The Princess Bride | William Goldman
Updated: Dec 27, 2021
Read If: you like adventures, romance, some humor, and a little bit of ridiculousness.
Like many others, I didn't even realize this was a book - I grew up watching the movie from a young age and absolutely love it. Since the movie is essentially lifted from the book (most of the dialogue is word for word), I loved the book as well.
We learn so much more about all of the characters (Fezzik became my ultimate favorite, with Inigo close behind) as well as getting a deeper glimpse into Westley and Buttercup pre-adventure.
I had a lot of "Oh" moments as I was reading that suddenly made certain scenes of the movie make sense. If you've watched the movie without ever reading the book (which is perfectly fine), you've probably wondered why Buttercup acts so weird around Westley at first; or why Westley spends so long lingering in the bed when confronted by Humperdinck. Luckily, the book reveals the reasoning (she had genuinely no interest in Westley until he was desired by another woman; Westley thought he had longer as a functioning man after taking Miracle Max's cure, but turns out, he was actually short by about 15 minutes and losing strength).
There is one big difference, though: Prince Humperdinck isn't the ridiculous sod he appears to be in the movie. Actually, he's a well-trained, intimidating, massive hunter.
Here's my one con when it came to this book: I found the narrator (the now-adult boy who is being read to in the movie, and grows into a writer who has decided to abridge the fictional full-length story that includes a lot of history) very annoying. His asides often interrupted the story at frustrating points and just weren't funny. The similarities between the narrator and the actual author were also super confusing. I would've been perfectly happy without his asides.