Takeaway: The classic 1973 book, which was made into the 1987 movie, is still worth reading.
Like most of my generation and later, I was introduced to the movie before the book. The book was written the year I was born. And the movie came out when I was 14. So, the characters have always been the movie characters in my head.
I first read the book pretty soon after the movie came out. I expected a movie novelization, but while the movie was closely based on the book, it was clearly not a novelization. I remember it as a book where I literally laughed out loud often at the time.
I have not read it since but have maintained my appreciation of the book and movie. I usually watch at least a few minutes of the movie every time I notice it is on TV.
I do not always want to re-read books that I have fond memories of. I have re-read too many books that do not hold up on a second or third reading, a decade or two later. That is probably true here, although I still really enjoyed the book (it just felt a bit too long.)
The book jokes that it is an abridgment of a classic novel and William Goldman puts himself into the book and makes lots of comments about why he is abridging a section. But also the “˜original author’ S Morgenstern also is continually making aside comments as well.
The comments from Goldman or Morgenstern are the root of most humor. But as the book continues, they necessarily slow down because these jokes would get old if overused. So the beginning of the book is funnier than the later parts. However, the later parts of the book are more focused on the actual story between Westley and Buttercup.
I have seen The Princess Bride on sale many times over the past few years, but it wasn’t until I saw it on Kindle Unlimited that I decided to pick it up. This is exactly the sort of book that should be there. It has been out for more than 40 years; it is still popular, although it probably doesn’t sell that many copies. The paperback is less than $6, and many used copies are floating around.