Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Princess Bride by William Goldman- Review


I have finally read The Princess Bride!  I have always loved this movie and wanted to read the book.  This month my Young Adult book Club is reading it for our book club pick. Nominating classic books was crazy in the group.  The reaction from the teens in the group about reading classics was astounding.  No one seemed to want to.   Here is the goodreads description: 

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be...well...a lot less than the man of her dreams? As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad's recitation, and only the "good parts" reached his ears. Now Goldman does Dad one better. He's reconstructed the "Good Parts Version" to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere. What's it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex. In short, it's about everything  

The Princess Bride was only a so-so book to me.  The book does have some fun parts.. fencing, rhyming, torture, giants, true love, poison, miracles, spiders,  and soooo much more.  It is the perfect fantasy! It is written in a way I didn't enjoy so much.  At first I read the two introductions in the edition I was reading (the 30th I think) and was confused.  I finally looked up the book and it's written kind of like a book within a book.  The main narrator has re-written a book that some other fictional author wrote (all fake).  This narrator does try to be funny but it just wasn't my sense of humor.  Honestly if the book was only the Princess Bride parts I would've enjoyed it more.  The real title of this book is: The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure: The "Good Parts" Version Abridged by William Goldman.  So as you can see this is the story within the story.


The story parts in the novel are almost exactly like in the movie.  This is because the author of the book also wrote the screenplay for the movie. My husband loves this movie so much!  He is always watching it.  In this instance (and I never say this) I enjoyed the movie better then the book.  The book does give us the back story of each character (Inigo, Fezzik, and Vizzini) which I did enjoy that part.  We learn how the three assassins end up together and really I just love Inigo even more now. 

 
One thing in the book I was curious about was the letter.  There is a part in the book when the narrator who is supposed to be writing the book says there is a part in the book he wasn't allowed by the publishers to put in, so if you as a read want to see it you need to write a letter to the publishers and they will send you the cut scene.  There is even an address provided in the book to write to.  I was curious whether or not you actually get a Princess Bride Letter and apparently you do!! That is pretty fun.

There is another story in this book called Buttercup's Baby.  Honestly I didn't bother to read it. It's the first chapter of the sequel. There was another long introduction to it and yet again I was a little confused. It's a made up introduction stating that Morgenstern's family is suing William Goldman and won't let him do a sequel.  I googled it and really Goldman doesn't know what to make the sequel about. There is also information that the sequel  involves how Stephen King was actually going to do the abridgement, but left it up to Goldman. I guess I just don't get these introductions. I also looked this up and King says it's not true.  I don't know confusing. 

Really though the story itself is great!  A wonderful woman... what woman wouldn't want Wesley coming and saving them no matter what!  Even after the Machine.  I wouldn't read this again but I am glad I read it at least once.  The movie though is a classic!

The crystal ball says:





Fog is coming.....  in the middle of the road on this book!

30 comments:

  1. Aw, sorry you didn't like it more. I love them both but for different reasons. The reason I love the book is precisely the reason you don't like it. In fact, it's the parts that are directly in the movie that I like the least... I really don't care for Westley or Buttercup in the book for some reason. I guess I need the actors to bring them to life. But I do like the added backstory on Inigo and Fezzik, and I love all of Goldman's asides in the narration, and the framing story about his son (who doesn't exist, by the way... none of the "real" parts of the story are actually true). But, as you say, it's an interesting humor, and if you don't get it you're probably not going to like the book no matter how much you love the movie.


    But... you're better off having skipped Buttercup's Baby. It's pretty ridiculous.

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  2. Quinn's Book NookMarch 8, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    I grew up watching this movie. I loved it like crazy, and I've always been curious about the book. But because I loved the movie so much, I'm really not sure if the book can compare Plus, now that I'm older, I think Buttercup is a total whimp! But I do want to watch the movie again, now. :)

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  3. This is one of my favorite books ever, it is SO funny! I am kinda sad you weren't totally in love with it!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  4. I have to agree. That humor... I don't know why.. it just didn't click with me. But the people who love this book really think those parts are funny. Now as far as the story part (with Westley and Buttercup) was great to me.



    I decided to just skip Buttercup's Baby and like you said I heard it was ridiculous. The first chapter title is Fezzik Dies and already I was out. I don't understand why do we only get this one chapter after like 20 years. Write the sequel or don't. It's like he's testing audiences to see if they like it or don't. Just write it or don't.

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  5. Yea... it was the humor in the side notes that just weren't for me. I found myself confused something in the intros too. Those I suppose in some copies the introductions don't even exist so that would've been a better copy for me. The intros were like 100 pages!

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  6. LOL! This is funny what you say about Buttercup. IN FACT, in the book Westley totally controls her. In the end of the book when they all confront each other in the bedroom Westley keeps yelling at Buttercup to do what he says she belongs to him. Several times this happens... I was like WHAT! So yes I do think she is kind of controlled in this book too.

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  7. Mary @ BookSwarmMarch 8, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    This is one book where I've watched the movie (and loved it) but haven't read the book. Oops.

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  8. Like Charleen, I really like this book for the reasons that you don't like it. All of that stuff that Goldman says is fictional. There is no Morgenstern. He is pretending to abridge a book to make fun of books that had lots of political and socioeconomic stuff going on in addition to the simple adventure.

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  9. I've never considered reading the book and it does sound funny but also odd/confusing. I do love that people actually received letters when they wrote in, how fun!

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  10. I finally got all that after I looked it up on the internet. I would've probably got it sooner if the introductions weren't also written as fiction. I think possibly the introductions should've been put at the end of the book. But maybe that's just me. Did you read the introductions?

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  11. I think that is fun too. I actually thought about writing in ... but as times changed looks like you get emails now, but even those have stopped according to the article I linked to.

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  12. I had similar feelings about the book too, kinda disappointed because of how much I loved the movie.

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  13. I know! I do wonder though how I would've pictured the characters in my mind without having seen the film. I do think Aundre the Giant was excellent casting!

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  14. Nice to see a review of this. I love the movie, but I have to be honest... I tried to read this but it didn't really work for me, for largely the reasons you mention. I kinda wish I would have stuck with it for the backstories, but it just wasn't my thing. I do still enjoy the movie though!

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  15. It took me longer to read it then it should've too. I just wasn't into it. Partly because I knew what would happen because of the movie. I decided to google what happens in Buttercup's Baby : eventual kidnapping of
    Waverly (Westley and Buttercup's daughter) by a skinless-faced "madman"
    who eventually throws her off a mountainside. The chapter ends with
    Fezzik, Waverly's appointed babysitter, leaping off the mountain to save
    her, and then cradling her to preserve her from the impact that seems
    certain to spell at least Fezzik's doom. Also noteworthy is a flashback to Inigo's past, his training as a swordsman, and his one-time romantic love interest.


    I don't even know what to think of that!

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  16. I read the introduction. When I first read the book I didn't realize that it was fiction, so I thought it was all so interesting and scandalous. Then I read online that it was fiction, and I was just thoroughly amused by it all. I don't know if there were two introductions. I read this book about 8 years ago.

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  17. Oh ok.. you probably had a different edition. Maybe I was just angry that I was tricked! LOL!

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  18. I love Fezzik's backstory in the novel. When I hear the line, "And YOU: friendless, brainless, helpless, hopeless! Do you want me to send you back to where you were? Unemployed, in Greenland?" I giggle because only people that have read the book would be able to make any sense of what that means!

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  19. Wow, really? That sounds pretty unnecessary. It's funny, normally I like the book better than the movie, but in this case I just couldn't get past all the extra framing stuff. I should have stuck with it I guess, but just got bored. I was surprised by that. :)


    That would be a bummer to see Fezzik bite the dust. I'm not sure what to think of that either!! The Inigo stuff might be good, he's a lot of fun...

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  20. The backstories were really one of my favorite parts of the book. The movie is the good parts version and that's the part I really liked. I'll for sure be checking out your review.

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  21. Yeah, the book wasn't really for me either. It is a really clever concept, and it's possible if I read it now (I read it back in high school( I might like it more...but the movie is just such a big part of my life even now, that I think it's hard to live up to that sort of adoration haha

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  22. I think it's a clever concept too. I was surprised actually by it. I knew in the movie the little boy was getting read to but didn't realize that is how the book was going to be set up also. Now that the movie is such a pop culture reference it's hard to not picture the cast while I'm reading.

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  23. I really enjoyed this book. I own this version. I thought the "narrator" was interesting. I liked that he told you which parts are cut out. My friend got the missing pages on the internet instead of writing to the publisher, and she has them folded up in that section of the book.

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  24. I haven't read this book either, but I did just watch the movie for the first time this year. I enjoyed it so much! If you say you like the movie better than the book, then I'll stick with my love for the movie :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

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  25. OH wow!! You watched it for the first time?? I am glad that you enjoyed it then!! It is fun and magical. I love that even kids enjoy it and it introduces them to Andre the Giant. Still sad that he is gone.

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  26. WHAT! You get a LETTER! This is on my must read list because I am a huge fan of the movie as well. I also must read The Last Unicorn and Howl's Moving Castle haha. I'm so excited now so so excited. I think I will love it...I MUST LOVE IT. I WILL or....INCONCEIVABLE!!

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  27. HOLY CRAP this comment is HILARIOUS!! BAH! I need to read Last Unicorn and Howl's Moving Castle too. So many damn books.

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  28. I am almost dead with anticipation and need...no nearly dead...wait how can I be nearly dead...but at least I'm not completely dead...quick with the miracle!!

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