A.R. Moxon (Julius Goat) @JuliusGoat Novelist—THE REVISIONARIES coming 12/3/19 tinyurl.com/yxkldcx7 Newsletter: tinyletter.com/ARMoxon Blog: armoxon.com/ He/him Repped by @samroebuck Sep. 18, 2019 2 min read

Probably an unpopular opinion but I think there’s space to remake a very interesting alternate version of The Princess Bride. The movie was very sweet and earnest, and the book is very ... not.

It’s William Goldman’s recounting of his quest to find this book his father used to read to him, and realizing that it’s mostly an unreadable satire of the royal court in a 19th century Florin

The whole thing is made up but Goldman plays it straight

So he abridges it, as his father did when reading it to him, to give us the “best parts version”—but he’s constantly interrupting it himself to give us asides on the endlessly frustrating process of getting the rights to the book.

All of which Goldman plays straight.

It’s a very prankish and satirical novel. Example: There’s an aside where he tells us about the great kiss between Wesley and Buttercup, but mourns that he’s prevented by from including it because of unreasonable demands from the author’s estate.

However, he told readers that if they sent a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope to him, the Morgenstern family lawyers would permit him to *mail* the text of the kiss scene to them.

He included an address to which to send this correspondence.

In the 25th anniversary edition, he revealed in the afterward that he'd been mailing back a letter to everyone who'd taken him up on the offer with his apologies, but that regretfully after the book's was already published, the lawyers had *also* blocked this action.

But (Goldman said in the afterward), after decades of legal wrangling he had finally secured permission to distribute the kiss scene, so NOW, if people wanted to send him a pre-paid, self-addressed envelope ....

And so on.

I think the remake that was about the byzantine impossibility of remaking The Princess Bride, and ended with a URL (nonfunctional) where you could go to actually see the finished movie, would be very close to the spirit of the book.

Anyway, there's my unpopular opinion.

It's been way too long since I read it to be able to assess that, but it probably is. I think the movie was misogynistic. Most things are misogynistic, and certainly most books and movies.

One hopes newer movies will have less misogyny—or none, even!

You can follow @JuliusGoat.


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