The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

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The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

by William Goldman, William Goldman

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | October 8, 2007 | Trade Paperback

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure is rated 4 out of 5 by 11.

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 equateThe Princess Bridewith 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."

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 480 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.2 in

Published: October 8, 2007

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0156035154

ISBN - 13: 9780156035156

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eight Bookcases Check out my review of Goldman's work on my blog at: http://8bookcases.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-princess-bride-by-william-goldman.html
Date published: 2012-12-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from the movie is much better than the book 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.
Date published: 2012-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inconceivable I always say books are better then the movie, this one is no different. William Goldman had me laughing all the way through. I even totally bought into the S. Morgenstern back story, the writing made it all so real.
Date published: 1999-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Bookshelf Review The Princess Bride is a fantasy book about love, princesses, princes, pirates, giants, fighting and more. The author, William Goldman, had taken the original book (by Florinese author, Morgenstern) and edited out all of the "boring parts". Throughout the book he comments on which parts he is skipping. I thought Goldman's comments were irritating but the story was very well written. It was easy to read and faced paced with lots of action, romance, and humour.
Date published: 2010-07-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Surprisingly good I had to read this in grade 9 for a novel study and I actually kind of liked it. It is a classic and is really different and very enjoyable. I would recommend picking it up at the library since it is the kind of thing I wouldn't read over and over again.
Date published: 2010-05-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A funny, entertaining read I was apprehensive about reading this novel, but it turned out to be very entertaining. Some parts had me laughing out loud, and the story flows fairly easily from one part to the next. Goldman's writing took a few pages to get fully used to, but once the novel gets going it's all good. Very good novel and I'm glad that I read it.
Date published: 2009-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read It!!!! This is an exceptional book. The movie is great, but the book is better. It includes all the parts of the story the movie makers were forced to cut out due to time and budget constraints. For example more back story on Westley, Buttercup, Fezzik and Inigo. Also the one part that Goldman desperately wanted to include but couldn't.... the Zoo of Death. Definately worth buying to read again and again and again.
Date published: 2009-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny Read - even if you're familiar with the story I grew up watching the movie, and was not sure whether I'd find reading the book after the fact boring. But it is a must read for all of the movie fans! There are so many parts of the book that were not in the movie that the material is fresh and often unexpected. And of course if is absolutely hilarious! I enjoyed it a hundred times more than the movie simply because it lasts longer.
Date published: 2008-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's abridged, but it's not! I've always loved this movie, since I was a little kid. I was astonished to learn that it was actually based on a real book! "S. Morgenstern" is a completely fictional character in Goldman's imagination. Goldman supposedly found a manuscript for the book "The Princess Bride," but it contained pages and pages of garbage... for example, ramblings of the many hats and accessories of Buttercup's rich and spoiled Mother. Goldman writes his own text in one colour, while leaving the original author's words in another. Of course, in reality, the whole thing is written by Goldman, but it's a fabulous gimmick. It lets him slip in details or skim over portions of history by claiming to be doing us a favour cutting out all this boring detail and digressions of an aging author.
Date published: 2008-01-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Crappy edition This is a great story but a lousy edition - it is too small and the paper is really cheap. Really poor quality. If you like to buy books for the feel as much as the content, then this is not the book for you. Try a different edition or publisher.
Date published: 2007-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Place tongue firmly in cheek, write novel... I loved the movie (1987) so when I saw the book in my favourite used bookstore, I thought I'd pick it up to see how it compared. For that person who doesn't know The Princess Bride, the plot centres around the kidnapping of the most beautiful woman in the world by her fiancé so he can start a war with the neighbouring country. That kind of makes it sound like an intriguing drama but it's actually a romantic comedy. So, now you know. I was very surprised at how well the movie followed the book. I suppose that is the result of Goldman's history as a screen writer (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). Of course, he also wrote the screenplay for The Princess Bride. The book, however, has much more of the S. Morgenstern background story. According to Goldman, the book was actually a history of the country of Gilder written by S. Morgenstern read to him as a child by his father. This is a great book for young readers as well as older, cynical readers. The humour is both obvious and subtle at times. The wit is variously sarcastic, satirical and ascerbic. The S. Morgenstern device is creative and adds an another dimension to the story that makes a good book better, as well as pulling the younger reader into Goldman's constructed reality.
Date published: 2005-07-06

– More About This Product –

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure

by William Goldman, William Goldman

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 480 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.2 in

Published: October 8, 2007

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0156035154

ISBN - 13: 9780156035156

Read from the Book

Introduction to the30th Anniversary EditionbyWILLIAM GOLDMAN   Until a couple of weeks ago, this introduction would have been real short: "Why are you buying this book?" is what I would have said. Or more accurately, this edition of this book?   Buy the 25th anniversary version, I would have told you. It's got a long intro by yours truly where I explain a lot about the Morgenstern estate and the horrible legal problems I've had with them. That version is still out there and what you are interested in is the same thing that I am interested in-namely, at last, getting Buttercup's Baby published.   I would also have gone on to tell you that there is nothing to report on that front. Same old same old. Well, that was then, as they say.   Something new has very much happened.   Let me tell you how I first heard of the existence of the Morgenstern Museum.   Back we go to 1986, Sheffield, England, and we are shooting the movie of The Princess Bride. It was such a happy time for me, at last Morgenstern coming to life on film. I had written the screenplay for it first over a decade before-but it had never been "picked up," as they say Out There, till then.   I ordinarily do not not not like being on movie sets. I once wrote that the best day of your life is your first day on a set and the worst days are all the ones that follow. They are tedious and horrible for several reasons: (1) they are tedious and horrible (but you won't believe that, I know), and (2) if you are the writer, essen
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Table of Contents

Contents


Introduction to the 30th Anniversary Editionvii

Introduction to the 25th Anniversary Editionxxxi

The Princess Bride1

Buttercup's Baby: An Explanation359

Buttercup's Baby, Chapter One: Fezzik Dies389

Reading Group Guide451

From the Publisher

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 equateThe Princess Bridewith 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."

About the Author

WILLIAM GOLDMAN has been writing books and movies for more than forty years. He has won two Academy Awards (forButch Cassidy and the Sundance KidandAll the President's Men), and three Lifetime Achievement Awards in screenwriting.

Editorial Reviews

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