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text 2017-05-15 16:29
The Princess Bride - William Goldman

This is a literary treasure and one that I can not recommend more highly. Let me start by saying that prior to reading this book I had probably seen the movie version a dozen times or so and ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! I only mention this so that you know where I'm coming from in case you are not a fan of the movie as I think if you like one you will like the other and, conversely, if you didn’t like the movie, the book may not appeal to you as much.

As for the book, I was AMAZED at what a superb adaptation of the novel the movie was. Along with the Lord of the Rings trilogy and No Country for Old Men, this may be the best adaptation of a classic novel that I have ever come across. This may lead you to ask whether it is even worth it to read the book given that much of what is in the book is on the screen. My answer to that would be a resounding YES!!

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review 2017-04-16 02:00
Review: The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride: An Illustrated Edition of S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - William Goldman,Michael Manomivibul

The Princess Bride is yet another one of those classic books that “everybody” has read but that I have just now read for the first time.  I don’t think I’ve seen the movie either, although it’s possible I saw it when I was very young and just don’t remember it.  A few of the lines in the book were familiar, but that may just be because I’ve heard people quote from the movie over the years.

 

I really enjoyed this although I think, maybe a little oddly, I enjoyed the framing story the best.  I did enjoy the main story, and it held my interest, but its satire gave it a tendency to cross the line into ridiculousness.  In many ways it was like reading Pratchett’s Discworld books: entertaining and clever, but not usually the kind of story that I would get completely wrapped up in. 

 

The framing story, on the other hand, felt a little more serious, if less fantastical, and added a couple layers on top of the main story.  It was those layers that I particularly enjoyed.  I have a little more to say about that, but I’m going to put it in spoiler tags.  If there’s anybody else in the world who knows as little about the story as I did, I don’t want to rob them of the fun I had. :)

 

 

When I first started reading the book, I was worried that I’d somehow gotten the wrong book and was reading an actual abridgement.  I was reading in my Kindle, so I touched the name of Morgenstern on my screen and was immediately informed that he was a fictional author created by Goldman.  So that undoubtedly saved me some frustration in trying to find the “real” book.  :)  After that, I was completely absorbed by trying to figure out which parts of the framing story were real and which parts were fake.  I laughed several times for no other reason than because I was so confused about what (if anything) was real and what wasn’t.  Then, on top of that, there’s the implication that the main story itself was based on true events and places.  I just loved that whole aspect of it, the layer upon layer of fiction made to appear real and written about so seriously that I started to wonder if parts of it were real after all.  Google helped clear up the last of my confusion after I finished reading the book.  Assuming the info I found on Google was real, of course, and not a cleverly planted framing story for the framing story! ;)

 

(spoiler show)

 

For anybody who does read this for the first time, I have some pieces of advice:

  1. If you start the book and think you’re reading the wrong book, don’t worry, you’re not.

 

  1. If possible, get a more recent edition that includes the 25th and 30th anniversary introductions. I thought they were worth reading, and I think one or both editions may have added some material at the end also.

 

  1. But do not, under any circumstances, read those 25th and 30th anniversary introductions before you read the main book. Especially not the 30th. It’s full of spoilers, and I think it would be harder to appreciate it without having the knowledge gained while reading the book.   In particular, it answers a question you won’t know you have until you get to the end of the book, by which time you may have forgotten you were given the answer because it didn’t mean anything to you when you read it.  Fortunately, past experience has taught me to avoid reading introductions for classic books until after I’ve read the book itself.  They so often assume the reader already knows the story.

 

I’m normally reluctant to spend time watching movies, but I think I’ll watch this movie, probably tonight.  It helps that I’m on vacation this coming week, so I can surely manage to spare the time for one movie.  I always hear such great things about this one.

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review 2017-02-15 04:43
The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
The Princess Bride - William Goldman

Even though I’ve seen the movie a dozen times, it wasn’t until last week that I picked up The Princess Bride, by William Goldman. I needed something purely escapist (because I live in America and am a frustrated liberal and I read the news) to read and I couldn’t think of anything better than this book. Fortunately, the magic of The Princess Bride still works even if you already know the story back to front...

 

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.

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text 2016-11-15 19:48
Reading progress update: I've read 512 out of 512 pages.
The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - William Goldman

Review will be posted after this month's bookclub meeting.

 

In short: while I warmed up to the story by the end of the book, the movie's better. Very rare to say, and I'm kind of glad-- it just gives me another reason to like one of my favorite childhood films.

 

The 30th anniversary edition includes little snippets of unreleased sequel, Buttercup's Baby, and they are both suspenseful and hilarious. Hopefully Goldman will publish it someday.

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text 2016-11-15 09:56
Reading progress update: I've read 264 out of 512 pages.
The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - William Goldman

I have new appreciation for Cary Elwes' sheer charisma in the film. Westley is such an unenjoyable Mary Sue character here. If I weren't reading this for my IRL book club, I would have DNF'd it a hundred pages ago.

 

Prince Humperdinck has somehow managed to become my favorite character in the meanwhile. 

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