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The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure Mass Market Paperback – October 8, 2007


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt; Reprint edition (October 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156035219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156035217
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Princess Bride is a true fantasy classic. William Goldman describes it as a "good parts version" of "S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure." Morgenstern's original was filled with details of Florinese history, court etiquette, and Mrs. Morgenstern's mostly complimentary views of the text. Much admired by academics, the "Classic Tale" nonetheless obscured what Mr. Goldman feels is a story that has everything: "Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles."

Goldman frames the fairy tale with an "autobiographical" story: his father, who came from Florin, abridged the book as he read it to his son. Now, Goldman is publishing an abridged version, interspersed with comments on the parts he cut out.

Is The Princess Bride a critique of classics like Ivanhoe and The Three Musketeers, that smother a ripping yarn under elaborate prose? A wry look at the differences between fairy tales and real life? Simply a funny, frenetic adventure? No matter how you read it, you'll put it on your "keeper" shelf. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

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

More About the Author

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

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Customer Reviews

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  • "Romantic" 152
  • "Funny" 129
  • "Writing" 118
  • "Characters" 76
  • "Emotional" 27
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

240 of 259 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have loved this book for years (I think it may be my favorite) William Goldman is a talented author especially with dialogue. This is a wonderful spoof/homage to old fashioned swashbuckling romance.
I noticed that a lot of people believe this book is an abridged version of the "original" S. Morgenstern book. Actually, Morgenstern does not exist, just try looking him up on the library of congress. He was just made up as part of the joke. Think about it, isn't a bit ironic that Morgenstern and William Goldman write EXACTLY the same way. This is supposed to be abridged, not rewritten. Plus, if Morgenstern existed, then Florin must too. Actually, Florin and Guilder were coins, the names were just borrowed. You'll never find the countries in your history book.
This is the Spinal Tap thing, the joke is done with a totally straight face so that there are always people who aren't exactly sure if it's the real deal. That was the reason Rob Reiner was chosen to direct the movie version.
Read this book, enjoy it, it is one of the best you will ever experience. The diaglogue is unforgetable (every sylabub!)
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314 of 342 people found the following review helpful By Xeneri on July 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Wait a minute, wait a minute....Is this a kissing book?" Well, yes and no...you'll just have to read it to find out for yourself.
William Goldman is a legend in the world of screenwriting, known for his clever, crisp dialogue and engrossing narrative, so why should his novels be any different?
Utterly charming, 'The Princess Bride' combines action, adventure, plenty of swordplay, and yes, some kissing....Those of you who only saw the movie (also writen by Goldman -- see my DVD review) are missing out on many of the delights of the book, notably on the developed backstory of the characters and the clean, wry prose.
Here's a bit of trivia: First, there is NO S. Morgenstern -- he is made up, fictitious, a red herring...accept it and move on. Second, Mr. Goldman will send you a lost section if you write to his address and request it (the one of mentions in the book)! When I first read that 10 years ago, I wrote to the company mentioned in the book and was delighted to receive my bonus section! (Hey, Mr Goldman if you are reading this, I lost my copy 3 years ago when I moved to LA! Could you please send me another one? ) :)
Cherish this book and keep it to share with your children.
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137 of 148 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The greatness of this book is truly, in the word's of Vizzini "INCONCEIVABLE!" What's this book about? Fencing, fighting, true love, strong hate, harsh revenge, a few giants, lots of bad men, lots of good men, pain, death, brave men, coward men, escapes, lies, truth, passion, miracles. It's hilarious, heart breaking, and terrifying all at the same time. If none of that sounds good to you, or if you've seen the movie and didn't like it, don't read the book. If you liked the movie, the book is twice as good!
Who's the genius behind this incredible book? The answer is simple, William Goldman (which is another whole story in its self). If you look at the book you'll read: "S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure. The "good parts version" abriged by William Goldman." In Goldman's introduction he explains how when he was a ten years old and was home sick with pneumonia, his father read him the book. (Sound farmiliar? If you're remembering the scene between the grandfather and the boy in the book you're right.) His father was a poor, English struggling immigrant from Florin, the setting of the Princess Bride. His father explains how Morgenstern was a great writer in his country and that there it is a very famous book. Goldman obviously loves the book.
As a man, Goldman decides to give the book to his son, Jason for his tenth birthday. After putting in an enormous amount of time and money to track down the book, to his shock the son hates it. In turn, he decides to re-read the book for himself. What he discovers is that his father didn't actually read him the whole book, he only read him the good parts. The book in fact was not even really focussing on the story he heard, it's actually all about the history of Florin.
Read more ›
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Oddsfish VINE VOICE on January 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles. GREAT LITERATURE.
There's not a whole lot that's not in this novel. It succeeds at being maybe the funniest, most exciting, and satisfying stories yet written. Plus, the novel contains startling depth.
The writing of the novel is so superb. The prose is smooth and light. It is really conversational, and word-play abounds. The novel also (as the Amazon review pointed out) serves as a satire of adventure and fantasy novels of the past and comments on the differences between fantasy and reality. The structure of the novel (with the hilarious first chapter, the flashbacks, and the author-commentary) serves to frame those bits of insight Goldman is trying to get across. Consider the line "Life isn't fair, it's just fairer than death, that's all." There's a lot in those words, and throughout the story, Goldman hammers home real truths about the nature of pain, death, and grief. And yet paradoxically, out of those truths The Princess Bride emerges as a story to give its reader reaffirmation in the greatness of life.
As you may can tell, The Princess Bride is my favorite novel. I've read it numerous times, and each time I read it, the book is better. I know that everybody watches the movie, and yes, the movie is great. Even a masterpiece. But the novel goes far beyond that. Read it.
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