The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Read: 6 April, 2010

True love is incredibly rare, but Buttercup and Westley have found it. When Westley is killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts, Buttercup agrees to marry Prince Humperdink. She’s kidnapped just before her wedding, and is followed by a mysterious stranger. Who is he? Has he come to rescue her?

This was a fantastic book. I was pretty sure it would be after knowing and loving the movie for many years, but there was so much more to the novel form. The movie follows the story of Buttercup and Westley pretty accurately, but that’s only half the book. The other half describes the narrator’s relationship with S. Morgenstern’s novel, the way it impacted his relationship with his father and with himself, and the way he hopes it will impact his relationship with his son.

The Buttercup portions of the novel are greatly entertaining for readers of all ages. The adventure is exciting and fast-paced, and it never takes itself too seriously. But the addition of the narrator’s story is what promotes The Princess Bride from great novel to masterpiece. The novel could pass for a treatise on the value of books and literacy, and for the deeply personal and emotional ties we can have to our books.

Choose to read this superficially and be entertained. Or, choose to read it deeply and be challenged. Goldman pulls both facets off with rare skill. This book should be on everyone’s reading list!

Buy The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure from Amazon to support this blog!

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