Publishing Info: January 12, 1974 by Random House Publishing Group
Genres: Adult, Comedy/Satire, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: June 5, 2012
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.
Breaking It Down Further: William Goldberg retells the abridged version of his favorite book THE PRINCESS BRIDE, cutting out unnecessary parts and adding in a little commentary here and there. It tells the story of former milkmaid Buttercup who has been chosen by Prince Humperdink to be his new bride as she is rightfully the most beautiful woman in the world. She agrees because she thinks her one true love from back on the farm — her farm boy — Westley has died as a prison of the Dread Pirate Roberts’ ship Revenge. Along the way, she is kidnapped by a gang of thieves and then reclaimed by “the man in black” while Humperdink tries to recapture the Princess in order to marry her. Trickery, fencing, fighting, true love, chaos, death, and of course pure satire and comedy round out the book’s charm.
Well, seeing as The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies of all time, I had a lot of expectations for the book. And you know what? I was pleasantly surprised!
I felt like the movie followed the book remarkably well. The only differences between the movie and the book were very minor and didn’t really affect the story line. We just got a little more background on some of the characters and obviously some scenes were truncated to shorten movie time. Good news for me since I loved the movie!
I wasn’t really a fan of the first section of the book which I felt was a little bit of unnecessary details about Goldman’s life at the time. It mainly dealt with his family and a trip out to California, but had no relevance to the story or the anecdotes interspersed in the book.
Overall, I loved it! I was actually really surprised at how closely the movie script followed the book. I figured since it was a Rob Reiner movie, most of the satire, quick-witted jabs and silly scenes were a product of the movie. Nope, that all came from the book. I spotted several of my favorite quotes almost word for word and it really made me like the movie that much more as well. Definitely stayed true to the whole tone and plot of the book.
And was there ever a real version by S. Morgenstern? I’m not quite sure, but I think that was all made up for the book. I think… Pretty sure this is just Goldman’s story and that was all part of the plot, but they’re so convincing! What do I know.
If you’re a fan of the movie (or haven’t read/watched either yet), you should definitely read the book!