Format: Hardcover and ebook
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: This edition 2013, originally 1975
From the publisher:
Here William Goldman’s beloved story of Buttercup, Westley, and their fellow adventurers finally receives a beautiful illustrated treatment.
A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts—The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.
As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchman, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini—the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik—the gentle giant; Inigo—the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen—the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.
I absolutely adore the movie The Princess Bride. I had never read the book. The Hubster read it several years ago but for me it was one of those ebooks that got lost in my ereader. When we were in Ashland earlier this year we stopped in one of the bookstores and I spotted this beautiful hardcover edition with illustrations. I couldn’t resist. It was so beautiful I had to have it.
So now that I’ve read it I still adore the movie and I adore most of the book. The rest of the book was just OK.
Goldman has written this as fiction within fiction. This edition also has the introductions to both the 25th and 30th anniversary editions. Even those are part of the story within a story.
The parts I liked are the parts that are the story of The Princess Bride. I love that story even more. Reading it gave me a greater appreciation of how well Rob Reiner did with the movie. So much of it was perfectly translated to film. There things that are different of course but it’s still a fun and lovely story. I liked learning more about Inigo and Fezzik’s backgrounds.
The parts I didn’t like as much was the frame that Goldman built around The Princess Bride. He tells a fictional tale about himself hearing the book read by his father and later finding a copy for his (fictional) son. He presents his book as an abridgement of this fictional book. It’s all rather convoluted and layered and it’s fun but at times a distraction.
I’m glad I read this. The parts I loved mostly made up for the parts I only liked. I was not a fan of the epilogue with an explanation and story of the sequel Buttercup’s Baby. I think Goldman probably should have stopped at the end of The Princess Bride and left it at that.
Rating 4.5/5 for The Princess Bride parts and
3/5 for the rest of it.