Review: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Format: PaperbackAge Level: Young Adult Source: Friend Series: NA Interest: recommendation, plot
Format: Paperback
Age Level: Young Adult
Source: Borrowed
Series: NA
Interest: recommendation, plot

Once upon a time came a story so full of high adventure and true love that it became an instant classic and won the hearts of millions. Now in harcover in America for the first time since 1973 (in its native Florin, it has been on the Florenise Times bestseller list continuously since the week it was published), this special edition of The Princess Bride is a true keepsake for devoted fans as well as those lucky enough to discover it for the first time. What reader can forget or resist such colorful characters as:

Westley … handsome farm boy who risks death and much, much worse for the woman he loves; Inigo … the Spanish swordsman who lives only to avenge his father’s death; Fezzik … the Turk, the gentlest giant ever to have uprooted a tree with his bare hands; Vizzini … the evil Sicilian, with a mind so keen he’s foiled by his own perfect logic; Prince Humperdinck … the eviler ruler of Guilder, who has an equally insatiable thirst for war and the beauteous Buttercup; CountRugen … the evilest man of all, who thrives on the excruciating pain of others;Miracle Max … the King’s ex-Miracle Man, who can raise the dead (kind of); The Dread Pirate Roberts … supreme looter and plunderer of the high seas; and, of course, Buttercup … the princess bride, the most perfect, beautiful woman in the history of the world.

S. Morgenstern’s timeless tale—discovered and wonderfully abridged by William Goldman—pits country against country, good against evil, love against hate. From the Cliffs of Insanity through the Fire Swamp and down into the Zoo of Death, this incredible journey and brilliant tale is peppered with strange beasties both monstrous and gentle, and memorable surprises both terrible and sublime.


My friend Julia has been recommending this book to me ever since we became friends, so I finally gave in and said I’d read it. After she gave me the book I promised I’d read it, but I kept pushing it aside.  I don’t remember exactly why I picked it up, but I was left wondering why I hadn’t read it sooner.

Julia told me that this is a book that can be read by anyone, regardless of age and I’ll have to agree. The Princess Bride make me laugh, gasp, smile and almost cry, but more importantly think. Though it appears to be a light, easy read, the plot is actually a lot darker and hints at some serious concepts. This book touches on what it means to love and hate, what can be gained from facing fears and what it means to grow up – concepts that can be read and applied to anyone.

The world-building was unbelievable. If I hadn’t known better, I’d have gone off in search of Florin and its neighbouring countries.  While reading the book, Florin became not just a fantasy land, but a real place with its own culture, people and landscape. I think it was because in most fantasy books, the land is described as if it is being discovered for the first time, while in Princess Bride, it assumed that the reader already knows about the land.

The writing was hilarious and unique. I loved how it is meant to be an abridgement of a longer work and how the authors comments are in italics. Events and objects are explained in terms of being before or after other events and objects, with a history of how these things came to be. Having the authors supposed connection with the original edition was really interesting and a lot of lessons are taught through his reactions to various events that occur.

This book really has a bit of everything in it: sword fighting, torture, romance, riddles, magic… and it worked without feeling forced; it took me on an adventure that I was unable to put down. Though some things felt rather unrealistic, it worked for this book and allowed me to root for my favourite characters. There are also a few twists at the end of the book, but the ending is one that I’d hoped for.

Every character is unique and the book provides their back stories so I was able to understand their motives. However, I wasn’t able to fully connect with any of them and I felt that most of the characters could have been developed better. Buttercup and Westley’s love did not feel real and though this sounds horrible, I didn’t care if they ended up together or not. Out of all the characters, the ones I was rooting for were Inigo and Fezzik because they were the most realistic out of all the characters and were the ones I sympathized with.

The Princess Bride was a great story that I’d recommend to anyone who wants an entertaining tale of adventure. It is a book that is not easily forgotten for all the right reasons. So, if you’re like me and have been delaying reading this book, or if you just haven’t felt the need to, I suggest you should go pick it up and give it a try.



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