The Princess Bride by William Goldman
(Ballantine Reader's Circle)

79%

27 Critic Reviews

Already knowing the story from the movie in no way diminished my enjoyment - in fact, I was glad to know more of Inigo and Fezzik's story! I'm looking forward to watching the movie yet again in fact! I definitely read this book with a smile on my face nearly the whole time, and I bet you will too.
-Sarah Reads Too Much

Synopsis

William Goldman's modern fantasy classic is a simple, exceptional story about quests—for riches, revenge, power, and, of course, true love—that's thrilling and timeless.

 

Anyone who lived through the 1980s may find it impossible—inconceivable, even—to equate The Princess Bride with anything other than the sweet, celluloid romance of Westley and Buttercup, but the film is only a fraction of the ingenious storytelling you'll find in these pages. Rich in character and satire, the novel is set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin that's home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions.”

 

About William Goldman

See more books from this Author
William Goldman was a screenwriter on such films as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President's Men.
 
Published October 8, 2007 by Mariner Books. 465 pages
Genres: History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Action & Adventure, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Princess Bride
All: 27 | Positive: 21 | Negative: 6

Suite 101

Good
Reviewed by Jessica Scott on Mar 28 2009

The Princess Bride is a joy to read, and it is extremely hard to put down. The characters all have unique and endearing quirks, and the reader enjoys every minute that he or she spends in their company.

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The Bookbag

Excellent
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath on Aug 01 2008

I love The Princess Bride. Every last word of it. It's got everything you could possibly need in a story. Goldman's writing style sings on every page.

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Pajiba

Below average
Reviewed by Tyburn Blossom on Mar 21 2013

Actually, what bothered me the most was that the whole story, including the author's asides, felt like Westley talking to Buttercup: the tone grated because it constantly felt like he was talking down to his audience.

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SF Site

Above average
Reviewed by David Soyka on Jan 26 2014

...I don't think you can truly appreciate the movie without knowing the "full story" it refers to...So, you might not "get" the fuss about The Princess Bride unless you read it first. Or, better yet, have it read to you.

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The Daily Beast

Good
Reviewed by Nathaniel Rich on Aug 28 2013

We read...for his playful, light touch, the charming vulnerability of his characters, and the deep satisfactions of a nimbly executed revenge plot. The novel is simultaneously a celebration and an exemplar of the joys of storytelling.

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The Ranting Dragon

Excellent
Reviewed by Marnie on Jan 11 2011

The Princess Bride is, above all else, a very fun read. It’s fairly short and a very quick read, but those 250 pages are packed with a fast-paced plot, extremely lovable characters, a beautiful love story, humor, and the interesting and fairly unique double-narrative.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Adam H. on May 25 2014

I won't spoil the story, but there are many cool things in store. There are miracles, torture and even a six-fingered man! Read the book and enjoy

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Unknown on May 25 2014

This book is well-written in many ways. The authorspends a lot of time developing the characters, each with a distinct personality,which helps readers understand their actions.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Victoria Erin on May 19 2011

I like this book because it is one of the few, if not the only, fantasy adventure romance novels that I can actually stand.

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Yahoo! Voices

Excellent
Reviewed by Davida Chazan on Apr 09 2009

If you don't at least crack a smile while reading this book, then your funny bone must be made of hardened, cold, molten stone!

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Timothy Sexton on Jun 01 2006

In the hands of a comic genius like William Goldman-the greatest novelist and screenwriter of the 1970s-with his deft handling of both irony and romanticism, the story of The Princess Bridge that you think you know is one that is even loftier and more nuanced with profundity than the story told in the movie.

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That's What She Read

Below average
Reviewed by Michelle on Apr 14 2012

In my opinion, the tongue-in-cheek satire Goldman uses...is unnecessary and does nothing but distract the reader from a great story. As a result, this is an example of the very infrequent scenario in which the movie adaptation is much better than the original print version of the story.

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Brothers Judd

Good
on May 25 2014

Princess Bride is so funny precisely because Goldman has been so careful to follow the conventions of the fairy tale...in the end the good guys win, the bad guys are dead or vanquished, true love has been vindicated, and we all fondly recall having our father or grandfather read to us.

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Rebecca Reads

Below average
Reviewed by Rebecca Reid on Oct 05 2010

...rereading The Princess Bride as an adult was not as satisfying as reading it as a teenager. I like reading the histories of the characters (much of the prehistory has been left out of the movie) but I was not as satisfied with the novel.

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Sarah Reads Too Much

Good
Reviewed by Sarah Reads Too Much on Mar 27 2014

Already knowing the story from the movie in no way diminished my enjoyment - in fact, I was glad to know more of Inigo and Fezzik's story! I'm looking forward to watching the movie yet again in fact! I definitely read this book with a smile on my face nearly the whole time, and I bet you will too.

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http://goodbooksandgoodwine.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Allison L on Oct 26 2012

The world that William Goldman crafts is simply magical and contains a story that is strictly filled with high class adventure and fantasy. It’s the perfect book to curl up with under a blanket and a warm drink of your choice...

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https://suite101.com

Good
Reviewed by Jessica Scott on Mar 28 2009

...they can appreciate that his voice in the novel is not unreliable, it is instead a revolutionary and unique approach to modern literature.

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Angela's Anxious Life

Above average
Reviewed by ANGELA'S ANXIOUS LIFE on Mar 08 2014

Really though the story itself is great! A wonderful woman... what woman wouldn't want Wesley coming and saving them no matter what! Even after the Machine. I wouldn't read this again but I am glad I read it at least once.

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The Lostent Wife

Excellent
Reviewed by Lydia on Jan 09 2011

It isn’t heavy literature to be discussed with a glass of port in one hand and your nose turned up in the air. It’s a story that thrills and amuses, that has its moments of clarity and moments of confusion. It has everything my inner child craves in a book and it’s for that reason it’s on my yearly re-read list.

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Blurb Hack

Excellent
Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi on Aug 03 2009

Definitly a must read for fans of fantasy and fairy tales. This book shows how old genres can be refreshed for modern auidences. With an anti-establishment sub text cloaked in wimsical situations and witty dialogue, Goldman will have you thinking as well as grinning but more importantly flipping pages...

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Literally Jen

Good
on May 08 2012

Even though I’ve read THE PRINCESS BRIDE no less than 3 times, I still learn something new every time I read it. And if a super cool edition should happen to come out within the next decade, I’ll probably be buying that one, too.

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The Housework Can Wait

Excellent
Reviewed by TheHouseworkCanWait on May 09 2012

Even if you aren’t normally a fan of fairy tales, or love stories, or humor, you should read The Princess Bride. Because it’s magical and amazing and splendid.

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https://leeswammes.wordpress.com

Below average
on Nov 02 2010

I have not seen the movie and read the book without any further context. I was disappointed after all the good things I had heard about the book (but probably these people referred to the movie really).

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Holly

Above average
Reviewed by Holly on Aug 13 2011

...I DON'T like reading books that make me feel like an idiot. I liked reading this one though because the full of adventure, magic, derring-do and above all True Love story that was in between all that nonsense made me love it. As you wish Mr. Goldman. You got me-ha ha. I liked it.

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SMZb

Good
on Apr 12 2011

I enjoyed it, I did. But really, the real reason to read this novel—as opposed to just watching the movie again—is to get all of Goldman’s delightful commentary.

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Kristen Evey

Excellent
Reviewed by Kristen Evey on Oct 10 2011

...I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say we can agree the movie is pretty much amazing. Well, the book is better. Are you scoffing? Seriously, the book is like taking the movie and just making it more.

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The Bookwyrm's Lair

Excellent
Reviewed by Golden Bookwyrm on Jul 10 2011

I really don’t think I can come up with sufficient praise for this story. Both the book and the movie are wonderful (a rarity) and, humor and satire and fun aside, the story is compelling and exciting.

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Reader Rating for The Princess Bride
85%

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