The Princess Bride

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The Princess Bride

Princess Bride, The - Hardcover - USA - 1st Edition.jpg

Hardcover - USA - 1st edition.

Author William Goldman
Published 1973-??-??
Type Fiction
Genre Comedy
Themes Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Age Group Adult

The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, The 'Good Parts' Version is a novel by William Goldman published in 1973.

In the opening, the book describes how, as a child, Goldman's father read him a book called "The Princess Bride" but, as an adult trying to read the book to his own son, he realizes that the actual book was dreadfully dull compared to how his father read it because his father skipped all the dull parts of the original to make it more interesting for a little boy. So, Goldman does the same thing, taking the classic work and abridging it so his son will be able to enjoy it the way he did. The abridged version contains only the "good parts" with additional footnotes about the original.


Own?Hardcover - USA - 30th anniversary edition.
Read?Hardcover - USA - 30th anniversary edition.

I had seen the movie in the late 1980s, and thought it was pretty wonderful. In the 2000s, while trying to read the books that some of my favorite films were based on, I searched for The Princess Bride novel, and only found something called "The 'Good Parts' Version" which I assumed was an abridged copy. Eventually, I gave up my search. Years later, in 2017, my friend Wallee was reading the book while we were vacationing in Mexico and I read a few paragraphs and decided I liked it. That Christmas, my friend Danielle bought me the 30th anniversary edition and I read it the following summer.




— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The idea of writing a story about a fake book and presenting it as real was a very creative idea, and I initially fell for it. When I first started looking for a first edition hardcover, I was quite perplexed as to why I couldn't find the unabridged version!
  • The story is certainly trope-heavy, but purposefully so, and it covers all the bases, a beautiful princess, swashbuckling pirates, an evil prince, kidnapping, torture, a deadly swamp, true love, treason, daring sword fights, and more. Everything a classic adventure needs!


  • The "this was before" asides wear out their welcome pretty quickly.
  • The idea of miracle men who can perform magic doesn't fit with the setting of Earth's history. Either have a world that's historic or magical, but don't mix the two.
  • The ending doesn't fit with the typical trope-heavy book.
  • Later releases include the first portions of Buttercup's Baby, which, although it has some interesting elements, isn't that great.


  • Buttercup is pathetic. She's a ditz with no real talents or personality. Her only positive aspect is that she's extremely beautiful, but even then, only when her servants make her so. I get that this is purposely meant to trope-heavy, but it means Westley's love for her is entirely superficial, making him pathetic as well, but at least he has skills.
  • Inigo and Fezzik are described entirely with superlatives. Each has trained for years to be the best in the world at what they do. This makes both of their defeats to the man in black to be unbelievable. That, or the man in black is like a demigod or something.



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