The Princess Bride, By William Goldman
(Reviewed by Dom)
Okay, let me first burst your bubble. Although “The Princess Bride” is allegedly an adapted and abridged version of an earlier work by someone named “S. Morgenstern,” the truth is…there is no S. Morgenstern. He’s the fictional writer dreamed up by William Goldman as a tool to tell this story.
And no, there’s really no country of Florin. And no, even though you might be outraged by the first few dozen pages where it seems that Goldman is ripping his wife and young son, don’t be upset. It’s all fiction. Goldman doesn’t HAVE a son; he has two daughters, and his wife is nothing like the one at the beginning of this book.
Whew, so now that we have THAT out of the way, you can simply dive into this classic tale. But be prepared: This is NOT the movie, so don’t expect it to be the same. Hey, that’s why we read books, right? If we only wanted the movie…
It IS, however, a tale of pirates and love and revenge and chases and poison and giants and Rodents of Unusual Size and more and more and more. You’ll see lots of the elements from the film version, but you’ll also be thrown off by lots and lots of interruptions. …
There are those who don’t like this book because it’s not the movie in written form. And it’s true that Goldman stops the tale frequently with asides that have nothing to do with the story. It does, in fact, take a certain quirky sense of humor to laugh through these moments. Some people are very direct-line-focused, and they don’t take kindly to these devices. I find them amusing.
If you’re one of the few people who never saw the movie, I encourage you to do both: read the book, AND watch the movie. They’re both delightful in their own ways.
It’s a story of Princess Buttercup who is kidnapped by men hired by her husband-to-be, Prince Humperdinck (see, it’s already strange and interesting), under the pretense of framing the country of Guilder, which will allow Humperdinck to declare war. Buttercup falls in love with the simple farm boy, Westley, who leaves to seek his fortune, only to be attacked and killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts.
Or was he?
Fun abounds throughout this fantasy/fairy tale, with laughs and rolling-of-eyes. If you can handle all of Goldman’s cheeky interruptions and wild tangents, you’ll have a blast.
Get your copy this month for 20% off at all Tattered Cover locations!