Book Rec: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Book’s Basics

Title: The Princess Bride

Author: William Goldman

Series: Stand alone

Genre: Adventure, fairytale feel, bit of romance

Format: Audiobook

Length: 2 1/2 hours

Initial Reaction: I grew up with the movie and I had the same nostalgia listening to the book.


Buttercup is on track to being the most beautiful woman in the world. She falls in love with a farm boy, Westley. Westley goes off to earn money for the both of them to begin their lives together, but is then killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts.

Buttercup’s beauty attracts the attentions of Prince Humperdinck, who commands her to marry him. As he does not give her any choice, Buttercup agrees, but her heart still belongs to her long lost Westley.

While she goes out riding, Buttercup is captured by three men: a Sicilian, a Spaniard, and a Turk. They are not secretive about their intentions to kill after they arrive at the shores of Guilder, a neighbouring nation.

When they find out that a man in black is pursuing them, it puts a bit of a damper on their plans.

This book is fast-paced and exciting. The characters are wonderfully crafted. They are all unique and hold their own and play off of one another really well.

There is wit spread throughout, especially through the narrator.

Who would I recommend this book to?

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fast-paced books with adventure thrown in. It is appropriate for older children, but as an adult I still enjoyed it.

For anyone who enjoyed the movie and has never read the book, I couldn’t recommend it enough.

Side Note

How the story is structured is really interesting. I listened to the audiobook on iBooks, but read parts of the Kindle edition.

Goldman says that he has written an abridged version of an Italian book my an author Morgenstern. He summaries passages supposedly written by Morgenstern that makes it seem absurd that those passages had been written in the first place (when they hadn’t been). In effect, he the narrator is a character themselves, with a fictionalised family, while having the same name as an actual author.

That narrations style made reading it interesting – the narrator was both the author and also a completely fictional version of the author. It is also framed in being a story told to him by his father, so it has the feel of that. The humour that the narrator uses bleeds in to the humour that the characters have. This makes it feel a more cohesive story as a whole, while the characters still have their quirks about them.

Writer Craft Notes

I am an unpublished writer, but I would like to be published some day, so when I read a book I am trying to be more aware of the author’s craft and what I can learn from them.

I love the wittiness of this book and how it flows, but from a prospective writer, I was very impressed with the feeling of confidence that came from the writing. The author is completely in charge of the story, while it still being exciting and feeling organic. For me, every joke landed. There was a lot of silliness even though there were very serious topics covered.

Published by mooseisreading

Canadian living in the UK. I love books, games, and cats!

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