The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure
By (Abridged by): William Goldman
My Rating: Four out of Five stars
Best for: 12 and up (see content note below)
Who doesn’t love The Princess Bride?
I now firmly believe two things:
1) Authors of books should always be the script writers when their book is made into a movie.
2) There is never a case where it is better to see the movie before reading the book. Reading the book must always come first.
EVERYONE loves the movie, right? One reason–William Goldman wrote the screenplay himself! The movie and the book both have the same wonderfully fun and silly flavor. With few exceptions, the movie is so true to the book that much of the time the lines in the movie are word-for-word the same as in the book. And actually, this is my only complaint about the book and the reason for my 2nd point above: reading the book of a movie I know so well and that matches the dialogue exactly is quite anticlimactic! I know everything that was going to be said before I read it! Now, that’s different than knowing what’s going to happen before it happens. At least then there is still room for my imagination to fill in the blanks. Since the narrative in TPB the book and the movie are identical, the only thing I see in my head is the movie! I got a little boring, if you can believe it!
Luckily, William Goldman is an extremely talented author, and the parts of the story unique to the book are the narrative’s saving grace! For example . . . we learn the back stories to Fezzick and Inigo, which makes them more important to the story than they are in the movie, and there is more time spent on Buttercup before she realized she was in love with Westley. (BTW, Buttercup is a major brat and she has to work hard to get me to like her). Also, if you read any version after the 25th anniversary addition, you’ll also get to read the first part of “Buttercup’s Baby,” the so far unfinished sequel to TPB, which I found very charming and exciting.
But the biggest difference (and surprise)—the story of The Princess Bride is actually a story within a story. And even better than that, there is one big joke being played on every reader from cover to cover! I love to be fooled–and if I hadn’t done a bit of research before I started reading The Princess Bride, Goldman would have had me falling for his fantastically clever ruse too!
I won’t spoil the fun, you’ll just have to read The Princess Bride yourself to figure it out!
The Princess Bride earned my full recommendation!
Best for 12 and up. Note there is one instance of Sh*t on page 258.