As the Vox Book Club enters its third month, you may have a question about our June book pick. You may want to know if it has sports in it.
To that I say: It has 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. Passion. Miracles.
That’s right, this June we’re reading William Goldman’s The Princess Bride.
You’ve probably seen the classic 1987 movie adapted from The Princess Bride. If you have, you’ll be fine. If you haven’t, you’ll also be fine. The Princess Bride is one of those book-and-movie pairs wherein each element can stand on its own, though they also complement each other in very nerdy and satisfying ways. (That’s probably because William Goldman, who wrote the book, was also one of Hollywood’s greatest screenwriters. So when he adapted his own novel into a screenplay, he did it perfectly.) The book is great. The movie is great. This is a win-win situation.
The Princess Bride is also, I think, a perfect summer read. It is frothy and witty, and it’s both a biting satire of classic adventure novels and a pretty great classic adventure novel itself. We can read it like candy, and it will be pure pleasure all the way through.
A brief programming note: There are a few editions of The Princess Bride out there, all of which have different introductions and forewords and afterwords. I’ll be using the 30th anniversary edition, but you can read whatever’s handy and still get the general gist. Just know that if I mention a foreword that’s not in your version, that’s where it comes from.
As usual, here’s the drill: Every Friday in June, we’ll publish a post on the site with thoughts and discussion prompts from me, your humble critic. We’ll also have comments turned on and moderated so you can share your thoughts, too. Talk among yourselves! Post your opinions and questions! Or use our discussion posts as a jumping-off point for (socially distanced) discussions with your own friends and family. And at the end of the month, we’ll host a live virtual discussion. Come and join us!
Here’s the full Vox Book Club schedule for June 2020
Friday, June 5: Discussion covering the introduction to the 30th anniversary edition–chapter 4 (pp. viii–85)
Friday, June 12: Discussion covering chapters 5–6 (pp. 87–264)
Friday, June 19: Discussion covering chapters 7–8 in the original edition, plus “Buttercup’s Baby” in the epilogue of later editions (pp. 265–414)
Thursday, June 25: Virtual live event, details TBD. Sign up for the Vox Book Club newsletter for more info!