The Princess Bride

This week I have been reading a book entitled The Princess Bride. It was written by William Goldman in the 1970s but passed off as an original story by S. Morgenstern (Goldman’s pen-name), and I must say it is one of the more interesting books I’ve read.

Where does its interesting qualities come from? I’d have to say from Goldman’s wit, which is astounding… Not only is his writing and portions of his story ridiculous in some places, but he also adds humor outside of the story itself. How does he pull this off? By passing the story The Princess Bride as one written by S. Morgenstern, Goldman creates the illusion that he abridged portions of Morgenstern’s work, cutting out several of the lengthy parts and then publishing the book as an edition known as the “good parts” version (which, by the way, is the only book you can get… there is no unabridged work). But here’s the catch… The portions that Goldman cut from the book never existed to begin with… It was all a ruse for humor’s sake, and every single one of Goldman’s intrusions into the story about why he cut something out was fake as well. Funny, yes, but was I pleased with myself? Of course not. I had thought that Goldman was being serious, and, when I figured out it was all a practical joke, I wasn’t sure what, if anything, I could believe of Goldman’s work.

But I’m not sure if he wanted to be taken seriously; and if that was his goal, then he did a very good job of it. And yet, despite his lightheartedness, there are glimmers of truth and honor in his story as well… They may be few and far between, but they’re there. Especially in Inigo and Fezzik, two characters who Goldman within a very short time creates emotional bondage to… Inigo perhaps being the lesser of the two candidates for characters the audience cares about most. But that’s just my opinion, of course.

All in all, this book is a very good read. It’s a little rough around the edges, but when you get down to it, it’s one of the more inventive stories in modern literature. Goldman’s wit and satire shine in The Princess Bride, and I can fairly confidently say that it is a recommendable read.

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1 Comment

  1. Sophia said,

    November 30, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I love this story. The first time I heard it, it was the film version. My dad had brought it home one day, and insisted that it was one of /his/ films, and that he had gotten me a book called ‘Screws and Bolts’. As he hadn’t actually brought back the book, he watched the film with me. Incredibly funny. I’m glad you liked it.


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