- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; New edition edition (20 Oct. 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0747545189
- ISBN-13: 978-0747545187
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 909 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Princess Bride Paperback – Abridged, 20 Oct 1999
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'One of the most laconic, tightly-plotted tales of mythical morality you'll ever read, an anti-establishment satire disguised as a love story, more of a scary tale than a fairy tale' (Uncut)
'There's nothing fluffy about The Princess Bride. The rocket-powered narrative tricks you without being merely tricksy, and is both modern and timeless' (Neon)
'A funny thriller for readers who are about ten years of age or wish they were ... Readers of a nervous disposition should be prepared to skim rapidly over the Zoo of Death episode or stick to fiction meant for grown-ups' (Spectator)
'A spoof fairytale ... Terrific' (Daily Telegraph)
Classic swashbuckling adventure story for children and adults alike, featuring pirates, giants and all sorts of beastsSee all Product description
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The first sword-fight alone is fantastic - pay close attention to how easily Mandy Patinkin and Cary Elwes perform some of their moves. The scene is clearly an homage to earlier swash-bucklers but it does it better - note how the director has made it clear that it's performed on a set, just like the swash-bucklers of old!
Anyway, it's fun for young and old alike.
At its heart we have a fun romp of a fantasy novel, and as the synopsis says it has a little bit of everything.
But for me it’s the way the story is presented which takes it to the next level. William Goldman claims to have take a beloved story from his childhood and edited it down to only the good bits, with brilliant commentary scattered throughout.
Overall this was a really fun read. And it’s about time I try out the movie!
It's been a while since I saw the film so some of the finer plot points I'd forgotten which made the overall story more fun for me as some bits were still a surprise. The tone of the book was much like the film, irreverent and flippant, with constant asides in brackets about random things. The romping adventure plot was still just as much fun and most of the characters got more backstory and development than in the film which made it a richer experience overall.
Sadly I felt this version of the novel was let down overall by the Buttercup's Baby sequence at the end. It just didn't work for me, way too much fictional reality where the author wrangled with the Morgenstern estate, met with Stephen King, and so on. That all really dragged for me. The ratio of asides to actual story was also far too high so I didn't really follow what little story there was very well. I also just didn't like the story very much, sadly.
But still, that didn't dim my enjoyment for the main work. My recommendation would be to not bother reading Buttercup's Baby if you ever get a version that includes it, as far as I'm concerned it adds nothing of real value or enjoyment.
TL:DR version - if you love the movie, you'll love the book too.
In the film, a grandfather reads the book to his grandson, skipping out the boring bits to the tale of high adventure that he thinks the boy will enjoy. In the book, we see this as an autobiography of either (and both) Goldman being read the book by his father and he reading the book to is son.
For a while you do actually believe that Morgenstern’s Princess Bride is a real book, and you think about trying to track it down in some secondhand bookshop somewhere. It’s a clever idea that makes you believe its an actual abridgement in which Goldman presents the ‘good parts’ version of an older story through tales of how he adapted it.
Where the book follows either the fairytale or the grandfather/grandson scenes of the film the book every bit as good, and the introduction is very entertaining. As the book progresses, I do feel that Golding gets a bit carried away with his notes on the text, none more obviously than in the concluding section that follows the main story where he satarises the Hollywood obsession with sequels. The ‘Buttercup’s Baby section doesn’t really seem to add anything much to an otherwise brilliant book.
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