Author: William Goldman
Genre: Classic Fantasy
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Caution: May contain spoilers
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
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.
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.
Exceptional: Stay up until at least 1 AM