The Princess Bride
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The Princess Bride : S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure; The "Good Parts" Version

4.25 (638,439 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

William Goldman's modern fantasy classic is a simple, exceptional story about quests--for riches, revenge, power, and, of course, true love--that's thrilling and timeless. Anyone who lived through the 1980s may find it impossible--inconceivable, even--to equate The Princess Bride with anything other than the sweet, celluloid romance of Westley and Buttercup, but the film is only a fraction of the ingenious storytelling you'll find in these pages. Rich in character and satire, the novel is set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an "abridged" retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin that's home to "Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 456 pages
  • 108 x 174 x 34mm | 322.05g
  • Harcourt Children's Books
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0156035219
  • 9780156035217
  • 11,874

Review quote

PRAISE FOR THE PRINCESS BRIDE "[Goldman's] swashbuckling fable is nutball funny . . . A 'classic' medieval melodrama that sounds like all the Saturday serials you ever saw feverishly reworked by the Marx Brothers." --Newsweek "One of the funniest, most original, and deeply moving novels I have read in a long time." --Los Angeles Times PRAISE FOR THE PRINCESS BRIDE "[Goldman's] swashbuckling fable is nutball funny . . . A 'classic' medieval melodrama that sounds like all the Saturday serials you ever saw feverishly reworked by the Marx Brothers." --Newsweek "One of the funniest, most original, and deeply moving novels I have read in a long time." --Los Angeles Times PRAISE FOR "THE PRINCESS BRIDE" "[Goldman's] swashbuckling fable is nutball funny . . . A 'classic' medieval melodrama that sounds like all the Saturday serials you ever saw feverishly reworked by the Marx Brothers." --"Newsweek" "One of the funniest, most original, and deeply moving novels I have read in a long time." --"Los Angeles Times"" PRAISE FOR "THE PRINCESS BRIDE""[Goldman's] swashbuckling fable is nutball funny . . . A 'classic' medieval melodrama that sounds like all the Saturday serials you ever saw feverishly reworked by the Marx Brothers." --"Newsweek" "One of the funniest, most original, and deeply moving novels I have read in a long time." --"Los Angeles Times"" PRAISE FOR "THE PRINCESS BRIDE" "[Goldman's] swashbuckling fable is nutball funny . . . A 'classic' medieval melodrama that sounds like all the Saturday serials you ever saw feverishly reworked by the Marx Brothers." --"Newsweek" "One of the funniest, most original, and deeply moving novels I have read in a long time." --"Los Angeles Times" PRAISE FOR"THE PRINCESS BRIDE" "[Goldman's] swashbuckling fable is nutball funny . . . A 'classic' medieval melodrama that sounds like all the Saturday serials you ever saw feverishly reworked by the Marx Brothers." --"Newsweek" "One of the funniest, most original, and deeply moving novels I have read in a long time." --"Los Angeles Times" PRAISE FOR "THE PRINCESS BRIDE" "[Goldman's] swashbuckling fable is nutball funny . . . A 'classic' medieval melodrama that sounds like all the Saturday serials you ever saw feverishly reworked by the Marx Brothers." --"Newsweek" "One of the funniest, most original, and deeply moving novels I have read in a long time." --"Los Angeles Times"show more

Back cover copy

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.William Goldman has been writing books and movies for more than forty years. He has won two Academy Awards (one for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and one for All the President's Men), and three Lifetime Achievement awards in screenwriting. "show more

Flap copy

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. "From the Paperback edition.show more

Rating details

638,439 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 51% (327,628)
4 30% (190,486)
3 14% (86,738)
2 3% (21,064)
1 2% (12,523)

Our customer reviews

The "Princess" is Buttercup, a beautiful young girl who lives with her parents on a farm in the fictitious country of Florin, where old Lotharon and Bella are King and Queen. She falls in love with her family's "Farm Boy" named Westley, who also adores her. He then leaves to seek his fortune in America so they can marry, but she later receives word that his ship is attacked at sea by the Dread Pirate Roberts and assumes that Westley is dead. After several years, Buttercup agrees to marry the evil Prince Humperdinck, the heir to the throne of Florin. But before the wedding, Buttercup is kidnapped by a trio of outlaws, the Sicilian criminal genius Vizzini, the Spanish fencing master Inigo Montoya, and the giant Turkish wrestler Fezzik. However, a masked "Man in Black" follows them up the Cliffs of Insanity. In the ensuing battles, Inigo and Fezzik are defeated and Vizzini is killed. But why was Buttercup kidnapped in the first place? Who is this mysterious "Man in Black" and what are his plans? And will the Prince ever find Buttercup to marry her? This fantasy novel, combining elements of comedy, adventure, romance, satire, and fairy tale, is said to be a spoof of swashbuckler movies. Author William Goldman is primarily a Hollywood screenwriter who is best known for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President's Men. Several years ago, some friends of ours brought us the 1987 film by Rob Reiner that is based on the book, and except for one little scene through which they fast forwarded, I think because of the language, we enjoyed the movie, and I have always wanted to read the book. The plot of the novel is sometimes a little confusing with all the flashbacks, sub-plots, and Goldman's "commentary" asides. In this respect, the movie is perhaps a little easier to understand than the book because the former follows the action more directly. It would appear that Goldman is a much better screenwriter than he is a novelist. The Princess Bride is presented as Goldman's abridgment of an older version by "S. Morgenstern", which was originally supposed to be a satire of the excesses of European royalty but is in fact entirely Goldman's work. Both Morgenstern and the "original version" are fictional and used as a literary device. Goldman's personal life, as described in the introduction and commentary of the novel, is also fictional. The basic theme of the book seems to be that "life isn't fair," and the narrative sometimes tends towards "absurdism," a form of literature which has never really interested me. There is a great deal of bad language in the book, more than I remember in the film, with cursing (the "h" and "d" words appear occasionally), profanity (the terms God and Jesus are frequently used as interjections), and assorted crudities (such as calling someone an a**hole and a "son of a b****, as well as even using the "s" word once-by a kid, no less). I guess that it doesn't surprise me that a modern Hollywood screenwriter would do this and somehow consider his work as "a traditional piece of children's literature." Uh, I'm sorry, but I cannot recommend the book for children. In addition to the language, there are scenes of heavy drinking and drunkenness, and at least a couple of threats of suicide. Children can read about how "life isn't fair" without all that baggage. The latest edition also contains the purported abridgement of the first chapter of the sequel, Buttercup's Baby. At the end are some "Questions and topics for discussion," but honestly, even though there is an interesting story hidden in there somewhere, I really don't see anything that is actually worth discussing.show more
by Wayne S. Walker
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