Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Princess Bride by William Goldman: Book Review

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's classic tale of true love and high adventure (The good parts version)
by William Goldman
A Harvest Book (Harcourt, Inc.)
ISBN: 978-0-15-603515-6

Description: The Princess Bride is a true fantasy classic. William Goldman describes it as a "good parts version" of "S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale...more The Princess Bride is a true fantasy classic. William Goldman describes it as a "good parts version" of "S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure." Morgenstern's original was filled with details of Florinese history, court etiquette, and Mrs. Morgenstern's mostly complimentary views of the text. Much admired by academics, the "Classic Tale" nonetheless obscured what Mr. Goldman feels is a story that has everything: "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. Passion. Miracles."

Goldman frames the fairy tale with an "autobiographical" story: his father, who came from Florin, abridged the book as he read it to his son. Now, Goldman is publishing an abridged version, interspersed with comments on the parts he cut out.

Is The Princess Bride a critique of classics like Ivanhoe and The Three Musketeers, that smother a ripping yarn under elaborate prose? A wry look at the differences between fairy tales and real life? Simply a funny, frenetic adventure? No matter how you read it, you'll put it on your "keeper" shelf.

The Good Stuff
  • Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya you killed my father prepare to die -- Come on who doesn't love that line -- even better when you can picture Mandy Patinkin saying it ; )
  • Love the asides by the author explaining why he cut out parts.  And I agree with why he cut them out
  • Fascinating Introductions to the book. They really make a difference and help you to understand so much. Written in a quite self deprecating style. Plus wonderful trivia, facts and historical information
  • The Characters of Wesley, Inigo, Fezzik and miracle max
  • The scene with miracle max is hilarious
  • To quote the movie "Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..."  what is not to love.  Stop reading my damn review and go read the book, I cannot do the story justice.

The Not so Good Stuff
  • A little slow at times
  • Buttercup isn't as engaging as she is in the movie, and quite frankly If I was Wesley I would have found someone maybe a little less beautiful but more interesting and worthy of his devotion
  • Authors points of views are a little bit of a downer at times 

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya you killed my father prepare to die."

"There have been five great kisses since 1642 B.C., when Saul and Delilah Korn's discovery swept across Western civilization. (Before then couples hooked thumbs.)"

"Your father is dying." "Drat!" said the Prince. "That means I shall have to get married."

"Of all the cuts in this version, I feel most justified in making this one. Just as the chapters on whaling in Moby Dick can be omitted by all but the most punishment-loving readers, so the packing scenes that Morgenstern details here are really best left alone."

 What I Learned
  • All about why the book was written
  • That Stephen King was asked to work on the abridgment of Buttercup's Baby
  • All sorts of history, facts and trivia of both the story and the movie
  • That I need to go watch the movie again -- I'm going to bring it with us camping next week
  • All about Andre the Giant
  • About "Buttercup's Baby"  - go read this version of the book to find out

Who should/shouldn't read
  • Natasha shouldn't read it because she didn't like the movie -- I know but I still love her
  • Anyone who loved the movie
  • Everybody else not mentioned above should also like this -- come on just read the book already

4.5 Dewey's

I borrowed this from the Albion Bolton Public Library and don't have to do a review for it, but wanted to anyway!


  1. I've actually avoided reading this book. I absolutely love the movie and I was worried the novel would ruin my view of the film. This review may have just changed my mind, though!

  2. Love The Princes Bride and this book looks perfect for a fan!