Friday, July 24, 2009

Retro Friday Review: The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
I actually had a hard time deciding which book I would feature for today’s installment of Retro Friday (created by Angieville). I finally decided on The Princess Bride. I had seen the movie at least 100 times before I even realized there was a book. I’m not sure which came first, but after getting my hands on a copy of the book I fell in love with Wesley, Princess Buttercup, and their rag-tag team all over again.

I won’t go into too much detail about the plot, since everyone has probably either seen the movie or read the book, but here is a small overview. Buttercup and Wesley live on a farm where she is constantly bossing him around but eventually realizes she is in love. Once they decide they love each other Wesley decides to set out to find his fortune so they can have a better life together. Soon after leaving Buttercup receives word that Wesley has died. After a bit of morning Prince Humperdinck enters the picture and insists that she marry him. Long story short, Wesley is actually alive and well. He comes to reclaim Buttercups heart only to find she is now engaged to the Prince. The Prince is worried about losing Buttercup, seeing as he has great plans for her murder (he wants to go to war with the neighboring kingdom), so he decides to kill Wesley himself. With the help of a giant, a Spaniard and a magical cloak they are able to rescue the princess and ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after.

This is an interesting book. It is written as an abridged version of “S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure” (which I’m still pretty sure is all made up). Goldman provides his point of view, which is similar to the movie version where Narrator (Grandpa) stops every now and again to explain to his sick grandson what is going on. I’ve read the book many times, sometimes I read it from cover to cover, while other times I just skip the “brakes” and just read the story. Either way is very entertaining.

What I love most about the book is how much back story we get on each of the characters. Unlike some books that are written after the movie, that end up just going through the whole movie without adding anything new. This was packed full of delicious storylines, which ended up making it far better than the movie. The book goes into so much detail about the early days of Buttercup and Wesley, how they fell in love, the time when Buttercup is on her own, how she came to the attention of Prince Humperdinck (great name), and eventually how she became a Princess. There is also a lot of back story for the lovable Fezzik and Inigo, and the ruthless Vizzini. One of the best parts of the book is its description of the Pit of Despair. Why in the world didn’t they follow the book more closely when making the movie? The Pit is amazing in the book, simple terrifying and definitely not a place you would want to be.

If you haven’t read the book...DO! It’s a Bookworm promise that you will love it.

Other Retro Friday Reviews


  1. I loved the film so I can't wait to read the book. Great review :-D

  2. Ooh, great choice for a retro review! What a classic. And I love the phrase "a bookworm promise." :)


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