Hamilton East Public Library logo

My Account

Hours & Location

Get A Library Card

August 03, 2015

The Princess Bride: An Illustrated Edition

Princess BrideThe Princess Bride: An Illustrated Edition of S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love & High Adventure- The “Good Parts” Version

Abridged by William Goldman
Illustrated by Michael Manomivibul


More commonly known by Rob Reiner’s 1987 film adaptation, The Princess Bride as a novel is just as likely to amuse and delight. Having grown up watching the movie, it was easy to picture each scene and imagine the voices of the actors speaking the book’s dialogue. Since William Goldman also wrote the movie’s screenplay, the book and movie prove to be very similar, with the book providing additional humor and added background information that I believe will add to my enjoyment of future viewings of the film. What sets The Princess Bride apart from other romantic adventure stories is the use of a fictional original manuscript (by a so-called S. Morgenstern) Goldman claims to be adapting and annotating. Even his own background story surrounding the narrative, in which he tells about his wife and son and refers to the making of the movie, is also fictional. This allows Goldman to poke fun at many aspects of writing, the publishing world (particularly legal issues), and Hollywood.

Goldman’s style is characterized by long compound sentences, as if someone were telling a story aloud rather than writing it down, which is suitable considering The Princess Bride was intended to be read aloud and commented on, just as we see in the movie version. I found myself racing through the scenes with anticipation, yet also stopping to reread bits of dialogue that were finely nuanced with humor and satire. The characters are interesting and endearing, and if he ever expands further on the epilogue “Buttercup’s Baby,” as he has suggested he may do in a future anniversary edition, I’ll be eager to see what else I can learn about the characters. I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed by the scarcity of pictures in the 2013 illustrated edition, as I was expecting something more lavish, but for those wanting to read this aloud to their kids, the pictures are a nice addition. Whether you’ve seen the movie or not, I highly recommend this as a fun read with a little something to please even the pickiest readers.

Review By: Alison Orpurt