Title: The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure
Author: William Goldman
Published: October 8, 2007 (first published in 1973)
Synopsis: Westley…handsome farm boy who risks death and much, much worse for the woman he loves; Inigo…the Spanish swordsman who lives only to avenge his father’s death; Fezzik…the Turk, the gentlest giant ever to have uprooted a tree with his bare hands; Vizzini…the evil Sicilian, with a mind so keen he’s foiled by his own perfect logic; Prince Humperdinck…the eviler ruler of Guilder, who has an equally insatiable thirst for war and the beauteous Buttercup; Count Rugen…the evilest man of all, who thrives on the excruciating pain of others; Miracle Max…the King’s ex-Miracle Man, who can raise the dead (kind of); The Dread Pirate Roberts…supreme looter and plunderer of the high seas; and, of course, Buttercup…the princess bride, the most perfect, beautiful woman in the history of the world.
S. Morgenstern’s timeless tale – discovered and wonderfully abridged by William Goldman – pits country against country, good against evil, love against hate. From the Cliffs of Insanity through the Fire Swamp and down into the Zoo of Death, this incredible journey and brilliant tale is peppered with strange beasties monstrous and gentle, and memorable surprises both terrible and sublime.
I read The Princess Bride at a time when I felt like ripping all romance books to shreds. Don’t ask. Naturally, I feared my sour feelings would dampen my enjoyment of this book but alas it did not for I found myself surprised, shocked, on my toes, laughing out loud and my heart rate increasing due to excitement with the ever present adventure. Initially, I thought this book was ridiculous fun and immensely enjoyable. Of course, it remained enjoyable throughout but during the last half of the book there came darker moments which I wasn’t expecting.
I love that this book is a parody of all fairy tale stories and the romances. The writing is charming, humorous, witty and very engaging. Throughout the book, there are author notes and William Goldman has a tendency to go off on a tangent which some may find off-putting but it didn’t bother me in the least. Not once did his commentary fail to make me smile.
The most beautiful and not the brightest heroine Buttercup made me roll my eyes, wonder at her actions and immaturity but I could not dislike her. She was silly, surprising and her words could be strong and confident. William was lovely in all his devotion to Buttercup and his strength and determination made him an attractive character though there was a time where I wanted to slap him. But my favourites characters were Inigo and Fezzik, oh I loved them. They were amazing, funny and I loved their background stories. I was cheering for them, nervous for them and laughing with them. I loved them both.
This is a romance story but then it is so much more. It is fencing, adventure, danger, schemes, torture in the name of science, friendship, love, rhymes, an evil prince and deadly animals. I don’t know if William Goldman is a troll or a genius or mixture of both but he is brilliant for creating such a wonderful story. It’s definitely one of my favourite reads.