Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Book Review | The Princess Bride by William Goldman


The Princess Bride is a fantasy novel by William Goldman.


What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be...well...a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad's recitation, and only the "good parts" reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He's reconstructed the "Good Parts Version" to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What's it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it's about everything.

THE PRINCESS BRIDE!

I will say right away I’m a huge fan of the movie, but this fact almost kept me from reading the book at all. I’m a fearful reader at times. I’m afraid to reread a beloved book and have my opinion change. I’m afraid to read a book if I really loved the movie for fear I will see the movie differently. I’m afraid to read The Neverending Story and find out what Bastian’s mother’s name is because all of my life I’ve tried to figure out what on earth that kid has been screaming out of that window and the mystery is now part of my DNA. (Please don’t spoil it for me, either.)

This past week, however, something finally possessed me to read The Princess Bride. It’s one of the best reading decisions I have ever made.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman is a phenomenal book. It’s the story of William Goldman writing an abridged version (the version his father would recite to him as a child) of S. Morgenstern’s The Princess Bride. There are so many layers to this book, and I was really blown away by the whole thing.

There are subtle differences between the book and the movie. William Goldman is no Fred Savage and his dad is not at all like Grandpa. Like any movie adaptation, there are many things left out entirely so my heart is now overflowing with a greater knowledge and understanding. I now know how Domingo Montoya, father to Inigo Montoya, died. I now know why Miracle Max wants Prince Humperdinck’s ultimate suffering. I now understand Prince Humperdinck is a much bigger dick than I previously thought.

And THE FEELS. My God, the feels. And it’s not just the love and the friendship and the suffering, it’s how well this book captures the emotions a reader goes through when reading a story like The Princess Bride. I had serious emotions about the emotions. It’s all very meta, and did I mention brilliant?

If you are already a fan of the movie, you really owe it to yourself to read the book. Regardless of whether you’ve seen the movie or not, The Princess Bride is a fantasy classic I highly, highly recommend you read.

This is the part where you, my friends, say “As you wish”.

10/10: Awesome Read

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