Book Review – The Princess Bride

Book: The Princess Bride – Author: William Goldman

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

Description from Goodreads:

Here William Goldman’s beloved story of Buttercup, Westley, and their fellow adventurers finally receives a beautiful illustrated treatment.
A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts—The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.
As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchman, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini—the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik—the gentle giant; Inigo—the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen—the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

My Review:

The Princess Bride has been in my ‘top 5 movies of all time’ for decades. I LOVE this movie, to the point where I could probably quote the entire thing and have been known to put my dvd on in the morning and let the movie repeat until bedtime. Needless to say, I was a bit mixed about reading the book. Would I love it as much? Did they change whole swaths of the book when they made the movie? Normally, I’m all for reading the book before seeing the movie for this very reason, but this was a movie from my childhood. A beloved, cherished memory. A memory I was frightened of tainting. Even knowing that the original author, William Goldman, had written the screenplay, I was nervous.

I needn’t have worried. The book was just as fun, quirky, romantic, and adventurous as the movie. There ARE quite a few small changes. Some swapping of dialogue, some slight changes of scenes (and I’ll be honest, I flat out disliked Buttercup for a large part of the book), but overall it was a wonderful experience. There was a lot more background to the characters; whole life stories on Inigo, Fessik, and the Prince. And the story was wonderfully interspersed with ‘the history’ of the writing of the book, so confident and detailed that I actually had to double check that it was fictional, even though I know that Florin isn’t a real place.

My edition even ended with ‘the first chapter’ of Buttercup’s Baby, a teaser for a book that will never arrive. It was a horribly mean, nasty…magnificent thing to do. Nice play, Mr. Goldman. 😉

All told, I’d definitely recommend this book for anyone, from the newest newcomer to the oldest fan. There is something in it for everyone.

Similar Books:

Stardust – Neil Gaiman

Fun Addition:

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride – Cary Elwes


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