The Princess Bride
by William Goldman
I could not find a cover graphic like the one on my book which is a shame because I really like it. I also really liked the book.
For those of you that have been living in a cave for the last 20 years, The Princess Bride is a fairy tale story about lovers who must overcome many obstacles to be together, including the marriage of one and the death of the other. But these obstacles are nothing for the power of their love. It is very "70's Jewish humor" along the lines of Mel Brooks in perfect doses. It is also a story told within a story. In the movie it is a story being read by Columbo to his grandson, Fred Savage. This is in fact a device used in the book but altered a bit. The first 30 pages, not to mention all the introductions, are written by the author explaining how he came to "adapting" the book originally written by S. Morgenstern, a native of Florin, the main location of the book. All of this is bogus of course because there is no such country as Florin but for brief moments one actually believes maybe there really is. There is a lot of criticism of this technique but I enjoyed it. Reading the book, with all it's little interruptions was like talking with your old Uncle Lou who maybe embellishes stories sometimes and maybe he's had a little too much to drink, but you love listening to his stories none the less.
If you are at all worried about the book not living up to the movie's character, fear not. There are differences, certainly, like getting to learn the histories of Inego and Fezzik, but the book has exactly the same flavor as the movie but with a little more detail. It you love the movie, I would highly recommend you read the book too.
I can't say it was a great choice for a book discussion group, even with the questions at the back of the book, but it was just right for the Once Upon a Time II Challenge. If you are participating, consider adding this one to the list. And if you're not participating, you don't know what you're missing.