Book Review: The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride


“Sonny, don’t you tell me what’s worthwhile ─ true love is the best thing in the world, except for cough drops. Everybody knows that.

─ William Goldman


 ─ William Goldman



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Book Information

Title:              The Princess Bride

S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love & High Adventure

Author:          William Goldman

Publisher:     Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company 2007

ISBN        978-1-328-94885-4

Genre:             Fantasy Romance

Ages:                  14+

392 pages


Book Summary:

The Princess Bride begins with an introduction from William Goldman explaining his inspiration to write the abridged version. Goldman states that The Princess Bride is his favorite book, and how the book has impacted his life from the first reading by his father of the “good parts”, while he suffered from pneumonia to many years later giving the book to his own son.

The story begins with one of the most beautiful women in the world. The farm girl Buttercup is considered to be, in the top twenty despite her youth and tomboyish ways. Buttercup lives sheltered on a small farm with her quarrelsome parents and a farm boy named Westley. Buttercup is oblivious to boys and her beauty until a strange visit from a Countess to her family farm. After the Countess gives Westley much attention, jealousy results in Buttercup and Westley professing their love. Westley leaves to seek a fortune for their future. Unfortunately, news arrives that Westley has been killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Heartbroken Buttercup vows to never love again. Yet as time passes her beauty increases drawing the attention of Prince Humperdinck. Humperdinck we soon discover is obsessed with hunting and determined to marry to provide an heir for the throne. Amidst the courting and wedding preparations, Buttercup is kidnapped and thrown into peril by her captures and a mysterious masked man in black. Humperdinck and his men pursue them to rescue Buttercup and return her. In the middle of the danger, Buttercup is saved and reunited with her lost love Westley, only to be torn from him once more.

Buttercup sacrifices her happiness to save her love. Accepting her fate as the Queen in a loveless marriage she returns to the castle. The noble Prince Humperdinck and scurrilous pirate Westley eventually reveal their true characters in the ensuing moments of deceit, death, duels, and miracles.


Book Rating 3/5

The classic tale delivers romance and adventure as stated. Goldman’s abridged or “just the good parts” is a delightfully funny tale taking the reader through a range of emotions. Each character proves that the reader should not always judge them by their first introduction. Sometimes the bad guys aren’t always really bad, just as sometimes the good guys are bad too.

Goldman’s notes or interruptions within the story add a humorous element as he relates personal snippets that are often very endearing. While at times these interruptions did tend to ramble, overall, they were an interesting read providing historical or trivial information about Florin, Morgenstern, or various characters in the movie adaption of the book.

To be fair I should note that while I did like the book, I found this book took longer as an uninspired read. I think this is due to the fact I have seen this movie many many times. This was a book that I didn’t find much different from the movie, apart from the notes by Goldman. So, for me, the book provided very few surprises. Don’t mistake this as not recommending not reading this book, just a warning. If and when I ever have grandchildren, I think sharing this story would be a sweet memory to share.


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