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The Princess Bride [novel] by William…

The Princess Bride [novel] (1973)

by William Goldman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
18,747448125 (4.28)3 / 641
1970s (5)

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English (441)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (447)
Showing 1-5 of 441 (next | show all)
Before The Princess Bride was a beloved movie, there was the novel by William Goldman. If you’re an aficionado of the film, you’ll probably be surprised by the differences in the book. Wesley’s and Buttercup’s storyline is only a small portion of the plot. In fact, I would say the protagonist of the book is its narrator, the fictionalized version of its author, William Goldman.

A short disclaimer before my review: This entire book is fictional. Of course, you say, it’s a novel about a princess bride! But trust me; there will be moments while you’re reading when you completely forget this fact. Much of the narration is incredibly worldly and mundane. At times, you can quite easily fall into the trap of believing that S. Morgenstern was a real author, that the country which Goldman visits to do his research actually exists, and that there really was an original text that he was studying. I will say that Goldman’s method of narration, a sort of chronicle of accounts, makes the novel incredibly unique. Unfortunately, it also diminishes what I felt should have been the crowning glory of the novel, and that’s the Princess Bride tale.

Mr. Goldman spends much of the book elucidating on his love for S. Morgenstern’s True Love and High Adventures, more commonly known as The Princess Bride. He prattles on for chapters about how he came to be the author of the English abridgement of the tale, which he titled The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, the ‘Good Parts’ Version. Many more chapters pass by until we finally arrive at the story itself. But, of course, Goldman cannot abridge a tale without adding even more of his personal commentary throughout. I would have found the narrator’s annotations amusing if they did not interrupt the narrative so often. When I’m immersed in a story, particularly a fantasy, I do not appreciate being pulled out of it so abruptly.

The novel is also certainly not a relaxing read. Goldman’s narration is pompous and annoying at times. His opinions about various subjects, particularly his ex-wife and son, grated on me a lot. He also blathers on in circles, name-drops famous authors, directors, and celebrities, and relates banal stories that aren’t even relevant to the plot. To put it simply, Goldman the narrator is not a pleasant person.

The tale itself is exactly what you’d expect if you’ve seen the movie. There are a few select scenes in the book that weren’t included in the screenplay, but almost everything else, particularly the dialogue, is verbatim, which I enjoyed. I also appreciated reading more about how Buttercup and Wesley fell in love, as well as some added background information about the other characters, including Inigo and Fezzik.

If the novel only consisted of the Princess Bride tale, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more. Unfortunately, since this is not the case, I really struggled to get through it. I often wondered if I would have liked the novel more if I had not seen the movie prior to reading it. Anyhow, I really did not see the hype, and I finished the novel on a rather disappointed note.
( )
  Codonnelly | Jun 24, 2019 |
This book is brilliant. There isn't much else to say. It is both funny and touching, the author knows how to pace the story. I honestly have no complaints about this book whatsoever. There is even a movie with that one kid from The Wonder Years and The Wizard. This made it easy to hear the actors and actresses saying the lines in the book in my head. This book is endlessly quotable, with memorable lines throughout the story. The characters are fantastic too.

My only problem was when I had to put the book down to go to work. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
So, I've loved the film for 25 years, and never had read the book. I've owned it for years, but just never could bring myself to pick it up. I had heard one too many times how the book was nowhere near as good as the film. Until I was suggested it for a Recommends Challenge and decided it would also fill that pesky "been on my tbr list for more than 2 years" slot for Book Bingo. :)

First, the book is every bit as good as the film, maybe better. Sure, there are some differences, but mainly only things they cut or changed in the interest of time and/or budget constraints for the film. It's the film, only MORE.

I loved it! ( )
  Amelia1989 | Jun 10, 2019 |
non poteva mancare questa lettura, dopo aver visto e rivisto il film. alcuni punti vengono decisamente chiariti.
Strano ma vero, il film è rimasto parecchio fedele alla storia, a parte alcuni tagli nel finale.

Consigliato, specialmente a chi si era innamorato del film "La storia fantastica"
( )
  elerwen | May 29, 2019 |
I've probably seen the movie a hundred times, but somehow I'd never actually picked up the book before. Not surprisingly, I found it a thoroughly amusing read. ( )
1 vote JBD1 | Mar 31, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 441 (next | show all)
The book is clearly a witty, affectionate send-up of the adventure-yarn form, which Goldman obviously loves and knows how to manipulate with enormous skill.

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Goldman, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coconis, TedCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, NormanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrisons, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krege, WolfgangTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manomivibul, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martinez, SergioCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minor, WendellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanders, BrianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanderson, RuthCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, MarkIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!
Death cannot stop true love. It can just delay it for a while.
As you wish.
Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Simon Morgenstern is both a pseudonym and a narrative device invented by Goldman to add another layer to his novel The Princess Bride
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345348036, Mass Market Paperback)

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. --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:01 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A writers views on life and art are revealed in his effort to edit the children's classic that shaped his literary ambitions.

» see all 11 descriptions

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