The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Genres: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction
Maturity Level: 2
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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.
This is one of the very few cases where I actually enjoy the movie more than the book, which, if anything, is a testament to how fantastic the movie is, because this is easily one of the funniest books I have ever read.
I will admit, I still harbor some resentment toward William Goldman for the first 35 pages (although I should probably be blaming my own gullibility), though it has been years since that public realization of my mistake. In hindsight it’s obvious since the author’s name is not listed as S. Morgenstern that the introduction is ALSO fiction, but this is the girl who will literally check to see if gullible is written on the ceiling, so…
The writing is so clever that I frequently would find myself laughing out loud. The characters are, of course, completely ridiculous, as are their interactions with one another. But despite all that it still has the genuine sense of an adventure novel. It’s a real page turner. (This time I finished in about 36 hours.) It’s a story that you love to read over and over again, never getting tired of the bantering or the sarcasm. Mostly I’m disappointed it’s over. Again.
*** Readers will note that “this time” was in 2014. Man, I need to re-read this one. ***