Starting out on this book I was very excited because I have been a fan of the movie for many years and really I was just as keen to see what wasn’t in the movie compared to the book and to see the parts of the movie I love in the story. I was open-minded to say the least but I had been recommended the book from a fellow movie fan so I felt safe in giving it ago. Then everyone and his mate started gushing about the book to me as soon as they found out I was reading it. No pressure to like it or anything. HA. No, seriously; it was awesome to hear great thoughts about something you are reading because quite honestly it forced me to keep going at some points that I probably would have given up on.
The book is really made up of two halves between the story of Westley and Buttercup’s romance and the action and dangers in between but also the story of both the author Morgenstern and William Goldman who loved the original text and thus abridged it to bring us ‘the best bits’. Its 3 lives and how the world of giants, evil royals and true love shaped their world and choices they make with their own lives. Goldman intercuts Morgenstern’s original text with his own opinion and his own life as it runs alongside his editing and writing work and his life as a child upon first hearing the tale of The Princess Bride. It’s quite thrilling and I loved have the jumps in reality and the narrative because that’s how I read and how you think while reading. You often read something and pause to think ‘NO WAY’ or ‘That’s so stupid! Why would he do that’ etc.
In terms of the story it was a great romp of a tale and like the book states it’s a ‘classic tale of true love and high adventure’. It has all the elements of a great fantasy adventure that I loved and what’s more it was really funny but at times I think seeing it on screen that the humour element works better as a viewer but the details and imagery works better in the book because your imagination is always bigger than any Hollywood budget. My favourite characters were Fezzik and Inigo because they were possibly one of my favourite partnerships in a book series because they understand each other’s flaws and strengths and counterbalance one and other and have a genuine love for the other person.
If I’m honest the book wasn’t easy to get through because even Goldman admits that Morgenstern is tedious and boring at times and thus his abridgements and big cuts and it was Goldman’s “breaks” that keep you going till the real action kicks in. A must read for hard core fans of the movie of epic fantasy romance whirl winds. For the casual readers it is worth the read and sticking with but I can understand why some may give up on it because it’s not for everyone. Even if it is your “type of read” it might require some work to get over the reading hurdle to start with. The Princess Bride: Scary, amusing, clever and enchanting.