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Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Princess Bride

Recommended: The Princess Bride (William Goldman)

If you're reading this recommendation, then as Goldman puts it, "dollars to donuts you've seen the movie." And what a movie! A few years ago I learned that the movie was based on a book. Those were poorer days, but as soon as I scraped some money together, I went and bought the novel.

After all, books are always better than movies, right? Hmmm. In this case I have to declare a tie.

The movie follows the book closely, so even in the book we have all the great swashbucklery, the spirited dialogue, and the outrageously stereotyped characters we know and love. In reading the novel, you'll also get a little extra depth of character as well as the Zoo of Death.

The Zoo of Death is Prince Humperdinck's - oops, I shouldn't give that away, should I? Guess you'll have to read the book after all.

The only edition of The Princess Bride available in the U.S. is Goldman's "Good Parts" abridgment. Purists may have criticized this as an evisceration of Morgenstern's incisive political satire, but you know what? Damn the satire! We can't always be force fed morals in our reading. I don't read books to be influenced by propaganda; I read books because I want fights! Revenge! True Love! Rodents of Unusual Size!

And boy, does this book deliver.

You should have no difficulty finding a copy of this novel, but you may have to order it through your library or your bookstore. Although I can't speak for the original version, the twenty-fifth anniversary edition has an absolutely gorgeous color inset map of Florin and Guilder.

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