I love the Princess Bride movie. Absolutely love it (watched in three times in one weekend kind of love it). But until recently I hadn’t read the book. And when I say I read the book, I mean William Goldman’s abridgement of the original Morgenstern text. Not that I’m opposed to reading the original (some of the stuff Goldman cut out sounds fascinating), but until I read the Goldman version I didn’t even realise there was an original to be read. Or that the entire story was based on actual historical events.
I’m assuming that if you’re reading this you are at least familiar with the story of The Princess Bride, if not I highly recommend at least watching the movie, so I’m not going to give a summary of events. Safe to say it lives up to its description as a ‘Classic tale of True Love and High Adventure’. I love good satire, and The Princess Bride, like all good satire, simultaneously mocks the thing it is trying to emulate and typifies it. The Princess Bride does an excellent job of mocking everything the story comes into contact with, while remaining an extremely engaging tale of Adventure.
I also really enjoyed the way the abridged story is framed by Goldman’s own relationship with the story, and his interjections peppered through the story giving context and justification for some of the scenes he cut. My favourite being the cutting of scores and scores of pages by simply replacing them with ‘what with one thing and another, three years passed’.
Goldman’s intense love for the ‘good bits’ version of the story as told to him by his father allows the reader to put on their rose-coloured glasses and see through the occasional faults of the book to a truly delightful story.