The Princess Bride – William Goldman

When I first saw the film of The Princess Bride, I was just a kid and I… didn’t get it. I didn’t pay attention; the SFX were terrible, the storyline implausible, and I just… I didn’t get it.

A few years later, when I had a better attention span and sense of irony, someone (probably my dad) got me to watch it again and SNAP. That was it… I fell in love with this sublime and ridiculous story, instantly joining the legions of cult fans. I always meant to pick up the book, too, but – like so many I’ve read in this year of the insane reading target – only got around to hunting a copy down recently.

Long blog post short – the book is just as good as the film. If you adore one (like me), you’ll adore the other. If you think one is puerile and all a bit stupid really… well, you’re not going to find much to enjoy in the other. A sweeping, grand adventure, the story follows the epic love story of Buttercup and Westley; the trials, the tribulations, the miracles and downfalls, all with frequent interruptions from the author of the book, who reassures the readers each time that he is only telling us ‘the good bits’ of the story. To my delight, I found that the most iconic lines from the film are lifted directly from the book (that word really doesn’t mean what he thinks it means), and although I’m usually firmly in ‘the book is always better’ camp, when a book has been so purely adapted for screen as in this case, it’s like recognising a well loved friend in a slightly different haircut. It’s still them!

Love love love this book!

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