Review: The Princess Bride

princess brideAuthor: William Goldman

Age: Adult/Young Adult (probably written originally for adults, but easily understandable and enjoyable for all ages)

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Comedy

Read the synopsis from Goodreads.

Have you seen the movie The Princess Bride? It doesn’t matter if your answer is yes or no, this is a book you don’t want to miss.

The Princess Bride is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read in my entire life. Goldman has a unique writing style that is completely captivating. From beginning to end, I found myself chuckling and even sometimes actually laughing out loud.

One of the reasons this book is so unique is the fact that Goldman claims it is an abridged “good parts” version of the classic by S. Morgenstern. Goldman begins the book explaining how S. Morgenstern’s book was his favorite growing up—that his father would read it to him when he was sick. When he became an adult, he read the book for himself and realized that his father had been leaving the boring parts out. Throughout “Morgenstern’s” story, Goldman adds his thoughts and explains why he “redacted” parts of the original book. (18 pages here describing possible cures for the king, 44 pages there about how the Prince acquired the animals for his personal zoo, 56 ½ pages describing Princess Noreena’s packing in preparation to visit Guilder, etc.)

But don’t worry. He sums up whatever you missed: “[F]rom a narrative point of view, in 105 pages nothing happens. Except this: ‘What with one thing and another, three years passed.’”

(In reality, there really is no book by S. Morgenstern, which completely confused me when I read this for the first time in 7th grade.)

If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll be amazed at how wonderful of an adaptation it is. It is actually quite close to the book, although the book goes into the history and backstory of the main characters which allows you to understand them better. There are also some scenes that didn’t make their way into the movie, so if you’re a fan of the film, you should definitely read The Princess Bride to know the backstories.

I’ll wrap this up with some quotes I found amusing:

“Your father is dying.”
“Drat!” said the Prince. “That means I shall have to get married.”

At 8:23 there seemed every chance of a lasting alliance starting between Florin and Guilder.
At 8:24 the two nations were very close to war.

Life isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all.

There have been five great kisses since 1642 B.C., when Saul and Delilah Korn’s inadvertent discovery swept across Western Civilization. (Before then couples hooked thumbs.)

5 out of 5 stars. If you enjoy sword fighting, romance, torture, humor, giants, evil geniuses, pirates, princesses, etc, this is a book for you.

Content Advisory:
language: 3
I counted less than 10 curse words in the entire book (h, a, s, b)
sexual: 2
some kissing, an innuendo or two
violence/gore: 3
This is a hard one to rate. Yes, there are sword fights and torture, but none of it is explained in a very gruesome way. In fact, much of it is explained humorously.
other:
Someone contemplates suicide. Again, this is not gruesome or very detailed, but it is there.

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