The Princess Bride by William Goldman

“Hello, My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!” 

When I was a little girl I thought that Florin was a real place. You see, I grew up reading and watching The Princess Bride, and every time I read William Goldman’s brilliant author’s note in my worn copy I would be drawn in by his descriptions of his own “visit” to Florin. I didn’t understand then that author’s could weave fiction into things they wrote outside of the story itself, and I took everything he said in his introduction as fact.

Of course, I’m not the only person who grew up reading S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure. I’m not the only child (okay, fine, and adult) who ran/runs around yelling, “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Nor was my father the only one to ever quote, “Life is pain, anyone who says differently is selling something.”  We all do it. We laugh at Miracle Max (one of Billy Crystal’s best roles), cry out when The Count kills Inigo’s father, fall in love with Fezzik every time he appears, and we find ourselves overcome with love and devotion when Westley utters his famous line, “As you wish.” 

The Princess Bride taught me not to believe in true love, but to expect it. To want it. To be willing to do anything, go anywhere, for it. Few films have done what this one did, and of course, none of it would have been possible without the book. Usually, I’d say the book is better, and that holds true here, but I feel that this is one exception where the book is only slightly better than its adaptation. That’s how great the movie is. So in honor of Cary Elwes’ new memoir on the making of The Princess Bride, I decided to go back to the roots of the story and see if I could lose myself in it once again.

I did. Of course I did. That’s the magic of a story this good – it becomes real as you read it, until it doesn’t matter that you can’t actually board a plane to Florin – the book takes you there instead.

Rating: 50/5 stars (bonus points if you get the reference)

Overall Reaction: “I can’t wait to read this to my kids one day.”


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