9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent... some people are so stupid.
This is an excellent book, as long as you don't go into it wanting a conventional fantasy novel. At some points during the reading, you will realize that Goldman did not write the book intending for it to be a pure fantasy, but perhaps more of a satire of reality. His entire point in writing it was to show readers that they are in the real world. The characters and...
Published on Dec 22 2003 by T. P. Stewart
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, but I'd have to say I prefer the movie
In reading the novel form of The Princess Bride, rather than Fred Savage, we are treated to bits of William Goldman's childhood, his woes with his editor, and in the foreword and afterword, his family life. I really would have liked it better without, at the least, the bits of the editor and his family.
Goldman portrays his wife and son in less than flattering...
Published on June 21 2003 by Rann
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent... some people are so stupid.,
This is an excellent book, as long as you don't go into it wanting a conventional fantasy novel. At some points during the reading, you will realize that Goldman did not write the book intending for it to be a pure fantasy, but perhaps more of a satire of reality. His entire point in writing it was to show readers that they are in the real world. The characters and happenings are so far fetched because Goldman wants us to realize that life isn't a fantasy.
If you've seen the movie, read the book to get more out of the story. If you haven't seen the movie, read the book and then see it. If you've already read the book, why are you looking at reader reviews?--I mean--buy the movie.
Oh yeah... there are plenty of reviews here saying that this book is so horrible because Goldman cut hundreds of pages out of S. Morgenstern's original Princess Bride. Do not pay any attention to these reviews... these people have been misinformed. S. Morgenstern was a fictional writer invented by Goldman. He is just a character in Goldman's story. This story is not abridged, as it may seem(The 'Good Parts' Version). It is just a tale that Goldman made up, or maybe his father made it up, or maybe his father's father... the point is, the tale was never WRITTEN anywhere else until Goldman came along, so you are not missing anything in reading THIS version. Please do not go and try to find S. Morgenstern's original... that would be an impossibility, as well as a waste of time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another pulp novel (spoilers!),
A witty and elegant subversion of the fantasy genre.
It astonishes me that some of the reviewers below never figured out that the book of which this one purports to be an abridgment /doesn't exist./ There never was an S Morgenstern, nor were there kingdoms of Florin and Guilder (the names of medieval coins, not countries.)
/The Princess Bride/ is a novel about the relationship between a sick boy and his grandfather. The grandfather emigrated to America as an adult. During the boy's confinement, the grandfather reads him their fictitious ancestral country's national novel, cutting and reworking as he goes to transform it into a straightforward adventure story the boy will enjoy. The problem of teaching a child born in America to identify with his national heritage is a difficult one; after all, people from the old country smell funny, eat weird things, talk with accents, and don't know anything about baseball. I imagine that Goldman himself comes from an immigrant family. In that light, this book is in part his response as an adult to his memories growing up, and it is warm and engaging.
But Goldman manages not to let this turn into treacle by combining it with an adventure story so good that they made a movie out of it. The scenes with Fred Savage in the movie are not extraneous, they're vital to the book's unique quality: naive self-consciousness. It's a book that's basically about someone reading a book (take that, postmodernism,) but it uses the metatextual conceit to add to the story by giving it a deeper social significance rather than to detract from it by making it the object of games with meaning. We accept both the realistic world of a boy coming to terms with his family and heritage, and the fantastic world of ROUSes, Holocaust Cloaks, and Humperdinck's life-suctioning machine.
You can read this book simply for the adventure story, which is what many people appear to have done, but in my opinion, there's a better novel written around the adventure story than in it. Whichever you prefer, I suppose.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death cannot stop True Love-all it can do is delay it awhile,
By A Customer
And I'm taking this book with me when I go! I was a huge fan of the movie for years, before I came across the novel, and now my favorite film is far and away my favorite book as well.
(Unfortunately, I gave my blue copy to a guy that turned out to be a real jerk...but that's a different story all together...)
This fairy-tale is the perfect blend of romance, farce, adventure, fantasy, humor and character development. Indescribably wondermous.
I beg you in the name of all sacred books, *PLEASE* get yourself a copy of this book! Read it to yourself, read it to your significant other, read it to your children, read it to shut-ins, read it to strangers on the street! It doesn't matter...just read it! Share the joy that *is* the Princess Bride. Share the joy of Westley and Buttercup and Inigo and Fezzik and Vizzini and Prince Humperdink and Count Rugen and the Fire Swamp and Miracle Max and Valerie and the white horses and the Pit of Despair...
This is what people mean when they talk about wonderful stories. And after all, what girl isn't looking for her Farm Boy to simply answer "As you wish."?
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No age limit required,
The Princess Bride was released in '74, way back when I was 14 years old. My father tossed it to me after he had finished it and told me I would like it. I liked it so much I was one of the many (suckers) who sent away for the reunion scene between Westley and Buttercup that Goldman offered on page 153 of the paperback. Heck, I was 14, I wanted more of the story, and if all it was going to cost me was a stamp....
I'm 48 years old now, and I still read this book every once in a while; it never gets old. Sometimes I find myself skipping ahead a little, then I remember Fezziks logic "fool, fool, back to the beginning is the rule."
No matter the genre of books you prefer, be it horror, mystery, sci-fi, and no matter your age, you must, MUST read this book. It has been in my top 10 since I was 14. My 8 year old son wants to read it which I think is fantastic, because he'll have 6 years on my first reading it.
4.0 out of 5 stars I totally fell for it... for a while.,
I loved the movie (1987) so when I saw the book in my favourite used bookstore, I thought I'd pick it up to see how it compared. For that person who doesn't know "The Princess Bride", the plot centres around the kidnapping of the most beautiful woman in the world by her fiancé so he can start a war with the neighbouring country. That kind of makes it sound like an intriguing drama but it's actually a romantic comedy. So, now you know.
I was very surprised at how well the movie followed the book. I suppose that is the result of Goldman's history as a screen writer ("Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"). Of course, he also wrote the screenplay for "The Princess Bride". The book, however, has much more of the S. Morgenstern background story. According to Goldman, the book was actually a history of the country of Gilder written by S. Morgenstern read to him as a child by his father.
This is a great book for young readers as well as older, cynical readers. The humour is both obvious and subtle at times. The wit is variously sarcastic, satirical and ascerbic. The S. Morgenstern device is creative and adds an another dimension to the story that makes a good book better, as well as sucks the younger reader into Goldman's constructed reality.
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely deserves its status as a classic!,
A lot of people have seen the film The Princess Bride and would know of the book from the film. The movie has for long possessed a cult-like status, being seen as funny, warm, irreverent and full of classic "love and adventure". All these things are true about the book, only more so. Like the film, the story follows the strife of the love between Westle and Buttercup, as Buttercup is set to marry the prince of Florin and all the circumstances in the world seem to be set against the true lovers from being reunited. The book has all the adventure elements of the movie such as the Cliffs of Insanity and the Rodents Of Unusual Size. It has more detail though and adds much more to the story, sepcially in the Zoo section of which the movie only took bits from as well as the backstories of the characters. The other major difference is that the wrapper story, instead of a grandfather reading to a sick grandson, is that the book is Goldman's abridgement of a classic Florinese work.
The Princess Bride can be looked at from some kind of post-modern tribute to adventure stories, full of deliberate and often humorous anachronisms. But I think it's so much more than that. It seems to be the only book I've read that's both a great member of a genre (the cloack and dagger, adventure-filled, swashbuckling romance) as well as a parody of the same genre. It's amazing how it's pulled off - on the one hand it's cynical about happy endings and the classic elements of adventure stories and sends them up in an amazingly funny way and yet reading it, you still feel a part of you yearning for those classic elements and finding them marvelously present in the book.
And of course, the characters are truly larger than life, from Inigo the Spanish swordsman who has dedicated his life to finding the man who killed his father to Fezzik, the slightly-slow-witted giant with a brand heart, sense of humour and love of rhymes.
Many readers in the reviews were annoyed by Goldman's whole wrapper of the book being written by Morgenstern as well as the 30 page intros and digressions into his fictional struggles to get the book published. An unbelievably high number of people fell for the whole thing and are currently hunting for the "unabridged" Princess Bride by Morgenstern! Personally, I enjoyed the digressions very much. I think without them it might have just ended up as a more conventional adventure story and not the cult classic it is. There's something about the whole appeal to an older/"greater" writer as well as some mockery of the world of publishing and manuscripts (and Morgenstern's digressions!) that adds to the cynical-yet-not-cynical nature of the book. I think the reason is that the book is a story and it's also about stories and storytelling and because it has so many layers, all of them warm and filled with Goldman's quirky visions, that everyone can get a lot out of it. So don't expect a regular, uninterrupted narrative!
Finally, this edition has Goldman's recent and brief return to the book, the first chapter of Buttercup's Baby (as Goldman was only allowed to do one chapter due to legal reasons, read the book!). In it, he picks up (sort of...) where the story left off and presents some fragmented visions of the characters from both past and present. I guess it's understandable that some fans wouldn't be happy as they might feel emotionally attached to the classic, which also feels like a complete-in-itself work. However, I read the whole thing for the first time (including Buttercup's Baby) over two days recently and it was actually quite good to get that little bit extra about the characters. I think if people saw the book as the classic but the supplement as quite a meaningful addition to our knowledge of the characters (especially Inigo) then it wouldn't seem so "sacriligeous".
This is the favourite book of many people and while it's not my absolute favourite, I think it's beyond superficial rank claims - just a really special novel.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly an epiphany�but definitely entertaining.,
First of all, the whole idea of the "good parts" version of a classic text is hilarious. I wish there was a good parts version of some of the real classics...Goldman's parenthetical statements and commentaries about the original text are what make this book worth reading. His creative comments about the academic interpretations (and his subsequent translations into real people ideas/language) are down right hilarious. Anyone who has ever been up for thesis review or worked in an academic environment can appreciate this to some extent.
I especially loved his little comments here and there about the sexes and cultural mores, like his statement about hairdressers and how they have existed from the beginning of time. He says that Adam was the first hairdresser but that the translators of the King James version of the bible did their best to muddle that fact. Too funny!
His clever wit and the way he so adroitly bleeds the traditional fairytale of excessive romanticism is great. The movie does not do this book justice. Who would have thought of a princess who never bathes and has goobers behind her ears??? And Buttercup's conversations with people (especially her first conversations with Westly and then the first encounter with Humperdinck) are curt, practical, and free of that overly emotional, utterly feminine heroine stereo-type (for fairytale princesses, anyway). There is a flavor of underlying bitterness in this story and I don't think it's a great fiction to say that Goldman himself has had less than a fairytale love life. His dedication to the dire (not so happily ever after) reality of romantic love in the context of "good parts" is the ultimate satirical element of the story.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars are not enough!,
By A Customer
When I purchased this book I had heard of the movie, The Princess Bride, although I had never seen it. And I had no idea it was even based upon a book until I saw it in my local bookstore. I bought the book, came home and started reading it and almost immediately came to the Amazon website to order the "original" by S. Morgenstern. I thought, well I'd rather read the original and then I'll go back and read William Goldman's abridgement. Oh brother, it was only then I realized I'd been fooled just like so many other readers!
This book is one of the best I've ever read. The way that William Goldman has made it a story in a story is so ingenious and so very, very funny. I laughed out loud so many times while reading it. The tale about the beautiful Buttercup and her true love, Westley, and their rocky road to happiness is a wonderful story of adventure all on it's own. But when you factor in Mr. Goldman's narrative it makes it a rare treat indeed. His wit is outstanding!! So much of the book is tongue-in-cheek humor that it is easy to be fooled. And the humor even extends to the book reviews as there is included in the first pages of the book a review from a bogus Professor Shog Bongiorno who is supposedly an authority on the writings of S. Morgenstern. And of course there is no such author!
If you have never read this book you are missing a delightful experience. There aren't too many books that I will read more than once but this will definitely be one of them! :)
5.0 out of 5 stars Deprived Scots!!!,
This review is from: The Princess Bride (Paperback)
I am a Canadian living in Scotland right now and I was absolutly shocked when I came over here to discover that no one had ever heard of the Princess Bride! HELLO, its only the best story on the planet, and we even made it into a film for you so you wouldn't have to go to all the bother of reading anything. No one in my class had ever heard of Inigo Montoya, "you killed my father, prepare to die", or Fezzik, the giant who liked rhyming things, or Vizzini the evil Scillian, or Buttercup or Westly or Prince Humperdink or Count Rugan or...anybody!!! No wonder they just go out drinking all the time (sorry about that).
So I'm writing this to say - if you haven't read this book, you haven't lived. Don't talk to me about the best book ever until you've read this one, don't talk about favorite fairy tales or love stories or anything like that until you've cracked the cover of the Princess Bride. Then watch the movie, if you must, but read the book first.
My dad owns an old ancient copy of the book, with yellowed pages and no cover. I devoured it at only nine years old, after having watched the film a million times. (The film is great, but once you've read the book, you see that the written word is much, much greater.) I've devoured the novel again at least twice a year since. This summer I invested in a new copy, becasue many of the old pages had fallen out and it was starting to crumble. At fifteen and a half, I still love this book. Its the kind of story you can't help but. You never never grow tired of it, never grow out of it.
It's one of my secrect ambitions to read the unabridged version some time. Just to say I have. But I have a feeling that it won't replace the real story. Just like tofu can never replace chicken, no other book can ever take this one's place.
So once again, I say it: READ THIS BOOK. Whether you already have, or have never even heard of it, order a copy now and you'll never look back. All other books take second place to this classic.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic story about the art of storytelling,
Goldman's 1973 novel has more "storytelling" than "story" to it. Although the popular movie version makes the adventures of Buttercup, Westley, and Prince Humperdink familiar to the reader, the novel might surprise them. The true story here is about a semi-fictional William Goldman (with fake wife and child) struggling to come to terms with the personal meaning locked inside a lumbering satire from wholly fictitious author S. Morgenstern. The fake "Morgenstern" novel _Princess Bride_, so Goldman inform us, is a satire on monarchy that he has stripped down into a romance on true love. Reading the novel, you can both embrace the innocence of its love story and enjoy the irony of how love rarely works in reality.
The movie adaptation believes in true love much more than the book does, mostly because Buttercup and Westley come across as sweeter, smarter characters than they do here, where Goldman plays them into fairy tale devices (Buttercup seems quite naïve and foolish). The multiple layers of the book make for a fascinating, and often damn hilarious, narrative experience. Rarely has story shown so many faces to a reader through one volume. Worth many re-readings because of its complex layers.
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The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman (Paperback - Oct. 1 2007)
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