Author: William Goldman
Age Group: Adult
Synopsis: A dad remembers reading “a book” with his father filled with adventure, evil, and most importantly true love.
The Low Down: If you are coming at The Princess Bride with new eyes, than you’re in for a treat. It’s quite possibly the wittiest story I’ve ever read. Even my husband who does not enjoy fiction (with the exception of The Hobbit) enjoyed this book, as we read it to Bug at bed time. William Goldman makes even taxes laugh out loud funny. If you’ve seen the film and are shocked and elated that there is book to accompany the fabulous movie, hold on to your hat. The book does have a similar story line but, as with all book-to-movie creations, there have been changes.
The character development is so spectacular. Inigo and Fezzik’s stories are by far the best. The story follows Buttercup, which makes sense as she is the Princess Bride but I’d read a whole book just about Inigo and Fezzik. How can you not? They are the very personifications of life’s struggles. Inigo is passion, in that he thirsts for the fulfillment of his lifelong goal with his every being. He’s done everything he can possibly do to ensure he succeeds and succeed well. However, as with all our passions, if we let them consume us we loose track of the things that keep us tethered to reality and sanity. Vizzini doesn’t have a lot going for him but he pulled Inigo back from the oblivion that he’d been swallowed by in the face of potential failure. Fezzik is innocence. He wants to rhyme and have a friend. That’s it. It seems impossible that being exposed to all that violence wouldn’t corrupt him. Somehow he stays true to himself, even when it becomes difficult. These two friends are real and hilarious to follow throughout the book.
Almost every character has a back story in The Princess Bride: Prince Humperdinck, Count Rugen, the Countess, Buttercup’s parents, Domingo Montoya, etc. But we don’t have Westley’s back story. I guess we can’t everything. I love Westley. He does everything he can to be with Buttercup, no matter the circumstances and he truly loves her. But my one complaint about Westley is that he doesn’t always respect Buttercup. She’s not the brightest bulb in the lamp but of course we have to take Westley’s word on this. He’s the only one, besides Buttercup, that ever references this. But I wonder if Buttercup only agrees with him because Westley has planted this idea in her head. The power of suggestion is ridiculously strong sometimes. I guess this makes their relationship a bit less perfect and a bit more real. This hasn’t stopped me from rereading The Princess Bride again and again (as I’m sure you can tell from the spine of my book).
In the beginning of the book William Goldman’s father is explaining to his son why The Princess Bride is so good. His son asks what the book is about. Does it have any sports in it? “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions. Miracles.” He’s right. The Princess Bride has all of this and more.
- Do not try to find Buttercup’s Baby. It doesn’t exist. I’m saving you the embarrassment of asking a librarian or book seller until someone takes pity on you and tells you it’s a joke of William Goldman’s. Not that this happened to anyone I know. I just heard about it. Friend of friend sort of thing.
- If you write into the publishing company you do not get the reunion scene. You get a very funny note but not the reunion scene.
- S. Morgenstern and “his” The Princess Bride aren’t real. GASP!
I need more!
William Goldman has a nice collection of books out but I’ve never read any of the others. Let me know if there’s any I should check out.
Add to my library:
UK Amazon:The Princess Bride