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The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure (Ballantine Reader's Circle) [Paperback]

William Goldman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sep 2003 Ballantine Reader's Circle
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.

Eventually to be adapted for the silver screen, THE PRINCESS BRIDE was originally a beautifully simple, insightfully comic story of what happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince in the world--and he turnsout to be a son of a bitch. Guaranteed to entertain both young and old alike by combining scenes of rowsing fantasy with hilarious reality, THE PRINCESS BRIDE secures Goldman's place as a master storyteller.

From the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 429 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books Inc.; New title edition (Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345418263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345418265
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 14.2 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,314,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

First published well, in 1973 actually, this book spawned the Rob Reiner-directed cult film of the same name. It's a tongue-in-cheek fairytale of love, life, action, death and life again. Featuring the obligatory handsome Prince and supremely beautiful princess, it also boasts a Spanish sword wizard, the Zoo of Death, a chocolate-coated resurrection pill and lots of villains, who span the spectrum from evil, through even more evil to (gasp) most evil. And then there's Fezzik, the gentle giant addicted to rhyming.

William Goldman--who's won two Oscars for his screenwriting (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President's Men), and has endeared himself to dentists and their patients planetwide through his novel Marathon Man--has always claimed he merely abridged this text, extracting the "good parts" from an inventive yet wordy classic by Florinese literary superstar, S Morgenstern.

It has, however, been whispered in certain circles that Morgenstern himself is a figment of Goldman's ultra-fertile imagination. Read Goldman's original and special Anniversary introductions and make up your own mind. Oh--and don't forget his explanation as to why he's only "abridged" the first chapter of the sequel Buttercup's Baby--which appears here for the first time--and why it took him so long to get round to it.

Completely delightful, suitable for cynics and romantics alike. Suspension of disbelief optional. -- Lisa Gee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


`A swash-buckling comic fantasy fairytale adventure ... my favourite book in all the world'
-- The Princess Bride - William Goldman --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It gets better than this ? Inconcievable! 24 Mar 2001
By A Customer
A long time ago - many years before Amazon I watched the movie and really enjoyed it...several years later in a second hand bookshop I got a copy of the book...and discovered everything I'd loved in the movie - AND MORE !!. Unlike most films they had stayed very true to the book - which is billed as 'the good parts version'. I'm now on my third copy - it gets lent to nearly everyone I know (at some time) - when they stop laughing I have to borrow it back from them and tell them to get their own (this is how I'm up to my third copy). Even if you've seen the film (which means you have the characters already firmly in your imagination as looking that way) lets face it your imagination can do things an awful lot cheeper than a movie budget - and in some cases probably an awful lot more believable ! Gives you an awful lot more background on Buttercup (and the ratings for the most beautiful women in the world), Inego, Fezzick, Westley and all the other characters that if you've seen the film you wil already love. And also the reason that someone is REALLY trying to start a war (which is not explained in the film - but I wont go into the who and why's here incase you haven't seen it !). Full of great catchphrases including the 'possibly' imortal 'Hallo my name is Inego Montoya - you killed my father prepare to die '. This is one book which does live up to everything it promises to be full of swordfights, logic games, dramatic locations - the zoo of death and the fire swamp to name only two. Heroes, Villans, a beautiful princess, miracles and of course....true love One of the VERY early (1970's - after Douglass Adams but before Pratchett and Asprin) attempts to mix humour and fantasy - and all those fairy stories you got told as children. It hasn't dated and may well have impoved with age...infact having talked about it I MUST read my copy again..I dont think I'm doing anything else I cant put off for an hour or two...... #heading for the bookshelves# Francesca
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This is one of the very best books I've ever read.

A friend of mine who doesn't read had told me to watch the movie years ago, and I had politely nodded and told him that I would look into it, but all along was thinking "Princess Bride? CHICK FLICK!! No way am I going to bother with that." Years later I was moseying through one of my favourite book stores and saw the book on display there with a rapturous "Staff favourite" mini-review underneath it. I didn't have any pressing reads at the time, so picked it up alongside a few other books.

When I did eventually get around to opening it, I had two or three laugh out loud moments in the first twenty pages, and didn't put the book down until I'd finished it, other than to send a text message to my friend half way through to tell him that it was the best book I'd ever read.

The story is of the great love between Buttercup (the beautifulest girl in the world) and Westley (a farm boy with some surprising talents). There are pirates, torture, giants, ROUS's, a battle of wits to the death, sword fights, the BEST kissing scene imaginable, miracles...

I have bought this book for so many people, all of whom have (at the very least) liked it, and am hanging out for my niece to turn old enough to appreciate me reading it to her.

Pick it up and enjoy yourself!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
This is a post-modern fairy tale that manages to mix daft fun with a passionate and poignant outlook on life and a thorough knowledge of renaissance fencing technique.
If you've enjoyed the film and are wondering about the book, then you are in for a treat and a surprise. The film (which is also great fun) is really no more than an excerpt from the book, which is part William Goldman autobiography, part 'hot' fairy tale, and part semi-historical novel.
'The Princess Bride' is a book within a narrative within a book. It's partly the story of how William Goldman tried to bond with his son. It's partly the (fake) story of how William Goldman himself learnt to read as a result of his grandfather reading him Morgenstern's classic story 'The Princess Bride'. And it's partly the story of the Princess Bride herself, with wise-cracking commentary by Goldman.
The book is seamless. You can't establish where Goldman is gently teasing and where he is revealing his soul. In any case, the writing is utterly captivating.
This is a book which works well on so many different levels. Whether you are a fan of humour, fairy-tale or swordplay, or all three or none of them, you are still certain to find a level at which this book demands your full attention until all the pages are done.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best. 10 Dec 2001
By A Customer
What can be said about The Princess Bride? I've never been able to read a book so many times. I'm still not sure what it is about the book that does it. Goldman puts it best when he says "nobody writes books like that anymore." He was of course referring to the "prepare to die" scene. And i think thats what makes the book so good. It does take us back into the romantic age.
As a young boy what can be more exciting than duelling dukes, saving damsels, storming castles and doing it all in a cool black outfit? And as a young girl what can more thrilling than true loves rescuing each other, beutiful princesses and dashing heroes?
Yes the book has all this and more. When you read this book you become the characters. When a book does this you know it's something special.
Everybody should read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Books on kindle
Great idea not having to wait for if to arrive to start reading, love my amazon kindle paper lite present.
Published 1 month ago by AMTGLM
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read... as good as the movie!
Loved this book! Having been a fan of the Princes Bride film for many years, the book didn't disappoint. I hope William Goldman gets to finishing Buttercup's Baby!
Published 1 month ago by laura montgomery
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not the book of the movie
If you are looking for a book of the movie this isn't for you.
William Goldman writes a very witty and very clever story in which he appears to be writing an abridged novel by... Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. Joy
5.0 out of 5 stars Just read it - don't hesitate - do it
A book to make you happy. Made into a film that makes you laugh out loud. Read/watch, enjoy. You will not regret it if you have a romantic bone in your body.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars To enjoy you must suspend disbelief
A fascinating and compelling insight into the wonderful imagination of William Goldman. A completely out of this world, fairy tale, fantasy - pantomime story yet the characters... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Valerie Thame
4.0 out of 5 stars Just like the film
I really enjoyed this book even if the format is somewhat strange. However as I have enjoyed watching the film many times, and also am a great fan of the soundtrack, it reads... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ange Poulton
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book Ever?
This is possibly one of the best books ever written and is perfect for sharing with your kids. (Especially if they're feeling under the weather!)
Published 3 months ago by VeeJay L
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical
Funny, anarchic and truly absorbing. It's amazing to discover how close an adaptation the film was to the original book - which would probably explain its popularity. Read more
Published 4 months ago by jsm28
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
This book is fabulous. I have loved the film for years and the book just gives me that little bit more detail that makes it so good. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie is better.
At time I got weary of the narrator in this book and just wanted to be in the story. Sometimes the writing seemed a little heavy-handed, but the story is fun, at time remarkably... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Frank
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