Book Review: The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride: An Illustrated Edition of S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - William Goldman, Michael Manomivibul

Book: The Princess Bride


Author: William Goldman


Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Adventure


Summary: 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. - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.



Who doesn’t love this story? If you haven’t read the actual book, you most likely have seen the amazing movie and you can quote it all day long if you’ve watched it enough times.


I’m one of the people who saw the movie first before reading the book so, to anyone who read the book first, mea culpa. I always meant to read it, but was immediately fooled by Goldman’s satire. By that, I mean that Goldman is the writer of the story and the story by “Morgenstern” is a satire much in the way of Jonathan Swift and Washington Irving.


I’m going to break one of my rules for this one and warn that there is a definite possibility that I may spoil some things - after all, the amount of people who haven’t seen the movie is probably very small.


This particular cover I’m featuring is the anniversary cover and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The artwork is spectacular and very suitable for the different scenes the artist has chosen to portray.


As for the book itself, the plot is pretty much the same as the movie, with a few scenes that have additional information and more background to the characters. For example, the entire backstory of Indigo and Fezzik is given in the book and the relationship of Buttercup and Westley is given more backstory as well. (Did you know Buttercup had parents?!) I did enjoy these additional scenes as it felt like the characters became more three-dimensional.


I was, however, annoyed by all of the interruptions from the author between scenes. I get that it’s satire and to engage in the satire means making lots of author commentary, but for me, it takes away from the story, rather than adding to it. It’s very distracting.

So, all in all, I would definitely recommend the book - to both old and new fans. It gives great backstory and I think it adds a certain depth of flavor that isn’t at all unwelcome. If you prefer an uninterrupted story, however, just skip the author breaks, they’re purely for satirical reasons.


I give The Princess Bride an A.




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