The Princess Bride by William Goldman


The Story:

“Life isn’t fair, it’s just fairer than death, that’s all.”

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.

My Thoughts:

3.5/5 stars.

I have never been this conflicted about a book in my life. While I geeked out over the original Princess Bride, I cringed whenever Goldman narrated.

So let’s focus on the meat of the story:
The Princess Bride proved cannon to its movie. Oh wait, or is it the other way around? Nevertheless, I adored almost ever scene in the heart of the story. I was taken back to moments of my childhood where I laughed hysterically over the movie. It was the literal movie in book form. (Well, for the most part it was). I grew up with this film, and it was always a family favorite.
There were some differences, of course. The book revealed more backstory for the characters like Buttercup, Inigo, and Fezzik. I came to like the characters more BECAUSE of their characterization. They became more of intimate friends to me than happenstance, somewhat friends, as they appear in the movie. Also, there wasn’t a Zoo of Death in the movie, as well. I feel like because of this “new” structure, Humperdink played more of the villain. He was cruel, brutal, and savage, but in the movie, he was just a spoiled rich kid. I did not mind the contrast, or should I say the softening of the characters in the movie. They were two different interpretations for two different types of audiences.

Now let’s discuss internal monologs:
Here’s my own internal dialog about the internal monolog-I really could’ve done without Goldman’s life story. He whined; he complained. His narration was so unappealing that by the end of the story, I gave up the book. Yes, I admit it. I did not finish the book, but I read through 90% of it. I just could not tolerate Goldman’s voice. I was not expecting, but that is not what made me dislike it so. I just wished he stopped with his story. The Princess Bride is not his story, and I think by now, the audience cares less and less about his personal journey with the story. That’s not what they here for anymore. Now, since the movie has become a cult film, the probably want to reread the original story with all its quirks and whistles. Yet, Goldman rambles on and on about unimportant things. Maybe, this issue was self-imposed. I could have chosen another edition without his voice, but honestly, I did not anticipate that he would be talking so much. This, and this alone is the reason why this book has 3.5 stars.

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