The Princess Bride is a 1973 adventure story by William Goldman. Goldman presents his novel as if it were a shortened version of a classic book by S. Morgenstern, a writer from the imaginary country of Florin. Goldman uses the façade of an original work as an excuse to make commentary on the style and action throughout the book.
In the introduction, Goldman claims he has had a lifelong relationship with the story A Princess Bride. He says that he was a late bloomer who could barely read until the age of ten, when his father, an immigrant from Florin, read him the novel while he was recovering from pneumonia. Afterward, Goldman became addicted to adventure stories and grew up to become a writer. As an adult, Goldman tried to read The Princess Bride himself and realized that his father had skipped over substantial boring parts. This inspired him to create an abridgment.
The main story of The Princess Bride begins with Buttercup, a girl who is so beautiful that people come from all around to see her. Buttercup thinks very little about them—largely because she is a rather dimwitted girl who has very few thoughts on any subject. If the young men get annoying, she asks the farm boy, Westley, to get rid of them. He says, “As you wish,” and he beats up the other boys.
Eventually, Buttercup realizes that she is in love with Westley. When she tells him this, he immediately goes to America to seek his fortune so he can marry her. Before he leaves, he kisses her, and the kiss surpasses the greatness of all five of the highest-rated kisses since the invention of the kiss in 1642 B.C. Sadly, however, Westley’s ship is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who is well known for killing his victims ruthlessly. Buttercup locks herself in her room for days to grieve. When she emerges, she is far and away the most beautiful girl alive. She says she will never again fall in love.
Prince Humperdinck, the leader of Florin, is a great hunter whose main interest is keeping and maintaining a Zoo of Death full of animals he can release and hunt. One day he is in his zoo when the doctor comes and tells him his father is dying. “Drat!” says Prince Humperdinck. “That means I shall have to get married.”
Prince Humperdinck refuses to marry Noreena, the princess of Guilder, because she is bald. Count Rugen, Prince Humperdinck’s only confidant, suggests marrying a...
(The entire section is 1672 words.)
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