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United States Bride

Why did The Princess Bride captivate America when you look at the year of Watergate? Nathaniel Rich revisits William Goldman’s classic and finds it grippingly readable—and bluntly truthful.

In 1973—“the 12 months of infamy”—the final American bombs were fallen on Cambodia, OPEC issued an oil embargo, the stock exchange crashed, and Woodward and Bernstein unveiled that there was clearly more to your Watergate break-in than had first showed up. Also by US requirements, it absolutely was a brief minute of extravagant uneasiness, disillusionment, and mania. In the middle of this maelstrom arrived a strange and determinedly anachronistic novel that is new William Goldman. It told the fairy-tale tale of a Princess known as Buttercup, her abduction by the prince that is evil a six-fingered count, and her rescue by a soft-hearted giant, a vengeance-mad swordsman, and a debonair masked hero called Westley. It is hard to consider a novel that bears less connection to its time compared to Princess Bride. Which will be precisely what made The Princess Bride therefore prompt.

It is feasible that the reader that is suspicious discern specific Nixonian characteristics in Humperdinck, Goldman’s vain, conspiratorial, power-hungry prince, or see in Count Rugen, the prince’s diabolical, merciless, hypocritical hatchet man, a medieval Robert Haldeman. But Goldman is not interested in satire; plus its one of the novel’s central motifs that satire is just a bloodless, empty exercise, destroyed on all however the many pretentious, scholarly visitors. Read more »