I can’t believe I’d never read The Princess Bride until now.
Written by William Goldman, of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men fame, this deliciously layered and adorably comedic novel was a delightful read. Of course, I’d seen the movie (who hasn’t?), but the book is so much more endearing than I thought possible.
In various asides and interjections, Goldman explains that The Princess Bride was written by an “S. Morgenstern” from the (very fictional) country of Florin, and all Goldman is doing in this version is taking the interesting bits and condensing them. He even claims to have met with professors specializing in Morgenstern’s literature and to have visited the Morgenstern Museum in Florin. The multiple layers of the novel (Morgenstern’s “original” story combined with Goldman’s ongoing conversations about his abridgment process) and the very sweet and silly diction (“He had written to her just before he sailed for America. The Queen’s Pride was his ship, and he loved her. [That was the way his sentences always went: It is raining today and I love you. My cold is better and I love you. Say hello to Horse for me and I love you. Like that.]”) made me fall head over heels for this fantastic story.
Goldman promises true love and high adventure, and, if you’re in the mood for a little laughing on the side, I highly recommend The Princess Bride.
A bonus: a map of the fictional Florin and Guilder!