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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

Review: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - William Goldman

This is a difficult book to rate. If you are a fan of the movie ~ who isn't?! You will be hearing Cary Elwes saying, "As you wish," and Mandy Patinkin shouting, "I am Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." Scenes from the movie, which closely mirror the novel, will flash through your head as you're reading. Since Goldman wrote the screenplay, this is one of the best movie adaptations you could hope for.

I just couldn't separate my feelings from the movie from my feelings for the book, which made me want to rate it 5-stars. After all, The Princess Bride is one of those movies that halts all channel surfing, should be watched once per year, and is entertaining to all ages. How can you not love it? It's inconceivable. 

On the other hand, every time a scene that is not in the movie was taking place, I couldn't help thinking, "Well, this isn't adding anything to the story. I'm glad this didn't make the cut." If Goldman's novel is the "good parts" from the Mortgenstern classic, the movie is the "really good parts." The intermittent paragraphs involving Goldman's discussion of his fake abridgment just didn't do anything for me. I found them boring and distracting. I get that they were supposed to add to his unique brand of humor, but I found myself skimming each time one of them came up.

The ending is abrupt and disappointing. Unless you have an edition with the extra "Buttercup's Baby" tacked on to the end. Then it is also disturbing. 

If you haven't watched the movie ~ all two of you out there ~ read the book. It's probably highly entertaining if you don't know what's coming up next. If you've seen the movie and are considering reading this, just pop in that DVD instead.