I’m a little embarrassed to admit that until recently, I had no idea that the movie The Princess Bride was a book first. So this is one of those rare instances where I saw the movie before I read the book. Typically that hinders my enjoyment of the book, but I can solidly say that this wasn’t the case with The Princess Bride.
Everyone knows how the movie The Princess Bride goes: Buttercup realizes she loves the farmboy Westley just as he is about to leave the country to make a name and fortune for himself. After receiving word that he is dead, and knowing she will never love again, she agrees to marry the dreadful Prince Humperdink. When Buttercup is kidnapped shortly after the announcement of their engagement, the story pushes forward with adventure, romance, and many surprises and beloved characters along the way. It’s fun, romantic, and easily quotable. I know I’m not the only person who at any mention of the movie must say, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
I’m happy to say that even though I saw the movie first, I found the book The Princess Bride by William Goldman even more enjoyable. The movie followed the book’s plot very closely, but the book has lots of valuable extra detail and backstory that you miss out on in the movie. The book also included many fun little asides by the author, who wrote the book as though it’s an abridgement of a classic tale. His little notes peppered in about what parts were so dreadful he had to cut them out and what happened when the original tale was read to him as a child made the book such a fun read that I couldn’t put it down. If you’re looking for a book with a little bit of everything (humor, adventure, sword fights, romance, and so much more), I highly recommend checking out this book and then watching the very faithful film adaptation.