The Princess Bride – A Book Review
The Dread Pirate Roberts. Inigo. Fezzik. The six-fingered man. Prince Humperdink. Buttercup. Westly. All the favorite characters that I met first through the movie (much as I hate to admit that I’d seen the movie before I read the book). The Princess Bride had been on my to-read pile/list for a long time. I’d loved the movie growing up and wanted to read the source, I was just lazy about actually picking it up. But, I conquored my laziness, and I was delighted by this tale of love and adventure.
If you were to pick up a copy of The Princess Bride, it would most likely be by William Goldman not Morgenstern. Goldman actually abridged this story which was originally a satirical piece by Morgenstern about his home country of Florin. Having only been a fan of the movie before, I’d never known the history of this story. Goldman cuts out most of the satire of this piece, much to some scholar’s displeasure, and turns this work into a tale of high adventure (as the subtitle suggests it’s meant to be).
Throughout the story, Goldman interjects into the tale with summaries or comments–generally when he is cutting something but not always. I’m still undecided whether or not I’m a fan of Goldman’s additions (if you’ve also only seen the movie these akin are the bits where the boy and his grandfather are chatting). I understand that Goldman is using these to bridge the gaps he’s creating by abridging and also to share his love of the story his father had told him, but there are times these interruptions are distracting and a bit unnecessary. Several can easily be skipped without losing the story.
Otherwise I loved the story. I can easily see the origional satire and absurdity of Morgenstern’s, but Goldman does admirable work with making this an adventure that can be accessible to the masses. The Princess Bride is a tale I will happily keep with me for a long time.