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The Princess Bride by William Goldman

March 16, 2018

When Buttercup’s true love, Westley, has his ship attacked by pirates on its way out of the country, Buttercup is distraught and determined that she will never love again. But she realizes she has bigger problems—she is promised to Prince Humperdinck as his next wife. Before she leaves for the castle, she is kidnapped by an odd group of criminals: Vizzini, the mastermind behind the whole scheme, who loves money more then anything; Inigo Montoya, a man out for revenge; and Fezzik, a caring, helpful, and flighty giant. As they travel, the man in black who saves Buttercup from the criminals, meets them.

Together the pair travels across the country of Guilder, on a mission to return to Florin, where Buttercup secretly continues her relationship with the man in black, while she delays the arranged marriage with Prince Humperdinck. But how long can she stall the wedding? What will happen if the Prince finds out? Will everyone make it out alive?

William Goldman writes as if he is abridging the work of a fictional author, S. Morgenstern. Goldman often breaks into the story by including first-person personal paragraphs that “explain” a section of S. Morgenstern’s tale because it was too boring, or it was just conveying useless information. Goldman writes with a light comedic tone, which makes it easy for readers to connect with not just the characters but Goldman himself. So when he breaks in, it seems as if he is a character in his own story, causing the entire book to flow smoothly.

I loved how Goldman developed every character in the novel, even if they weren’t present throughout the whole story. For example, Fezzik is part of the plot, but he is not as important as Buttercup, or Westley. However, Goldman develops him just as much as any other character, so that by the end of the story readers feel that they have been best friends with him for their entire lives.

Other than Goldman’s commentary, he writes the story in third person, switching between Westley and Buttercup. This feature is effective because it gives the book a quick pace and keeps readers interested throughout the story— he will often end chapters that followed either Westley or Buttercup on life-or-death cliffhangers, making a reader want to keep reading to find out what happens. This is one of the many aspects that led me to rate this book a solid ten out of ten.

The Princess Bride is a classic tale of friendship, love, and near-death experiences that captivate, and intrigue readers of any age. I hope that you will join Buttercup, Westley, and their unique accomplices on their journey—and their fight for love.


Harcourt, 512 pages

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