Book Review: The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern

“As you wish.” Chapter I

Subtitled, “S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Fantasy”, The Princess Bride is a story of just that. Most notably recognized for its movie adaptation in 1987, this story with quotable lines, unique characters, and sweet romance is one that draws in readers of all ages. It is abridged by William Goldman and follows the story of Westley and Buttercup, as they fall in love, are separated, and reunited. There are daring sword fights, giants, true love, revenge, betrayal, death, miracles, and hope in this beautiful piece of fiction.

Memorable for Every Age

This story was exactly what it was subtitled, a classic tale of true love. This version is the abridged version, so it is not the entirety of Morgenstern’s work. This being said, William Goldman does a fantastic job with the abridgment, pausing every once in a while from the narrative to tell the reader whenever there is a scene or part missing that he took out and why, and almost always giving a full recap in a couple sentences. The cuts he makes to the text make sense, especially because the texts that were cut don’t push along the story but are usually more side comments or history lessons.

The story itself is fun and adventurous, sweet and humorous. Like the movie, there are memorable lines that are quoted often such as:

Inconceivable!”, “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!”, and “As you wish”.

It’s hard to come by a story that is appropriate for almost all ages, yet The Princess Bride, like its movie adaptation, has a little something for every age.

This book also brings the reader to think about some deeper things, such as whether true love really exists, if there something beyond death, or how even those who seem unworthy of second chances can change their ways.

An Unnecessary Commentary?

While I understood why the preface to the abridgment was written by and about William Goldman, I really could have done without it. He gave details about his personal life that were not needed, and while the information and understanding of why the version was abridged and how much the story meant to him, the commentary was slightly overwhelming. He poked fun at his wife, talked about himself lusting after a young woman when he was on a business trip, and put down his son for his weight. While the honesty was there, it felt like it was a bit too much.

A classic story, just like its movie adaptation, The Princess Bride is a thrilling adventure that will entertain all ages for years. The movie, while very similar to the book, lacks the depth and insight that the book has. The Princess Bride made me so much more aware of the characters personalities and background, and also made me care much more about Fezzik and Inigo, two characters I paid little attention to in the movie. Scenes that are beloved in the movie are also beloved in the book, and probably, even more fun to read.

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