The Princess Bride Review
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The Princess Bride (in movie form) is one of those cross-genre films that everyone loves—it’s a comedic, action-packed fairytale about true love (or should I say “twoo wuv”?). I must say I count it among my favorites.

Well, the book’s even better than the movie.

I loved the characters of Wesley (farm boy-turned-pirate, hero, and romantic male lead), Buttercup (beautiful farm girl-turned-princess, heroine, and romantic female lead), Inigo (best sword fighter in the world), and Fezzik (best fighting giant in the world), as well as Vezzini, the evil hunter Prince Humperdinck and all the rest. Therefore, I was excited to find them more fully explored in the book. For example, you get to hear more about how Inigo and Fezzik grew up and
why Humperdinck built The Zoo of Death. This is truly great stuff.

Even more fun is that the whole story has this supposedly autobiographical framework around it in which William Goldman (quite convincingly) tells you how he came to “abridge” the book for a general audience. He explains that his dad used to read him this book by S. Morganstern when he was a kid, and tells how when he grew up he discovered that his dad had only read him the “good parts” of the book—that the “original” was unreadable. Goldman goes into great detail about his supposed abridgement work, and peppers the story throughout with his comments on the material he “left out.”

Even if it can get a bit self-conscious at times, this stuff is hilarious and it does a great job of poking fun of the hard-to-read aspects of literature. Besides, it’s a great story, and the frameworking was so realistic that my cynical self was almost convinced.

Oh, and make sure to pick up the 25th Anniversary Edition—there’s a first chapter from the “long-lost sequel,” Buttercup’s Baby. The chapter itself is good, but not nearly as amusing as the long drawn-out story about how that abridgement supposedly came to be. All I’ll say is that it involved a meeting with Stephen King, who felt that Goldman had “cut out the soul” of the “classic story” in the original novel…

If the movie is worth owning your own copy (and it definitely is), then this book deserves a place of honor on a shelf very nearby.

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