The Princess Bride
20th Anniversary Edition
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From celebrated director Rob Reiner (When Harry Met Sally) and Oscar-winning* screenwriter William Goldman (Chaplin) comes "an enchanting fantasy" (Time) filled with adventure, romance and plenty of "good-hearted fun" (Roger Ebert)! Featuring a spectacular cast that includes Robin Wright (Forrest Gump), Cary Elwes (Liar, Liar), Mandy Patinkin (Dick Tracy) and Billy Crystal (City Slickers), this wonderful fairy tale about a Princess named Buttercup and her beloved is "a real dream of a movie" (People)!
*1969: Original Screenplay, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
1976: Adapted Screenplay, All the President's Men
Screenwriter William Goldman's novel The Princess Bride earned its own loyal audience on the strength of its narrative voice and its gently satirical, hyperbolic spin on swashbuckled adventure that seemed almost purely literary. For all its derring-do and vivid over-the-top characters, the book's joy was dictated as much by the deadpan tone of its narrator and a winking acknowledgement of the clichés being sent up. Miraculously, director Rob Reiner and Goldman himself managed to visualize this romantic fable while keeping that external voice largely intact: using a storytelling framework, avuncular Grandpa (Peter Falk) gradually seduces his skeptical grandson (Fred Savage) into the absurd, irresistible melodrama of the title story. And what a story: a lowly stable boy, Westley (Cary Elwes), pledges his love to the beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright), only to be abducted and reportedly killed by pirates while Buttercup is betrothed to the evil Prince Humperdinck. Even as Buttercup herself is kidnapped by a giant, a scheming criminal mastermind, and a master Spanish swordsman, a mysterious masked pirate (could it be Westley?) follows in pursuit. As they sail toward the Cliffs of Insanity... The wild and woolly arcs of the story, the sudden twists of fate, and, above all, the cartoon-scaled characters all work because of Goldman's very funny script, Reiner's confident direction, and a terrific cast. Elwes and Wright, both sporting their best English accents, juggle romantic fervor and physical slapstick effortlessly, while supporting roles boast Mandy Patinkin (the swordsman Inigo Montoya), Wallace Shawn (the incredulous schemer Vizzini), and Christopher Guest (evil Count Rugen) with brief but funny cameos from Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, and Peter Cook. --Sam Sutherland
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Stills from The Princess Bride (Click for larger image)
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I daresay the book has even more humor and more wit than the film adaptation. William Goldman's story telling is pure genius, writing from a satirical 1st person perspective of how he created an abridged version of an old non-fictional book from a fictional country written by a fictional author. As you read through the "abridged version" you will frequently stumble across familiar lines you've come to love from the film ("INCONCEIVABLE!") but with slight variations in certain parts (ex. a more detailed story of how Wesley and Buttercup fall in love on the farm), and often times even more brilliant substance added to classic scenes you already love (Prince Humperdink's Zoo of Death).
You also gain a better understanding of the film and why certain scenes play out the way that they do, such as why Inigo drunkenly yells out to Vizzini that he's going "back to the beginning" and the backstories to both Inigo and Fezzik beginning from childhood.
After reading the book you'll have a newfound appreciation for the movie which you'll see is a fantastic adaptation, and you'll have a fantastic time wrapped around Goldman's hilarious finger as he guides you through a truly wonderful story that feels exactly like the timeless classic we've enjoyed watching for years.
If you've never seen the movies, you'll like the book. If you've seen the movie a million times like I have, you'll LOVE the book. It's truly a must have for every Princess Bride fan. You won't be disappointed.
This is, by far, the nicest version of the book I've ever seen. No cheap anniversary text on the cover, like the 25th Anniversary Edition. Much more attractive than the foolishly short run of the Eastman (I believe) edition. I just missed that one and it shot up in price, nonsensically. A blessing in disguise. This one is far superior.
It's a nice, larger, book, with good size text and nicely spaced. The brown color of the book, with the gold accents really go well together. Add the rough cut of the page edges and it really comes across as an old fashioned classic. The illustrations are done nicely as well. I don't know if they could have done anything better.
If you're looking for a beautiful, classic looking edition of the book that is a good size to read and will look great on your bookshelf, this is the one. I tip my hat to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
"This is me, and I'm not trying to be confusing, but the above paragraph that I'm cutting into now is verbatim Morgenstern; he was continually referring to his wife in the unabridged book, saying that she [THIS IS WHERE THE MISSING TEXT SHOULD BE] he was with a generous publishing house (they all stink--sorry about that, Mr. Jovanovich), so let me just add here..."
I'd appreciate it if someone from Amazon would contact the publisher about this issue so that they can reinsert the missing text and send correct copies to everyone who buys this ebook. If this happens, then I'll update this review and change the star rating to 5, which is the rating that this story truly deserves.