Among all the books I have to review, this is the only review explicitly requested, so, by the popular demand of one person, it will be the first review of my recent reads that I do.
The Princess Bride holds a place in my heart. Of all the books on my shelf, it is the one if owned the longest, including all the children’s books. It was my dad’s book, and it is his favorite book (as well as one of his favorite movie). I have only ever read the book for myself recently, but my dad read it to me many times when I was little.
The Princess Bride is, famously, two things: A story within a story, and the “good parts version” of a non-existing story by the same name by the fictional author S. Morgenstern. (This will make sense when you read the book, don’t worry).
The Princess Bride is the story within the story, which is a man reading the book to his sick son. In Goldman’s interjections, he mentions the parts “his father” cut out when reading it out loud, a way to skip the boring parts of the story without writing them. I didn’t know this until I read it for myself, but my dad did the same thing. He only ever read me “The Princess Bride” parts of the book, only ever read me the story within the story, cutting out “the boring parts” the same way the father in the story did. I think thats really funny.
Now that we have the sappy back story out of the way, on to the review!
Original Release Date:
Date I Read The Book:
May 24, 2016
My Star Rating:
Standalone (the sequel was never written)
Once upon a time came a story so full of high adventure and true love that it became an instant classic and won the hearts of millions. Now in hardcover in America for the first time since 1973 (in its native Florin, it has been on the Florenise Timesbestseller list continuously since the week it was published), this special edition of The Princess Bride is a true keepsake for devoted fans as well as those lucky enough to discover it for the first time. What reader can forget or resist such colorful characters as:
Westley … handsome farm boy who risks death and much, much worse for the woman he loves;
Inigo … the Spanish swordsman who lives only to avenge his father’s death;
Fezzik … the Turk, the gentlest giant ever to have uprooted a tree with his bare hands; Vizzini … the evil Sicilian, with a mind so keen he’s foiled by his own perfect logic;
Prince Humperdinck … the eviler ruler of Guilder, who has an equally insatiable thirst for war and the beauteous Buttercup;
Count Rugen … the evilest man of all, who thrives on the excruciating pain of others; Miracle Max … the King’s ex-Miracle Man, who can raise the dead (kind of);
The Dread Pirate Roberts … supreme looter and plunderer of the high seas; and, of course,
Buttercup … the princess bride, the most perfect, beautiful woman in the history of the world.
S. Morgenstern’s timeless tale–discovered and wonderfully abridged by William Goldman–pits country against country, good against evil, love against hate. From the Cliffs of Insanity through the Fire Swamp and down into the Zoo of Death, this incredible journey and brilliant tale is peppered with strange beasties both monstrous and gentle, and memorable surprises both terrible and sublime.
My Review: (Vague Spoilers)
The Princess Bride is a classic, regardless of the fact that it isn’t actually old enough to be one. The Princess Bride is arguably one of the best books of all time, and the movie adaptation is arguably one of the best of all time.
The Princess Bride is the story of Buttercup and Westley’s love, and that story is nestled inside the story of William Goldman himself, who remembers his father reading him the book, and is abridging it for his son, and the general public, the way his father did for him orally. Throughout Buttercup’s story we get very humorous interjections from Goldman, things his father said at this point, or what he removed from the original here. Made even funnier by the fact that the original never existed, the entire thing was thought up by Goldman.
Buttercup is a beautiful girl, and Westley is a farmhand working for her family. This is where the story starts. And we follow Buttercup’s perspective of the years, when Westley declares his love, when he leaves seeking a fortune to support her, and meanwhile the Prince hears tale of her beauty and seeks to make her his queen.
We have arranged marriages, murderers, betrayals, sword fights, pirates, monsters, and most of all, True Love.
I really don’t know how to review this book for you in a better way than to say, just read it. Because the characters have depth, each with an agenda. Because both stories are entertaining. Because the plot never slows, and it teaches valuable lessons like this one: life isn’t fair, it’s just fairer than death.
“Life isn’t fair, it’s just fairer than death, that’s all.”
― William Goldman,
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
― William Goldman,
“My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”
― William Goldman,
“I’ve been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn’t listen. Every time you said ‘Farm Boy do this’ you thought I was answering ‘As you wish’ but that’s only because you were hearing wrong. ‘I love you’ was what it was, but you never heard.”
― William Goldman,
“You seem a decent fellow,” Inigo said. “I hate to kill you.”
You seem a decent fellow,” answered the man in black. “I hate to die.”
― William Goldman, The Princess Bride