The Princess Bride by William Goldman


[Edit: Originally published May 28, 2016]

I love that this is a story within a story. I love the effect of a book being one story written by an author and then edited by another, (but in all actuality author and editor are the same person). A very similar thing happens in House of Leaves

Goldman tells us in various introductions (for various editions) about his troubles with the Morgenstern estate as well as about the making of the movie. All of this framed like real things that happened when, in fact, they are just fiction. The Princess Bride (and Buttercup’s Baby) are treated as a slight fictionalization of real events with real people. It’s not fiction, but a history of Westley, Buttercup, Fezzik, and Inigo.

The story is fantastic, “True Love and High Adventure” just as advertised. I’m not even bothered about the heterosexual romance cause it’s just… it’s The Princess Bride. Also it felt like there was more “High Adventure” than really obvious “True Love” scenes. The true love got threaded through all the adventure scenes, and it was done so well sometimes you almost forget that it’s there.

One thing I’ll note is that there’s an interactive bit! Originally, when the book was first published, you could write in to the publisher and get an “additional scene” to the book (I won’t spoil it, but it’s not quite what you think you’re getting). Now, thanks to the internet, you can go to website for the book, and enter your email and get the additional bit that way. Very cool and interactive, I really liked it. 

If you loved the movie, you’ll love the book it’s as simple as that. I put off reading it after I bought it cause it was kind of thick and I was worried I wouldn’t have time to read it. I will say I’m glad I waited until the summer because I was able to finish it rather quickly. I do believe that if at all possible, The Princess Bride should be read without interruption. Not to say that you need to read it in one sitting, but you should not get sidetracked and stop in the middle to read something else (which is a bad habit that I have). 

Now I mentioned Buttercup’s Baby earlier. Buttercup’s Baby is the sequel to The Princess Bride. It tells what happens to Buttercup, Westley, Fezzik, and Inigo after the events of The Princess Bride, as well as (and you may have already guessed it from the title) Buttercup and Westley’s child. It’s not the whole book, just the first chapter, there’s a lot of “editor’s notes” surrounding this, in fact there’s an entire explanation section before Buttercup’s Baby begins. About why there’s only one chapter and the hopes that Goldman will be able to finish the book at some point.

All in all, it’s wonderful and clever and definitely a must read. Particularly if you’ve already seen the movie. 

You can get the book here.