Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Title: The Princess Bride
Author: William Goldman
Published: 1973
Source: Purchased
Genre: Classic Fantasy
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers

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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 henchmen, 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.

~synopsis from Goodreads

My Thoughts:

Here’s my story about how I didn’t discover The Princess Bride until I was an adult. When I was a kid (I’m guessing I was 11 at the time), I was at a friend’s house and we wanted to watch something. She wanted to watch The Princess Bride and I wanted to watch Kratt’s Creatures. I can’t remember what we ended up watching, but it wasn’t The Princess Bride or Kratt’s Creatures. I heard off and on about the movie, but never ended up seeing it until I was 22. Another friend was talking about it and I decided that it was necessary for me to watch the movie. So I did. And I loved it.

True story.

I’ve probably only seen the movie all the way through 6 or 7 times total, but my family and I join in with the rest of the lovers of The Princess Bride in quoting various lines that have become iconic. Of course, my watching it only those little over a handful of times limits my quoting ability. It just means I need to watch the movie more.

But I digress… This is supposed to be about the book. And my thoughts on the book: FREAKING AMAZING. Even though I knew what was coming, I still got sucked into the world of Florin and the love of Buttercup and Westley. The lines and scenes not included in the movie were splendid. At one point early on, I found myself laughing out loud and running to the computer to post a quote on Facebook. Here it is:

"I am your Prince and you will marry me," Humperdinck said.
Buttercup whispered, "I am your servant and I refuse."
"I am your Prince and you cannot refuse."
"I am your loyal servant and I just did."

Throughout the whole thing, you can’t help but fall in love with everything. William Goldman was actually the person who wrote the screenplay and he did a fantastical job at it. A lot of the lines from the book are word for word in the movie. It was all the necessary ones, I can’t think of much that was left out that should have been there to tell the story. And the story really was an epic tale of everything that makes a good book all rolled into one: action and love and honesty and humor.

The Princess Bride is by far one of the best books written. While William Goldman didn’t pen the original story (it was written by S. Morganstern in an enormous volume had so much back story, as Goldman states in the foreword), he did an amazing job putting together the “good parts” version. Which is what writers have to do sometimes--omit all the extensive details that aren’t pertinent to the story and keep it interesting. The bottom line with this book is that it is a must read. If you don’t think you can handle the book and haven’t seen the movie, at the very least watch the movie. After you do, you probably will want to read the book.

It’s just that good.


My Rating:

Exceptional: Stay up until at least 1 AM

15 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm pretty dang shocked you went that long without seeing the movie. I loved them both but the book just a tiny bit better. Especially the not so giant spider. ;)

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    1. I know! I just didn't know anything about it. I thought it was another one of those typical romance stories (and kissing scenes made me blush at that age--LOL). It wasn't until I was older that I learned what the premise really was and fell in love with it. :)

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  2. I NEED THIS BOOK! I haven't seen the movie OR read the book, which is just wrong. WRONG. I feel so deprived lol. I'm thinking since I haven't done either I should start with the book since I usually read a book before seeing a movie...I've waited this long anyway, right? I keep pricing the book and I might just have to cave and buy it, even though I have ten thousand other books to read. *sigh*

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    1. Maybe your library has it! Or maybe you can make a pact with yourself that after you read three more books, you can treat yourself to buying this one. That's kinda what I'm doing right now. Must finish X amount of books, then I can buy a couple I REALLY WANT. Lol.

      Anyway... rant over. Get it from the library. :)

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    2. I've thought of the exact same thing! There are a couple books I really, really want (this one included) but I've made a deal with myself that if I can get at least three of the books I own read, I can buy one more (both the books I want are around $9, so not bad). I know I could (and maybe even should) get it from the library but it feels like one of those books I'm going to want to own, you know? Maybe I'm just weird like that lol

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    3. Nope, you're not weird! I do the same thing. If I know I'll love it, I'll buy it. If I'm not sure, I borrow. It's just safer that way. :)

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    4. *phew* lol And exactly...I never impulse buy books because I just can't afford it...I always give it a lot of thought before I buy a book...if I had lots of money it wouldn't matter, but since I can barely afford to buy books, I need to be sure it's going to be something I'll love. Even when I get a gift certificate I'm super picky...I tell myself 'hello it's free money' but I can't shake that 'but I'm poor!' state of mind lol. But it makes books extra special to me, and I never take them for granted...and I never take my library for granted because I've borrowed thousands of dollars worth of books I wouldn't have been able to read otherwise!

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    5. Also...kind of random but technically on topic lol...I can't remember if you like Nora Roberts, but in her latest trilogy, these three brothers are building an inn and they've named each room after a fictional literary couple (how freaking cool is that? I'd stay in a place like that for that reason alone), and one of the rooms is Westley and Buttercup. I had to look it up since I'd never read the book or seen the movie, and that was what started my obsession with wanting to read it (I'd heard of it, of course, just didn't know the characters' names)...and then I think it was just shortly after that that you started adding it to your Update Thursday saying you were reading it. :-)

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    6. I used to buy bargain books to fill a cart for free shipping, but now that I have a B&N membership, I get free shipping, so I'm more picky with what I get since I don't have to spend a minimum. I love my library but I haven't been there in at least 6+ months due to all the books I have that I want to read. (Thanks a lot TBR Pile Reading Challenge!!! LOL) I really should go there sometime soon just to see what is there. :)

      I haven't read any Nora Roberts books, but it's funny you mention it... I was just at a thrift store yesterday and there were like literally 30 different Nora Roberts books! I was like, "AH!!! I bet Marie has a bunch of these!!!" Hehehe! :P That is such a cute idea for an inn though!

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  3. AWWWW! I LOVE this movie. EVERY time it's on, I'll at least watch a few minutes of it. "INCONCEIVABLE!" "I do not think that word means what you think it does." I'm glad you enjoyed the book, Jess - it's definitely on my TBR!

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    1. I could watch it over and over again. And I love quoting it. I hope you do read it someday! If you loved the movie, you'll adore the book. :D

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  4. I never read the book or saw the movie, either. I did buy the book about a year ago, because it's one you hear about so often, but I still haven't gotten to reading it.

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    1. Try to read it! It really is a classic and very cute. :)

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  5. I hear so many things about the movie. My friend even has a t-shirt with that famous quote by Inigo Montoya on it. For some reason I've never really felt the need to watch the movie. I think like you I see the picture and think "meh, this is going to be super cheesy." Now I just have to know what all the fuss is about!!

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    1. Ha! I would love a Princess Bride shirt. ;) I had my doubts at first, but I totally didn't regret it. Try out the movie, it's so enjoyable! :D

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