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The Totally Geeky Guide to the Princess Bride [Paperback]

Maryann Johanson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Aug. 1 2006
Do you know the Three Terrors of the Fire Swamp? Have you fallen victim to one of the Classic Blunders? If you'd love to surrender to the Dread Pirate Westley, then you need this geeky deconstruction of the cult-favorite movie 'The Princess Bride,' by popular and respected film critic and geek-watcher MaryAnn Johanson. In her breezy analysis, Johanson explores why this delightful film -- full of fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, and miracles -- has endeared itself to millions of moviegoers. From its unusual structure to its archetypal characters, its wonderful quotability to its outrageous humor, Johanson delves into the surprising depth and profound wisdom to be found in this wildly entertaining adventure/fantasy/romance/comedy. MaryAnn Johanson has been called "one of online's finest" film critics by Variety. Her pop culture thinkery appears at, which Time magazine has praised for its "snarky, well-informed commentary."

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The Totally Geeky Guide to the Princess Bride + The Princess Bride (20th Anniversary Widescreen Edition)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is This a Kissing Book? May 1 2009
No this is not a kissing book! It is however a must read for any hardcore Princess Bride fans out there. MaryAnn Johanson gives us the 'okay' to be complete and utter PBG's (Princess Bride Geeks) So if you are like my family and me and find yourself quoting The Princess Bride daily you will love the insight into one of the greatest cult movies of all time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
47 of 55 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you are a fan of the book... don't buy this July 13 2008
By M. Kooiman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed. I had selected the next book for our monthly book club and it was The Princess Bride". I was looking for a good reference book that would aid in the discussion of "The Princess Bride", saw this online and bought it. It wasn't a good reference book. Instead, it was chapter after chapter of the author repeating her favorite lines and scenes from the movie. There were a few snippets of famous people talking about the movie including some from the actors in the movie. I didn't find anything else in the book vaguely interesting. Anyone who's read "The Princess Bride" and seen the movie knows the movie is good but is missing some of the best of the book (i.e. the zoo of death, Inigo and Fezzig's history and what Miracle Max REALLY thinks is as good as true love and it's not an MLT).

I read the first few chapters of the "Totally Geeky Guide to the Princess Bride" and couldn't read any further. I skimmed through the rest, read the quotes from the actors,etc. and then donated the book to a charity book sale. It was just a big advertisement for the movie and, think about it, if I bought this book then I'm already a fan of the movie and/or the book.

If you're a big fan of the movie, I recommend you buy The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure and read it. William Goldman wrote this book first and later the screen play that everyone has come to love.
56 of 73 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was dissapointed... Sept. 14 2006
By Daniel delSobral - Published on
with this book. My sister gave it to me because she knew I was a big fan of the movie.

The book doesn't really have a point - to me, it came across as a collection of arguments why the author thought Princess Bride was a great movie - almost like a term paper written about the Princess Bride that had been published.

This wouldn't have been a problem, except the author's reasons for thinking the movie was great were different from mine. Her thesis seemed to be that the movie's story about true love resonates better because it is told within the context of cynical characters and cinematic convention defying screenplay. I actually sort of agree with her point, but I think she misses three more important reasons: it has an *excellent* cast, it has a great soundtrack, and the screenplay is very funny.

I'm interested in what other people think about the book, but for me, it fell flat. I don't feel like I learned anything new from it, and for whatever reason, the author seems to have a different basis of appreciation for Princess Bride than I do, so most of the book seemed off-target.
18 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My review...again Oct. 5 2006
By Grim Reality - Published on
I sent in a review for this a couple weeks ago, but it was never posted.

I'll try again, but I wonder why they never posted the first one.

I've been familar with Mary Ann for awhile now, from reading her Blog and Film reviews. I knew going in what to expect.

She writes from the perspective of the "true" geek. Someone who spends far too much analyzing a movie like The Princess Bride. I enjoyed the book, and her take on things, but it is not for everyone. My wife, a person who loves the movie as much as I do, put the book down after expecting something "lighter"(aka not geeky, despite the title).

Mary Ann writes from a well-informed perspective. I like that.

Personally, I never thought this much about the movie before. I just liked it for all the base reasons. It's fun, smart, witty, etc. It was interesting to look at it on a deeper level.
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect companion to the film July 3 2014
By Bluejay's Books - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
MaryAnn Johanson brings to this book all the wit, insight, and geeky enthusiasm for film that readers of her website are familiar with. It's a fun exploration of the film that begins with its obvious charms -- its quotability, its mix of romance and adventure, its self-awareness -- before digging deeper into its philosophical connections to Joseph Campbell and the Theater of the Absurd (but in a geeky, engaging, non-snobbish way!). Johanson gets what makes "The Princess Bride" tick, and her insight into the exquisite balance that the film strikes between cynicism and idealism is well worth the read. The last few sections are also quite a romp, as Johanson explores "The Princess Bride's" kinship with other films, retells the story of Casablanca using only quotes from "Bride," and imagines a meeting between ALL the Men in Black: Westley, Johnny Cash, and Agents Jay and Kay. If you love "The Princess Bride," if you find yourself quoting from it randomly throughout your day, and if you love discussing with fellow fans why the movie is so awesome, then you'll love this book.
3.0 out of 5 stars its ok Feb. 6 2014
By Brandi - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
the introduction is the funniest part. after that, it turns into a editors review and symbolism and gets a bit boring. But still there are some interesting behind the scenes things to learn such as comments from Mandy Petinka (Spelling?) and stories of Andre the Giant.
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