Here we have it, the first book review of the year and it’s already off to a great start! This week I read The Princess Bride by William Goldman, the same writer of the screenplay for the movie. I think I am like most when I say I had no clue that The Princess Bride was a book before a movie. Whether you have seen the movie or not, this book is a great weekend read.
Let’s get into the review!
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A Short Summary
The story follows the beautiful Buttercup and Westley the farm boy. The two have fallen head-over-heels in love with each other, but when Westley departs, he falls to the Dread Pirate Roberts who leaves no survivors. Buttercup is broken-hearted and her beauty does not go unnoticed by Prince Humperdinck, who wants Buttercup as his wife.
This is only the beginning of the story, a story of love and friendship. Very much written for children, but this is one of the books that adults would enjoy as well. It is a story that has it all, from sword fights to giants, chases to escapes, to passion and miracles. Yes, I am paraphrasing a famous line in the movie, but it’s a darn good one!
The characters are as follows:
Buttercup. A simple peasant girl whose beauty is known by all, but her heart belongs only to Westley. Throughout the story, she is the loyal romantic who pines for her lost love.
Next, Westley, a farm boy who would do anything to make a life for him and Buttercup, to the point of travelling across the ocean to seek his fortune. There is much more, but I shouldn’t say much more.
Now, the main antagonist, Prince Humperdinck. A man who serves his own interests. His hobbies include forcing Buttercup to marry him, hunting something every day, including squirrels, and killing those who are a threat to these hobbies and his comfortable lifestyle.
The next two are Fezzik and Inigo. Fezzik is a loveable giant and Inigo is a fencer out for revenge. The two are the best of friends, working together to help the good and stop the bad, although they don’t start out that way.
Did I say too much? Maybe, but it’s not my fault if you haven’t seen this three-decade-old classic yet.
The writing style is much like you would expect from a fantasy of this calibre. It is written in the third person, with a humorous narrator who is funny to the point where the plot is still serious. It is easy to follow the story, the language is simple, if overly flowery in some areas.
Yet, despite this fluff, it still keeps a good pace for its story and length.
My Thoughts on The Princess Bride
I am not done comparing it to the movie. Why should I? These two go hand-in-hand. William Goldman practically created this book in writing the movie. With that said, let me talk about the qualities of the book over the movie.
First, the book is not an exact copy of the movie script. There are plenty of differences to make the book’s story similar enough, but still unique. There are nuances, characters and jokes in the novel that are not in the movie. The characters carry the same personalities, but the weight of their words is a little heavier in the book.
Yet, the movie had qualities above the book as well; most of these qualities being the actors who played their parts wonderfully. There are other differences, such as the story being continued beyond the ending of the movie, but I won’t get into that as I would be spoiling the surprise.
So, to sum up, I enjoyed the book. It was a fun read, but how could it not be? Yet, the real question is would I read this to my future child. The answer?
You bet I would.
If you enjoyed the movie, or if you enjoy silly little adventures with many admirable events, then you would enjoy reading The Princess Bride by William Goldman.
Good day, goodnight and happy reading!