Review of The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman
The Princess Bride is a true fantasy classic. William Goldman describes it as a "good parts version" of "S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure." Morgenstern's original was filled with details of Florinese history, court etiquette, and Mrs. Morgenstern's mostly complimentary views of the text. Much admired by academics, the "Classic Tale" nonetheless obscured what Mr. Goldman feels is a story that has everything: "Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles."
Goldman frames the fairy tale with an "autobiographical" story: his father, who came from Florin, abridged the book as he read it to his son. Now, Goldman is publishing an abridged version, interspersed with comments on the parts he cut out.
Is The Princess Bride a critique of classics like Ivanhoe and The Three Musketeers, that smother a ripping yarn under elaborate prose? A wry look at the differences between fairy tales and real life? Simply a funny, frenetic adventure? No matter how you read it, you'll put it on your "keeper" shelf. --Nona Vero
As someone who watched the movie when I was little and fell in love with it, I honestly didn't know it was a book first. How thrilled I was to find out that one of my all-time favorites was adapted to a film from a novel.
I started reading whatever I could find about the book and I came up with a few simple things. 1) S. Morgenstern, Florin, and all the characters are fake. 2) The book was originally done in the 60's. 3) That he abridged a novel that he created tells me that Mr. Goldman is a genius. And 4) I had to have this book.
After scouring the web (Amazon) I finally found a few used copies of the 25th Anniversary print. I had to continue my shopping further to make sure that the money I was spending wasn't absurd (trust me, if you look it up, you'd be astounded by the price of some of these) and ended up buying it!
Now, I read this book as soon as it arrived, sparing little time for daily life. I was so pleased. The characters I loved from the movie were written nearly word-for-word from the book! Sure, there are a few missed scenes that would have added perfectly, but none the less.
Truly, knowing that S. Morgenstern didn't exist, as well as Mr. Goldman's son, Jason, and an interesting conversation with Stephen King (though they are friends) about the sequel, Buttercup's baby (which you will find Chapter 1 in the 25th anniversary), didn't matter in the least. By the time I set the book down finished, I believed they were all real! Mr. Goldman is a master of imagry!
Book Rating: PG. There are fight scenes and love scenes, all of course, tastefully done.
Recommended For: Anyone and everyone. If you haven't read this book yet, you absolutely need to. If you have read it, yay you! and you should read it again.
Not Recommended For: I don't believe that this book is something anyone should pass up.