After years of wanting to read this book, I finally got around to it! Sadly, it was the e-reader version I bought when I was going to Ireland and planning on not buying books/lugging books in my backpack (which I did anyway). This was the first real e-book I’d ever read, and it really took away from the reading experience. I cannot stand them! It also took me five months because I didn’t want to pick up my stupid phone and “read.”
Anyway, the book was pretty good, but I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would. I know I’m going to get a lot of flak for this because a lot of people love the book as well as the film. Since everyone has seen the movie at least 500 times, I won’t go too deeply into the synopsis. Everything that happened in the film happened in the book, though obviously in much more detail. A few include:
The dialogue in the book is fairly close to that of the film. You get a lot more backstory on all the characters though. Much more on Inigo, for instance. The reader is privy to the death of his father.
This guy was actually written with that hilarious speech impediment that we all love to imitate.
Here is the kiss that blew all other kisses away. Don’t you just love them?
Ok, enough of that. The novel is a lot more political than the film. Goldman writes as if he has simply abridged the narrative of the famous S. Morgenstern, the Florinese author who wrote The Princess Bride as a political and social satire. This gets really confusing at times. Of course, the reader figures Goldman’s asides are also fictional, but he is extremely convincing, mostly because he tells anecdotes from his own life and the events leading up to his decision to abridge the old text. He screws with reality throughout the book and it frustrated me at times. It did, however, make it memorable.
I was really impressed that the movie was so close to the novel. I suppose that’s because Goldman worked on the movie too. But the dialogue, especially the most famous lines, were almost exactly the same. It gave the novel the same whimsy and frivolity of the movie. The story, too, is the same we know and love, though more in-depth histories and rivalries of Florin and Guilder are present.
If Goldman had ended it with the escape of Westley, Buttercup, Inigo, and Fezzik from Prince Humperdink, it would have been the perfect ending. However, there is the epilogue, or sequel (I’m not sure which), called “Buttercup’s Baby.” It’s a stupid name, for one. Secondly, the plot is ridiculous. It plays with time entirely too much. And it goes virtually nowhere. Also, there’s a pseudo-sex-scene between Westley and Buttercup and it sort of shatters their image of youthful and pure romance.
In the end, I did enjoy it, simply due to its similarities to the film that I adore. But there are things that distracted from the story itself and I really wished they hadn’t been there. While it was a clever way to write the novel, and I’ll admit I’ve never seen anything like it before, it was still fairly irritating at times. I gave it 4/5 stars on Goodreads, but only because I felt guilty for rating it any lower. However, no matter the weird narrative, The Princess Bride will always hold a special place in my heart.