One of those books my friend gave me when she got rid of her’s. One of those books that I have never read. (Criminal I know). Now I can say I have!
Customary warning: This is a reminder that these are my personal opinions. My thoughts and feelings are not your thoughts and feelings. I may not always be the target audience for a book; sometimes I am. If I do not like a book, that doesn’t mean you’ll dislike it. If I love a book or simply like a book, you may hate it. Take everything I say with this knowledge. If it sounds interesting to you despite what I’ve said, then go ahead and read it. You’ll only know you like something if you read it yourself.
That being said… Spoilers ahead.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Synopsis From The Book
What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince in the world — and he turns out to be a son of a bitch?
Initial Thoughts Before Reading:
What do I know about this book? That its a great movie and in many people’s opinions a classic. I did not know it was a retelling until I just opened it now. I really have no idea what to expect. There is a map and that is awesome. Otherwise, I’m very confused on what I should expect, so I won’t expect anything.
That makes it easy.
Initial Thoughts After Reading:
I NEED the original version of this. Not going to lie as I was reading this, I had no clue that the “original” was a made up concept and that this book was just a fake abridged variant. I didn’t know that until I googled it afterwards. I totally bought into the idea of a dense satirical political novel that would be broken down into a children’s novel of whimsy and magic. That this original had pages on pages depicting histories, and commentary on politics, and that someone could actually write 23 (I think) pages about hats. Or that this original novel was about how bad could win, and that there places that could be cut out or parts where the characters did not interact the way you wanted them to. I believed it. Because I’ve read those books. So to say that when I found out this was a lie, I died laughing. Would be a hyperbole because I am alive, but I did cackle a bit.
We got this guy named William Goldman who really loved the story The Princess Bride as a child when his father read it to him. And when he was an adult and revisited the story he was shocked to find that the variant his father gave him was only the good parts. Invested on sharing this better variant of the story, Goldman cut down the “original” novel into an abridged “good parts only” variant. Throughout the book he makes notes on where he cuts out pages and pages of text that doesn’t really serve the plot of the “good parts” and is originally there for satirical benefit of the original author.
The book follows the tale of a girl named Buttercup who was the most beautiful girl in the world. She loved a boy named Westley and Westley decided he needed to become Rich to take care of her. He dies. After his death she agrees to Prince Humperdinck to become his bride, telling him she will never love him. Three years later she is engaged to him, a princess in her own right and kidnapped by Prince Humperdinck’s hired hands to make himself look better. She is saved by Westley who did not die, and when confronted by Prince Humperdinck gives herself up to save him.
There is a lot of fighting. Westley ends up dying again. The kidnappers come and save him, and seek vengeance on those who have done them wrong in the past. How the book ends is up to you.
What I Liked:
The fact that this is a book pitched as an abridged variant but is anything but. It is a novel in it’s own right and the fact that it is “Abridged” says a lot about that market in general as well as the kind of book it is abridged based on.
All the satirical characters in general. I feel like I learned so much from this book without actually learning anything.
Humor. It has been a while since I laughed this much from a book.
What I Would Have Liked or Changed:
For the “original” to have existed. I need to be able to read this original nonsense of a story. Thanks.
Time Taken To Read
“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
“As you wish.”