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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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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.
"[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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Rob Reiner made a name for himself in Hollywood as the director of "Stand By Me" (an adaptation of a novella by Stephen King) and the cult-classic rockumentary-mockumentary "This is Spinal Tap." "The Princess Bride" is another jewel in his crown. It's a wonderfully wholesome fantasy/romantic comedy that has something for everyone. What sets this movie apart is what it DOESN'T have -- no sophomoric/toilet humor, no profanity, no nudity (nope, not even scantily-dressed individuals), and no graphic violence/gore. What does it have, you ask? Keep reading...
The movie starts with "The Boy" (a young Fred Savage) who is stuck in bed with a cold. His grandfather (Peter Falk) comes over for a visit; for which "The Boy" is less than thrilled. Turns out "Grandpa" has brought a beloved book his father used to read to him when he was sick. "The Boy" asks 'Is there any sports in it?' to which "Grandpa" replies 'Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, monsters, giants, kidnapping, captures, escapes, true love, miracles...' "The Boy" decides it sounds OK and he'll try to stay awake, so "Grandpa" starts reading...
The story itself is about a young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) and Wesley (Cary Elwes), her "farm boy." It starts off with Buttercup constantly pestering Wesley, but she quickly learns that Wesley is in love with her -- and also discovers she is in love with him. As we're about to watch them share their first kiss, the voice of "The Boy" interrupts, saying 'Hold it, hold it...: The scene cuts and we're back in the bedroom with "The Boy" and "Grandpa." "The Boy" says 'What is this? Are you trying to trick me? Where's the sports? Is this a kissing book' "Grandpa" is able to convince "The Boy" to let him keep reading. So the story continues...Wesley leaves Buttercup to find his fortune, but (supposedly) dies when his ship is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Fast forward 5 years later, where Buttercup is now betrothed to Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), the heir to the throne of the kingdom of Florin. This is where the story really begins, as Buttercup is kidnapped by a band of mercenaries including ringleader Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), swordsman extraordinaire Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin) and strong-man Fezzig (Andre the Giant) who have been hired to start a war between Florin and their sworn enemy, the country of Guilder. From there, the adventure progresses with the mercenaries and Princess Buttercup being chased by the mysterious Man in Black (who we later find out is Wesley), the cunning and clever ways the Man in Black/Wesley defeats the mercenaries and gets Buttercup, the eventual capture of Wesley and his subsequent torture, the plot twist where we learn who's REALLY behind trying to start the war between Florin and Guilder -- and how Buttercup fits into those plans, and Buttercup's eventual rescue.
The story delivers on the promise of "Grandpa." It does have fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, etc., so it's a rollicking good tale of adventure. The movie moves along at a good pace (not too fast, not too slow) and all the actors delivered excellent, very believable performances. The romance is delivered purely, with nothing more than kisses and embraces. The true strength of this movie, however, is the humor. It is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, with the actors delivering a plethora of sarcastic, witty lines with completely straight faces. We even get to see some cameo performances from the likes of Christopher Guest as Count Rugen the six-fingered man and Billy Crystal, who nearly steals the show as Miracle Max.
Overall, the movie is a very enjoyable experience that occasionally flips back and forth from the story itself to "The Boy" and "Grandpa" talking about what happens in the story. The cinematography is first-rate, showing the landscapes, villages, and castles with perfect authenticity, and the music of Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) rounds out the experience beautifully. It's a great movie for children, but it's equally appealing to adults. If you're looking for a light-hearted flight of fancy that will make you laugh (and might even make you cry) this movie is for you.
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But the asides were hilarious.Read more