Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride
William Goldman

Published 1973

First Sentence
"This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it."

Publisher's Description:

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be...well...a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad's recitation, and only the "good parts" reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He's reconstructed the "Good Parts Version" to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What's it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it's about everything.

Dear Reader,

I'll keep this short and sweet. The Princess Bride is every bit as wonderful as the movie. Wait? Shouldn't I be saying that the other way around? It seems like the movie has far surpassed the popularity among the masses over the book. I grew up wearing down my VCR copy of The Princess Bride. I think it was a tie between this movie and The Dark Crystal that caused utter grief and annoyance to my Aunts for the AMOUNT of times I had to watch it. I was a child with a magical and large imagination which could only be sated by the most creative of books and movies.

I almost wish that I could have discovered The Princess Bride as a book first but looking back, my attachment to the movie would probably have won out. Now that I'm older, I have a better appreciation of how to separate the two medias and give them equal credit (where due). This might be one of the few book/movie pairings that hold acclaim on their own. I can't say one is better than the other, and even if the magic from my youth wins out on sheer power of childhood alone... that wouldn't be a fair judge.

What I can tell you is this... reading The Princess Bride in my thirties has only enveloped me with a magical nostalgia of youthful glee. I still love a great story, one filled with adventure, comedy and maybe a little bit of romance is okay. I'm not going to bore you with a comparison of the two, nor will I go into a boring plot description (since anyone picking up this book must have an inkling of the plot). I'll speak to those of you who've cherished the movie (as I have) and are wondering if you should read this? (as I did). The answer is yes.

Happy Reading,

The Princess Bride

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Left: Hardcover -- Right: EBook

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