The Princess Bride Paperback – Abridged, 20 Oct 1999
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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.
'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)
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Top Customer Reviews
I saw the film and loved it and thought I should give the book a go as well. Now, had it been the other way around I don't think I'd have given the film the time of day. The book is interesting but it doesn't leave you wanting more. It doesn't make you want to turn the page to find out what happens. There are times when it gets good but overall there's far too much long windedness in between those times.
I found the fact the William Goldman is pretending to be writing the abridged version of a novel by a man, S. Morgenstern, a man who never existed, never mind wrote the book, humorous. The fact that he added a fictional story, with the pretence of it actually happening, is interesting. I think it added some depth to the book as a whole. It's easy to believe it had happened, that as a kid he had pneumonia and his seemingly illiterate father read it to him. As it is an "abridged" version throughout he is constantly adding his narrative to explain what is missing from the "original." I found them to be enjoyable.
I loved Inigo Montoya. He has to be the greatest character in the book along with Fezzik. There were the two least annoying characters. Inigo was a powerful character - he had strength, he had skill, he just didn't have much knowledge and was constantly needing a leader to guide him. The same could be said for Fezzik. I suppose after a while it got a bit tiresome but nothing compared with Buttercup and Westley.Read more ›
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.
As most people will know, 'The Princess Bride' is a satirical take on fairytale tradition, `abridged' from a larger fictional work by `S. Morgenstern'. One of the real delights in the book is how convincing Goldman is about the existence of the fictional country of Florin and about Morgenstern's style as a writer. There are brilliantly executed editorial sections scattered throughout the novel detailing his decisions to cut various parts of the `original'. It really is no wonder that so many readers hit the bookshops looking for Morgenstern's version!
The story itself is famous for its brilliant wit and its cast of wonderful characters. At its heart is the story of the Princess Buttercup and her true love, the farm boy Westley. Around that heart is built a complex web involving pirates, sword-fights, an evil prince, a benevolent king, revenge, monsters and betrayal. There is a Zoo of Death and a terrifying Dread Pirate Roberts, an albino and a miracle man, giant rats and Cliffs of Insanity. Of course, I couldn't forget the wonderful trio, Vizzini the Sicilian (the criminal mastermind), Inigo the Spaniard (the master fencer) and Fezzik the Giant (the rhyming fighter), each with their own journeys to make.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having come to the movie of The Princess Bride relatively late in life (its and mine!), I didn't realise as the time that it was originally a novel. Read morePublished 14 days ago by sashaknits
Having never seen the film- which I know is many people's favourite - I came to this book with little expectation and more curiosity. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Willabella
If you don't buy this book for your children then I'm going to report you to childline.Published 27 days ago by steve
Swashbuckling hilarity of the best kind! If you've seen the film you will not be disappointed by the bookPublished 1 month ago by Bells187
Fantastic book. Not the original by morgenstein due to the omissions made by Goldman but made a lot more readable and accessible to younger readers. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Maggs
I really liked the story but did not enjoy how it was written from the narrators opinion, it upset me that he would say things like "the next chapter is really boring so I am... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Christmaslisa