving; be it The Man In Black/The Dreaded Pirate Roberts/Westley who is just gorgeous and dashing and knows how to escape with his wits & strenght combined; be it the lovely and heart-warming giant Fezzik who is so strong that he can pull up a cliff 3 people at the same time; be it - my very own favourite - the Spaniard Inigo Montoya who does not have hands but rather the sword would be the more logical termination of its limbs for him :)
If you are lucky, you will read the book before seeing the movie; but if you already watched the movie, the book cannot do you harm. It will only make the story richer and more full, and next time you will watch the movie you will see the characters in a different light. I leave you to think of buying/renting/downloading the book, while you enjoy with me a few quotes I love:
  • “When I was your age, television was called books.” 
  • “Life isn't fair, it's just fairer than death, that's all.”  
  • “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!” - my personal fav <3
  • "I love you,' Buttercup said. 'I know this must come as something of a surprise to you, since all I've ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more. I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew that what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm. Your eyes are like that, did you know? Well they are. How many minutes ago was I? Twenty? Had I brought my feelings up to then? It doesn't matter.' Buttercup still could not look at him. The sun was rising behind her now; she could feel the heat on her back, and it gave her courage. 'I love you so much more now than twenty minutes ago that there cannot be comparison. I love you so much more now then when you opened your hovel door, there cannot be comparison. There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey. Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that. Do you want me to crawl? I will crawl. I will be quiet for you or sing for you, or if you are hungry, let me bring you food, or if you have thirst and nothing will quench it but Arabian wine, I will go to Araby, even though it is across the world, and bring a bottle back for your lunch. Anything there is that I can do for you, I will do for you; anything there is that I cannot do, I will learn to do. I know I cannot compete with the Countess in skills or wisdom or appeal, and I saw the way she looked at you. And I saw the way you looked at her. But remember, please, that she is old and has other interests, while I am seventeen and for me there is only you. Dearest Westley--I've never called you that before, have I?--Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley,--darling Westley, adored Westley, sweet perfect Westley, whisper that I have a chance to win your love.' And with that, she dared the bravest thing she'd ever done; she looked right into his eyes.” 
  • “Inconceivable!"
    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”  
  • “Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.” 
  • “I am your Prince and you will marry me," Humperdinck said.
    Buttercup whispered, "I am your servant and I refuse."
    "I am you Prince and you cannot refuse."
    "I am your loyal servant and I just did."
    "Refusal means death."
    "Kill me then.”  
  • "I've been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn't listen. Every time you said 'Farm Boy do this' you thought I was answering 'As you wish' but that's only because you were hearing wrong. 'I love you' was what it was, but you never heard.” 
  • “You seem a decent fellow," Inigo said. "I hate to kill you."
    You seem a decent fellow," answered the man in black. "I hate to die.”  
P.S. Did you know that you can actually visit Florin (Florin derives from the city of Florence - or Firenze - in Italy ) & Guilder and that this is a real story? :) There is even a museum where you can see live the six-fingered-sword of the lovely Inigo!

Yours truly,
A LadyBug Fan of Inigo Montoya - Prepare to die!