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William Goldman : The Princess Bride: S Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

Author: William Goldman
Title: The Princess Bride: S Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure
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Published in: English
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 416
Date: 2000-11
ISBN: 0345348036
Publisher: Del Rey
Weight: 0.35 pounds
Size: 1.3 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
Edition: Reissue
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Description: Product 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.

Eventually to be adapted for the silver screen, THE PRINCESS BRIDE was originally a beautifully simple, insightfully comic story of what happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince in the world--and he turnsout to be a son of a bitch. Guaranteed to entertain both young and old alike by combining scenes of rowsing fantasy with hilarious reality, THE PRINCESS BRIDE secures Goldman's place as a master storyteller. Review
The Princess Bride is a true fantasy classic. William Goldman describes it as a "good parts version" of "S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure." Morgenstern's original was filled with details of Florinese history, court etiquette, and Mrs. Morgenstern's mostly complimentary views of the text. Much admired by academics, the "Classic Tale" nonetheless obscured what Mr. Goldman feels is a story that has everything: "Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles."

Goldman frames the fairy tale with an "autobiographical" story: his father, who came from Florin, abridged the book as he read it to his son. Now, Goldman is publishing an abridged version, interspersed with comments on the parts he cut out.

Is The Princess Bride a critique of classics like Ivanhoe and The Three Musketeers, that smother a ripping yarn under elaborate prose? A wry look at the differences between fairy tales and real life? Simply a funny, frenetic adventure? No matter how you read it, you'll put it on your "keeper" shelf. --Nona Vero

Reviews: Eileen & David (USA: NC) (2006/08/17):
The book is (like most) soooo much better than the movie which was also good. Its got all the fantasy & adventure of the movie but it has hilarious comments on the history of the original story and the background. It's on my 'oh my gosh, you haven't read it yet? here borrow mine.' list.

Brookeworm (Canada) (2007/10/14):
This doesn't happen often, but I have to honestly say that I think the movie is better. But then, in some ways it seems like it's supposed to be. The book contains a frame to the narrative that alleges that it is William Goldman's abridged version of a satirical novel writen by the novelist S. Morgenstern. This, of course, is fiction. There is no S. Morgenstern and Florin and Guilder have never existed. But the point is, if Goldman's novel is supposed to be "the good parts version" of Morgenstern's original novel, than Goldman's movie (he wrote the screenplay) is supposed to be "the good parts version" of his book.

Not that the book isn't worth reading, especially to someone who is a fan of the movie. It gives all the back stories and little details that just can't fit in the movie, like exactly what Inigo's father went through to make the six-fingered sword and how Fezzek just happened to have a holocaust cloak on him when they needed it to dress up as the flaming Dread Pirate Roberts. And there are some ways in which the book outdoes the movie. Buttercup, for instance, is a rather stupid, whiny, child of a female lead in the book - at least at first. But she is given character growth and becomes more self-assured (although still childish), whereas in the movie she is simply the goal of Westley's big adventure. Fezzek get's much deeper characterization in the book as well, but since he doesn't really have a big goal to strive for, he is simply another member of the adventure party in the movie.

Of course, one can't simply ignore the frame that Goldman sets up (and reinforces with contant asides and interuptions) as being simply about his ficticious abridgement. It is full of commentary about the nature of abridgement itself, literary scholarship, satire, the publishing industry, and even contemporary issues like the state of child rearing in the 1970s. Unfortunately there isn't room to go into all of this in a review, but it is another reason I recommend reading the book.

Amy (USA: IN) (2008/03/23):
This book is Awesome!!! I loved it so much I almost wore it out! lol.

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