The Princess Bride
'The Good Parts' Edition, Abridged by William Goldman
We all know the movie of course. And if you don’t, go straight out and see it right now. This is the version of the clasice tale that became popular enough to get that movie made.
It’s most surprising to see how close to the abridgement the movie managed to stay. I guess being abridged by the same guy as who wrote the screenplay to ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’ would help.
And that’s something I didn’t know before reading this book. Learning the background is the best reason for reading this - did you know: the legend about Goldman reading this to his daughters is not true? He didn’t have any daughters, just a son. Did you know: Morgenstern actually wrote ‘The Princess Bride’ as a satire of royalty? By filling the backstory of the the writing and the history of the original you do begin to understand some of the controversy over the abridgement and why Stephen King got involved in the abridgement of the sequel.
I was particularly inspired to read this by seeing the movie ‘Stardust’ - also a fairly corny fantasy story, also adapted from a novel. It has a very similar feel: a really traditional storyline, but then told in this slightly mocking, ironic style. It even includes some unusual and unexpected characters.
Neil Gaiman (the author of ‘Stardust’) was inspired by something, I suspect. Which also brings me to: If you like fantasy, but are maybe a little burned out on the genre, or if you just plain like fantasy, then do yourself a favour and read something by Neil Gaiman.
And of course ‘The Princess Bride.’ All will then become clear…