Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.
Those words are from arguably the greatest kid’s fantasy story ever, and if they’re not familiar to you then you’re in for a treat. As the great Peter Falk puts it in the movie “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…”, it has it all.
I started reading the story to my kids at bedtime a few weeks ago. That’s how the book should be read. Actually, the story is a book within a book, but the book within the book doesn’t exist in reality. It’s all the work of the brilliant William Goldman, the man behind Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men and Marathon Man. Granted, they’re not really books you’d associate with kids, but the pedigree is beyond doubt.
Within the book, the story is told by William Goldman to his son after his father read the book to him. It’s only when he finds the book and goes to read it to his son that he realises that his father heavily edited the story to make it more exciting. And so, it’s that story he retells. The ‘good bits’ take on the original Morgenstern classic (which never existed).
And so, as I read it to my girls, I find myself tailoring the story too. And that’s the beauty of it. The way I told my girls the story will be different to how you tell your kids.
Jumping Around the Room
What everyone will be left with, however, is the same heart-warming tale of Buttercup and her true love, Westley, a whole host of other characters that will stay with you forever, and a brilliant, hilarious storyline.
It was the most fun book to read. I gave each character a voice, and acted out the action scenes. From the most amazing sword fight of all time, to Inigo Montoya meeting his sworn enemy, I was jumping around the room as I read it out. The kids loved it.
We finished the book last Friday. On Saturday evening, I put the movie on. The kids loved it. Absolutely loved it. They got up early on Sunday morning to put it on again, and that’s the sign of a loved movie.
Jenny and Eve are 8 and 7, and the story was perfect for them. If you’re looking for a book to read them, or a film to keep them enthralled, The Princess Bride is my heartfelt recommendation.