When Buttercup discovers she loves the farm boy, Westly, it’s certain they’ll live happily ever after.
Until his ship is attacked by pirates, leaving him dead.
Until Buttercup is engaged to marry the cruel Prince Humperdinck.
Until Buttercup is kidnapped by the evil Vinzzini and his accomplices, Fezzik and Inigo, and then trailed by a man in black who won’t stop for anything.
I never knew this was a book. I thought it was just a movie. I liked the movie, though the effects left much to be desired, and I thought, “Great! It has a book! I’m going to read it!”
If you are anything like me, reading it will leave you confused. It says it’s abridged from the novel by S. Morgenstern. Is it, or is the author just having you on? After all, it says his dad was Florinese, which sounds fake. I confess, I was extremely befuddled. So, I turned to Wikepedia (the most reliable of sources) and found out that in fact, it was only to add a layer to the story. William Goldman was writing a book about a William Goldman who was abridging a book by S. Morgenstern who wrote a book about the Princess Bride. (Confused? That makes two of us.)
Apart from that, it was a pretty good book. If you love the movie, you’ll like the book. Most of the hilarious lines are the same. And it certainly was fast moving and action-packed. Fun to read.
But you’ll have to bear through the intro. It almost turned me off the book, and you’ll see why if you read it. It was not the type of book William Goldman should be writing. The whole thing gives you the feeling he doesn’t believe in the true love he’s writing in. From the intro, you gather he is a lousy husband and an uncaring father. So he’s writing a love story? (Fictitious though it was, he must believe some of it, or why write the intro how it was?) It doesn’t figure, and you can see it in Buttercup’s attitude. I’m not a love story critique. It is a very rare occasion I even read a love story. I read this for the movie. But even if he didn’t write it, S. Morgenstern didn’t believe in it, either. And I wouldn’t want to be in their wife/wives shoes, because their version of marriage stinks.
Buttercup was a despicable character. The movie softens her and makes her lovely. In the book, you don’t really like her until the near-end, because she’s just so fake. Compared to Westley. The only thing you can like about her is that she’s gorgeous, and can you really see that in writing? If it was written differently, as a dramatic adventure, then her weaker elements would have added depth to her brilliantly. But being the story it was, written to make you laugh, it didn’t fit. It only made me dislike her.
The sword fights, which usually leave me yawning, were excellent. The dialogue snappy. It’s written to be ridiculous and make you laugh. It works. It gives all the characters an element of unbelievable ridiculousness, which is both fun and makes you like the characters more. Except for Buttercup.
But there was one thing I really liked. Being the “abridged” version, there was barely any description. What description there was, it was great. Buttercup wasn’t outlined so that you know exactly every detail of her beautifulness. It leaves a great deal up to imagination, but gives you enough so that you’re not constantly thinking, “Huh?”
All my criticism said, I liked it. It was funny. I love funny. So don’t throw it out the window because you don’t agree. Read it. Quietly shake your head when necessary, but still, take the time to read it. You won’t be disappointed. And if you’re reading it before watching the movie, if you don’t like the book, don’t let it turn you off the movie, because though a lot is the same, the movie is great.
I’m glad I read this book, but I’m not sure if I’d read it again.