Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True Love. Hate. Revenge. Pain. Death. Miracles. . .
By the age of eighteen, Buttercup is the most beautiful woman in the world. Prince Humperdinck of Florin asks for her hand in marriage, and reluctantly she accepts, for her one true love Westley the Farm Boy was lost at sea. But Florin and the neighboring Guilder are at the brink of war, and Buttercup finds herself caught in a kidnapping scheme, one in which she will meet a giant and a fencer, a genius and a six-fingered man, and perhaps be reunited with Westley, a Farm Boy no longer. . .
You may think you know the story. You've had fun storming the castle, found the six-fingered man, made it through the fire swamp, never messed with a Sicilian when death is on the line. You know that love, twue love, is wot bwings us togethah today.
But do you know what came before Europe, but after mirrors? Who S. Morgenstern is? Where William Goldman got a Florinese copy of the Princess Bride at 4:55 PM in New York City? Who was the most beautiful woman in the world before Buttercup reached the age of sixteen? How Fezzik learned to fight? Why the reunion scene was cut? How the Princess Bride really ends?
This swashbuckling story is wonderfully exciting, and it's downright funny too. Perhaps the funniest part of the book, something that's not included in the movie, is William Goldman's convincing but totally fictional backstory on the origin of The Princess Bride. This book, he claims, is the "good parts" version, an abridgement of the original work by S. Morgenstern, a Florinese writer. "It's still my favorite book in all the world," he says in the introduction, "And, more than ever, I wish I'd written it." (Lies!) But he sticks with this idea, frequently interrupting the narrative to comment on "Morgenstern's" story. To complete the fiction he also invents for himself an ex-wife (about whom he makes more than a few snide comments) a son, and a couple of grandchildren.
It's been more than 40 years since William Goldman wrote his classic tale of True Love and High Adventure. There's really no reason not to own a copy. The Princess Bride has no comparison. It's a timeless thrilling, romantic, hilarious tale of miracles, death, pain, and (above all) true love.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here
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