Monday, August 19, 2013

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

This is Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland, but can't you imagine Fezzik and Inigo running a cheerful scam together on the bridge?
The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies, but until recently I'd never read The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman. Inconceivable! I figured that since I'd seen the movie, I already knew the story. I WAS SO WRONG. If you want to know about Buttercup's childhood and her ridiculous parents, the farcical drama surrounding her first declaration of love for Westley, how Fezzik joined the circus, the tragic story of how Inigo's sword was created, and the story of how Miracle Max met Valerie and lost his confidence, read the book.

And if you think The Princess Bride is a story that grandpa reads to Fred Savage, think again. The book has an incredibly elaborate frame story that convincingly weaves together a fictional author named S. Morgenstern, William Goldman's fictional favorite elementary school teacher, his fictional desire to connect with his fictional young son, and a fictional bathing beauty in Los Angeles. Goldman weaves such an elaborate yarn, you'll actually believe that his father read The Princess Bride to him when he was a boy--but only the good parts!

I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but I Googled it to see if the frame story was real.

And if you're like my neighbor, who saw me reading and teased, "Is it sooooo romantic? Is it even dreeeeeamier than the movie?" the answer is NO! It's biting and silly and lots of fun, but if you want to read the romantic reunion scene that takes place at the bottom of the hill, you're going to have to write to the publisher and ask for it nicely. No joke!

Edit: Now you can request the reunion scene online here. Thanks to my friend Bill for alerting me to this! Haha, it's not what you expect... :)


  1. I LOVE this book. I actually think I like it better than the movie in some ways. It's just so much more descriptive! And snarky! :)

    I think I've owned two different paperback versions of this book. Love.

    BTW, one of the ads that popped up on your sidebar for Bad Idea T-Shirts has a boobalicious babe leaning over in it. I almost jumped when I saw it because I am typing this at work! LOL

    1. You nailed it! It's the snark that makes me love it so much. :)

      And thanks for the heads up about the boobalicious ad. I just blocked ads from their URL. Body positivity is awesome, but this is DEFINITELY meant to be a work-appropriate site!

    2. Now I'm getting beautiful Birchbox and BareMinerals ads... your plan is working! :)

  2. I was totally blown out of the water when I first read this, being such a fan of the film as well I thought I knew what I was in for! Guh, WRONG!

    For the most part, I don't care much for the book, except for the bit your mentioned of Buttercups confession for her love of Westley, which did have me rolling on the floor with laughter!



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