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The Princess Bride (1973)

by William Goldman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
20,212469124 (4.27)3 / 655
A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts.
1970s (6)
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English (456)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (463)
Showing 1-5 of 456 (next | show all)
I put this on my reading list as a 'funny book', but I didn't find it funny at all! Maybe the best jokes were already spoiled because they are classics now, but Goldman's narrative trick annoyed me to no end. Pretending someone else wrote your book and then constantly writing meta about what really is your own work... Let's just say that's not my cup of tea.
Of course, Westley and Inigo are the characters that make this story worth its while, but they have been executed wonderfully in the movie. I wholeheartedly recommend the movie over the book for this one! ( )
  stormnyk | Aug 6, 2020 |
"Will you draw your sword with your free hand?"
"I already have. Will you make a fist with yours?"
"It's clenched."
"Then let's look on the bright side: we're having an adventure, Fezzik, and most people live and die without being as lucky as we are."


Well, I mean, it's a classic for a reason, and there's really no reason to write this review except to fulfill a promise to myself, so, here we go.

I had this sort of half-joking impression when I started that I'd only be reading for Inigo and Fezzik, and that turned out completely correct. For a cast nearly completely of fascinating, funny, and unique characters, Buttercup and Westley didn't interest me in the least bit. Fezzik, Inigo, Vizzini, Max, and so on, more than made up for the utter dullness of the lead characters - and their romance that was almost a little too whimsical and baseless. When they reunited, they did little more than yell at each other for no reason. Ah, well. Fezzik's endearing enough for the both of them.

Other than the humour and dialogue, there was one other thing that I thought the book was notably great at: choosing when to withhold "twist" information and when not to, expertly teaching the reader bits of plots and leaving them to squirm as they watch the characters interact with the betraying comrade, go the wrong direction, unknowingly run out of time, and so on. The pay-offs were, uh, debatable in quality for me, but it had plenty of silent "dun-dun-duuuun"s that it kept me flipping through.

I skipped more than I'd have liked, though. The passages that were "uniquely Goldman" were droning and a little pointless. Either way, it was plenty thrilling as a whole, as promised. Love me some polite swordfights. ( )
  Chyvalrys | Aug 5, 2020 |
This is author and screenwriter William Goldman’s classic spoof fairy tale, which tells the story of Buttercup (the most beautiful girl in the world) and Westley (former farm boy turned swashbuckling hero) and their eternal love. Except that it is SO much more than that. There are pirates, kidnappings, death, swords, giants, princes, heroic escapes, magic and more besides. Apart from Buttercup and Westley, the main characters are Inigo Montoya and Fezzik the Giant, not to mention the numerous others, all of whom were highly entertaining in their own right.

It is framed in an unusual way – in the edition which I read, there is first of all a proper introduction by Goldman (I often skip introductions, but this is worth reading), and then a part where Goldman himself reminisces about being a young boy who had the story read to him by his father. The conceit is that Goldman claims that The Princess Bride was written by S. Morgenstern – who is in actuality entirely fictional – and he (Goldman) has merely edited it to get rid of the boring bits, and only tell the entertaining parts. Throughout the story itself, Goldman often interrupts the narrative to explain that he has cut part of the story and gives a brief synopsis of what happened in the part that he has cut. It sounds complicated, but all makes sense when you are reading it.

I actually didn’t realise quite how accomplished Goldman was – he wrote screenplays for such incredible and successful films as All The President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Misery. He also wrote several novels including Marathon Man, which was turned into an excellent film. His talent is undeniable, and his originality shines through in The Princess Bride. I am not normally a lover of fantasy fiction, which is why it took me so long to get around to reading this, but I would recommend this whether it is a genre you enjoy or not.

Truly deserving of it’s classic status. ( )
  Ruth72 | Jul 29, 2020 |
As good as the movie, same dry humor and interjections, great story. More of the story is told than in the movie. The Buttercup's Baby chapter added after the story is not nearly as good as the story is. ( )
  JohnKaess | Jul 23, 2020 |
In this book, William Goldman ably abridges S. Morgenstern's little known satire The Princess Bride. And speaking of little known authors with initials S.M., Goldman should absolutely abridge Twilight too. I couldn't help but think of Edward Cullen and Bella Thingy when Buttercup uttered that wonderful line to Westley: "I love you. I know this must come as something of a surprise, since all I’ve ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more." ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 456 (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

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Goldman, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brioschi, MassimilianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coconis, TedCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Filipetto, CeliaTranslatorsecondary 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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Canonical title
Original title
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Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.
Quotations
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
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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.
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