The Princess Bride by William Goldman

A bitter-sweet tongue-in-cheek fantasy

Lots of people have told me I should really see the movie from 1987 based on this book, and I'm looking forward to it, but at least I've now read the book. And what a book it is!

Insofar as I have a favourite fantasy genre this is it. Difficult to explain, but the mixture of romance, tragedy and satire is very tempting for me. Other similar books are Jack Vance's The Dying Earth and John Barnes' One for the Morning Glory, which I also heartily recommend.

So what is this book about? For once, I think that the back of the book says it best. Usually, those blurbs are pointless propaganda, but this one captures the true essence of the novel:

"What's it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles and a Little Sex."


  • The presumed original by Morgenstern is, of course, a fake
  • Goldman wrote many scripts for Hollywood, e.g. The Marathon Man

Return to reviews