The Princess Bride Revisited

by Rachel Baker on August 28, 2013

The Daily Beast has a great article by Nathaniel Rich, author of Odds Against Tomorrow and The Mayor’s Tongue, about what made William Goldman’s classic, The Princess Bride such a classic when it was published in 1973.

Goldman’s Princess Bride is therefore an abridgement, with all of the “other such stuff” having been removed (but summarized in playful asides). What we are left with is “the ‘good parts’ version” – a rare understatement in a novel filled with dastardly deeds and thrilling feats of derring-do. Goldman is one of the century’s hall-of-fame storytellers, and in The Princess Bride he moves from strength to strength, each chapter a new adventure more surprising and delicious than the last: the passionate, unspoken love affair between Buttercup and her Farm Boy, Inigo Montoya’s twenty-year quest to avenge the death of his father, and Westley’s attempts to survive torments like the Fire Swamp, the Zoo of Death, and an infernal torture device known simply as the Machine, while trying to rescue Buttercup from Humperdinck.

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