The Dharma of the Princess Bride: What the Coolest Fairy Tale of Our Time Can Teach Us About Buddhism and Relationships

Ethan Nichtern. North Point, $26 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-86547-776-6
Nichtern (The Road Home), a Buddhist teacher in residence for the Shambhala N.Y.C. community, uses the 1987 film The Princess Bride as a frame for life lessons and discovering deeper spiritual truths. In a light and earnest tone, Nichtern offers advice about the dharma centered around friendship, romance, and family. His slightly geeky enthusiasm and willingness to share personal stories invites the reader into his world, which in turn opens the door for Buddhist principles and practices, including a meditation guide centered on character tropes from The Princess Bride such as a “Fezzik Stage” for imagining a loved one or friend and a “Vizzini Stage” for imagining an enemy. Fans of popular films who are also drawn to Buddhist principles will find much to enjoy here as Nichtern’s deconstruction of the plot skillfully and clearly teases out well-defined lessons—his ruminations on friendship through the relationship of Fezzik and Inigo Montoya are a highlight. The book isn’t for everyone—those who haven’t seen the movie may find it difficult to follow—but for those who seek meaning, love, and values, even in unorthodox places, this unusual work will come as a pleasant surprise. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/10/2017
Release date: 09/12/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-86547-838-1
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-86547-777-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-72134-181-8
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