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The Princess Bride Hardcover – Nov 17 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 488 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Nov 17 1998
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 25 edition (Nov. 17 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034543014X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345430144
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 3.8 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 488 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #712,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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The Princess Bride is a true fantasy classic. William Goldman describes it as a "good parts version" of "S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure." Morgenstern's original was filled with details of Florinese history, court etiquette, and Mrs. Morgenstern's mostly complimentary views of the text. Much admired by academics, the "Classic Tale" nonetheless obscured what Mr. Goldman feels is a story that has everything: "Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles."

Goldman frames the fairy tale with an "autobiographical" story: his father, who came from Florin, abridged the book as he read it to his son. Now, Goldman is publishing an abridged version, interspersed with comments on the parts he cut out.

Is The Princess Bride a critique of classics like Ivanhoe and The Three Musketeers, that smother a ripping yarn under elaborate prose? A wry look at the differences between fairy tales and real life? Simply a funny, frenetic adventure? No matter how you read it, you'll put it on your "keeper" shelf. --Nona Vero



[Goldman's] swashbuckling fable is nutball funny . . . A 'classic' medieval melodrama that sounds like all the Saturday serials you ever saw feverishly reworked by the Marx Brothers." - Newsweek

"One of the funniest, most original, and deeply moving novels I have read in a long time." - Los Angeles Times " --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I looked out over the edge, down down down, and across the great Florin Channel. And, as I did, I wondered at the pure physical strength it would have taken to scale this rocky precipice, as one man with nothing but a rope, but also as a giant with three passengers strapped to his back. It happened though, as history is quick to point out, improbable though it might seem. I looked back at my two friends. I posed and made a funny face as the writer took my picture. Gerhard rolled his eyes and made a face back at me, snarky, but only in jest. Show some respect, that look seemed to say; these are the Cliffs of Insanity after all!

This is my review of The Princess Bride; the book; not the original, mind you, but William Goldman’s abridged version of S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure:

The way Gerhard always referred to The Princess Bride; the movie, you would have thought that it was a religion to him. He referenced it the way some people quote the Bible. It was amusing, but also annoying. I pointed it out to him one time, after a few drinks.

“Inconceivable!” he replied, mimicking Wallace Shawn as Vizzini; the Sicilian.

“You keep using that word,” I replied, as serious as I could be. Summoning my inner Inigo, I continued, “I do not think it means what you think it means.” My demeanor cracked then, and we both laughed. I admit, I am nearly as much a fan as he. I remember faking sick as a child, so that I could stay home from school and repeatedly watch the movie on VHS (this was after the invention of the television, but before DVD), over and over again, until I could recite, verbatim, the final confrontation between the Spaniard and the six-fingered man (“Hello,” I crooned, “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let me explain this book to you!

The Princess Bride novel formed the basis for the film of the same name. The book is very tongue-in-cheek as it pretends to be an “abridged” version of a fictional longer version by a totally made up author called “S. Morgentern.” The real author is William Goldman, who is also a screenwriter. He served as screenwriter for the Princess Bride film. The fairy tale in the book/film is a humorous adventure/love story about Buttercup and Westly in the fictional land of Florin.

The film starts with a grandfather reading “S. Morgenstern’s The Princess Bride” to his grandson. In the film, the fairy tale is punctuated by moments between the grandfather and grandson as they talk about Buttercup’s story. William Goldman’s novel is different. Instead of a grandfather/grandson set-up, Goldman has 2 Introductions and 1 epilogue (as well as many interjections in the middle of the fairy tale) whereby he describes his “life” (all made up) with his psychiatrist wife and son. In real life, Goldman has 2 daughters. There is also lots of made up stuff about fighting with Morgenstern’s estate. None of this is true, it’s just there for fun.

So now that you understand the set-up, here’s my review of the book, in a few points:

1) Buttercup’s story is similar in the film and book, but there is more backstory for the characters and some elements that are not included in the film (e.g., Prince Humperdink has a “Death Zoo” in the book but not in the film). These additions are fun, and if you liked the film you’ll probably find this to be an enjoyable read. There is also an epilogue/chapter on Buttercup's Baby but I'm sad to say I didn't enjoy this part as much.

2) The book was written in the 1970s from a male perspective.
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