Title: The Princess Bride
Author: William Goldman
Edition: Paperback, 399 Pages
Published: October 20th 1999 by Bloomsbury (first published 1973)
Genre(s): Fantasy; Adventure; Classics
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it!
What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams?
As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears.
Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.
What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.
In short, it’s about everything.
I feel like this is quite a hard book to review because the story is so iconic, thanks in the most part to the cult film. Whether you grew up with the film like I did or not, I’m sure most people are at least aware of it.
The Princess Bride is mainly about the strong-willed and beautiful Buttercup and her one true love Westley, who have to overcome all odds to be together.
It’s not very often that I see the film before reading the book either, and in this case I’d seen the film a lot. But I needn’t have worried, because I loved the book just as much.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy the introduction and commentary from Goldman, but I really did. I found it fascinating to hear about his love of the original book despite never having actually read it himself, all of the issues in getting the book to the big screen, and the conversations between him and his editor and lawyer.
But clearly, the best thing about the book is the adventure story. There’s plenty of action, close escapes and sword fights, all wrapped-up in a slightly bizarre satirical package. You get a bit more of a back story to the main characters too, and I totally fell in love with Inigo Montoya, much more than I did in the film.
It’s a classic fantasy story that appeals to all ages, which I think is quite rare these days. I could literally recommend it to anyone and everyone.