EVERYONE Has Read This but Me - The Catch-Up Book Club discussion

The Princess Bride
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MODERN CLASSICS/POPULAR READS > The Princess Bride - *SPOILERS*

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Joanna Loves Reading (joannalovesreading) | 1109 comments This discussion is for the April 2019 Modern Classic/Popular group read of The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

*SPOILERS THREAD* This discussion will be full of spoilers.

This is the post-read or during-read discussion. Spoilers are allowed, but please use spoiler tags as needed.

If you haven't read the book already and don't want to spoil the ending, hop on over to the Spoiler-Free Discussion.

What did you think of the read? Would you read again or recommend? What surprised you the most or was it what you expected?


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 985 comments I've already read it several times. I love reading each expanded edition, with additional framing story. ?(view spoiler)


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 985 comments Anyway, yes I'd read it again. Yes I recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor and wonder. I am surprised that this author also wrote serious thrillers that I wouldn't go near, myself.

Fans of this are likely to also enjoy The Silent Gondoliers; I sure did.


Karen | 125 comments SOOOO glad this book was chosen by the group. I'm a huge fan of the movie, but it never even crossed my mind to read the book. (Well, I have to admit, I didn't really "read" it...I listened to Rob Reiner read it. Since he knows the story inside and out, he was the perfect narrator!)

This was one of the few times in my life that I actually enjoyed comparing the movie to the book. (They are both wonderful.) There were a few elements left out of the movie that were fun to discover. And, I found that I respected and liked Buttercup more in the written version!

Bonus: If you are a fan of the movie, or if you just want more of the back story, I beg you to get the audio version and listen to Cary Elwes read "As You Wish". Not only do you get to hear Wesley read to you, but many of the people involved in the movie participate. A lot of fun...especially learning about the big fencing scene!


Christine | 39 comments I first read this in the early 80s, and it's remained one of my favorite tales of all time, for decades. I've reread it several times since then (wish I still had my '77 paperback copy, with the cover I loved!). I'd also really like to buy a copy of the illustrated version.

I'll start re-reading this, this weekend, for more discussion. : ) It never fails to touch my heart, with its messages about love ("twu love"), loyalty, inner strength, perseverance, and friendship. The humor is exactly my sense of humor, so there's that, too.

Our entire family are huge geeky fans of the movie, also. (My son nicknamed me "Inigo MOMtoya," because he says I am both fierce & loyal like Inigo, but especially because I recite his famous quote way too much, lol.) This year my son is also cosplaying The Dread Pirate Roberts at a cosplay convention.

I think this is one of the rare times when the movie is equal to the book. That cast! However, this is also one of those rare books, that I wish I could go back again and experience reading it for the first time.


Christine | 39 comments Karen, thanks for the audio version recommendation! I'm rarely an audio fan, but hearing Rob Reiner read it would be nice.


message 7: by Summer (last edited Apr 05, 2019 08:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Summer (paradisecity) | 37 comments Just FYI for those of you on audio, the reading is abridged. It's a great reading, though!


Rebecca (tksharkbait) I've actually read this one. I adore the movie (as to many of my age group), but man this book was... totally different and lacking in everything I loved about the movie. I won't be re-reading. (I put this in spoilers just in case anyone does't want to hear "not like the movie/lacking movie greatness" before reading).


Allison (allipie77) | 31 comments Rebecca wrote: "I've actually read this one. I adore the movie (as to many of my age group), but man this book was... totally different and lacking in everything I loved about the movie. I won't be re-reading. (I ..."

I felt the exact opposite. I enjoyed the book, but I hated the movie. The movie seemed too juvenile, and it was hard for me to watch. The book added more dimension, and description to what was going on. I find your perspective quite interesting!


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 985 comments (Rebecca your spoiler tags aren't there... Otoh, I'm not sure they're necessary because you don't say exactly what you loved about the movie, what is lacking in the book....)


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 985 comments Allison, I agree the movie seemed more juvenile. I didn't hate it, but I've no desire to watch it again! The book is richer, wiser, deeper....


message 12: by Manybooks (new) - added it

Manybooks I started to read this years ago and well, literal me tried to do all kinds of research on the family until I realised, hey, the author is pulling our legs everywhere. Need to get reading, as I never did manage to finish as the book was due back at the library.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 985 comments I sure did wish the original story existed. But the 'good parts' version is indeed so much better. :)


message 14: by Jay (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jay | 18 comments I was so glad this was selected for the month because I greatly enjoyed the delightful romp the movie was. Unfortunately for me, the book did not hold the same spark as the movie did. I'm not sure if that is because I kept trying to compare them or what.

Some things I did like a little better such as near the beginning with the character development. I think perhaps for me it was just that the humor wasn't conveyed as well through text as through video. This was such a shame because I wanted to like it as much or more than the movie.
Admittedly, I was listening to the audiobook.

Rebecca my sentiments are much like your own. :(


Rebecca (tksharkbait) Cheryl wrote: "(Rebecca your spoiler tags aren't there... Otoh, I'm not sure they're necessary because you don't say exactly what you loved about the movie, what is lacking in the book....)"

Oh I missed that. I was thinking it was in the Spoilers section so I was covered.


Lensey | 65 comments Karen wrote: "SOOOO glad this book was chosen by the group. I'm a huge fan of the movie, but it never even crossed my mind to read the book. (Well, I have to admit, I didn't really "read" it...I listened to Rob ..."

Karen, I'm a huge fan of both the movie and the book, too! I find myself hearing the characters from the movie when I'm reading the dialogue in the book. I love that the movie uses so much of the dialogue exactly as it is written.

I'm so glad you mentioned Cary Elwes' book. I read it pretty soon after it was released and loved it! I think I'll listen to it like you suggested, though--I bet it's awesome actually hearing "Westley" tell his own story.


Lensey | 65 comments Cheryl wrote: "Anyway, yes I'd read it again. Yes I recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor and wonder. I am surprised that this author also wrote serious thrillers that I wouldn't go near, myself.

Fans of..."



Thanks for the book recommendation! It looks like a fun one!


message 18: by Shelley (last edited Apr 22, 2019 08:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shelley | 55 comments This was my first time reading the book, and I really enjoyed it. Somehow, I never saw the movie until a few years ago. Although I enjoyed it, I felt that I was missing something. The book did a great job of filling in the details I felt were missing in the movie.

I read a gorgeous edition that was released in 2017. It is just the type of book I'd love to own. It has a great look and feel, and gorgeous illustrations. Maybe I will buy it, as this would be a great book to have sitting around when I need something fun or am not in the mood for whatever I've checked out from the library.

There are so many lines in the book that struck me as hilarious, and yet most of them would be hard to quote effectively, because the humor is tied so tightly to the context of the book. It was like this huge inside joke I couldn't share.

Sadly, I fell for the S. Morgenstern reference and tried researching the "original" before reading the actual book. I almost wish I had done so after reading the book, but oh well.

My only complaint would be that I took the time to read William Goldman's Introduction to the 30th Anniversary Edition, William Goldman's Introduction to the 25th Anniversary Edition, and Buttercup's Baby An Explanation. Bleh! These pieces added nothing to the story, and honestly made my eyes roll (a lot). (I did, however, enjoy Buttercup's Baby, Chapter 1 Fezzik Dies. Ignore this chapter if you hate cliffhangers.) Goldman was so full of nonsense. It made me wonder if he was an incredible, and compulsory, story teller or just someone who liked to hear himself talk.

I have As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes cued up to listen to in the near future. I'll probably watch the movie again in the mean time. The movie and book were so consistent, I think I'll enjoy the movie even more this time around.


Storm | 169 comments I have watched the movie a million times and I read the book last year. I think both are fantastic!

I love stories that are full of those one-liner jokes. They keep my attention more than anything else, like the Marx Brothers movies. I pay close attention because I don't want to miss anything. This story is one I quote often and engaged with easily.


message 20: by Kyra (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kyra Keeton | 246 comments I had always enjoyed the movie, it's one of my favorites. I was surprised to see how closely the book and the movie lined up. I actually was hoping to get some more detail that the movies usually leave out, but it seemed as if the only "extra" information was that Wesley was actually in the Zoo of Death and we got to see Fezzik and Inigo work their way through it.
Did anyone else notice though that the book used "shark-infested waters" instead of eels? I thought that was an interesting change to have made for the movie. I also loved hearing Billy Crystal's voice, though, during the Max portion of the book.


Joanna Loves Reading (joannalovesreading) | 1109 comments Kyra wrote: "I had always enjoyed the movie, it's one of my favorites. I was surprised to see how closely the book and the movie lined up. I actually was hoping to get some more detail that the movies usually l..."

The zoo of death stood out to me too. I didn’t notice the shark versus eel infested waters but did think they followed each other closely. It was fun to read and I enjoy the movie. :)


Korina | 22 comments I think this is one of the rare exceptions where I will say that I prefer the movie to the book. Goldman was just..... infuriating whenever he spoke in his own voice. Not to mention very clearly sexist. Buttercup was the ONLY important female character in the story, and her only redeeming quality was that she was... beautiful. Ugh. Otherwise, she was mean, cruel, stupid, and immature. I did enjoy reading about Inigo and Fezzik’s backstories. And of course the plot itself is exciting and enjoyable. But I just couldn’t get past its glaring faults to give it anything more than 3 stars /:


Mariana | 520 comments Oh gosh, not again one of this children's books please. The humour is the one thing saving it. Almost DNF, I skim read it all the time. Felt like enduring Tom Sawyer or Gulliver as a child (and yet I'm still to face those)


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 985 comments Well, there's no requirement to read it if you don't want to....

(But I certainly wouldn't call it a children's book, nor would I consider it an insult if in fact it were....)


message 25: by Marla (last edited Nov 24, 2019 07:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Marla | 7 comments I joined this group after reading this discussion and Gone Girl. I love the movie and finally read the book a few years ago and loved that too. I moved the Cary Elwes book, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride up on my TBR. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I'm looking forward to discussing books with all of you.


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