The Princess Bride

{4.5/5} “Fool!… You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is ‘Never get involved in a land war in Asia,’ but only slightly less well known is this: ‘Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.'”

Buttercup is the most beautiful woman in the world. Westley is a hired hand that works at her parents’ farm. The two of them reveal that they love each other, and immediately Westley sets off to America to make his fortune. Tragically his ship is boarded by pirates headed by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who never takes prisoners. With Westley dead Buttercup agrees to marry Prince Humperdinck, even though she doesn’t love him. Later there is a man in black, a giant, a man who is looking for a six-fingered man to avenge his father’s death, and a man who keeps saying “Inconceivable!”

The Princess Bride by William Goldman was published in 1973.

I’ve seen the movie several times — it’s one of my favourites. The novel is very similar to the movie, but it’s worth reading even if you’ve seen the movie.

The novel has a layer that’s not in the movie — Goldman himself is a character. He’s pretending that the book is an abridged “good parts” version of a book by S. Morgenstern that his father read to him when he was a child.

The novel also has more background on the characters — we learn about Inigo and Fezzick’s past.

In addition to being a brilliant screenwriter, Goldman is a fabulous author.

I likely would have rated this book 5/5 if I hadn’t already seen the movie.

Goldman wrote the screenplays for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Chaplin, Maverick, and The Princess Bride. At one point he was attempting to write a sequel to The Princess Bride but it seems less and less likely that will happen.

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 4th, 2014 at 9:15 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply