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The Princess Bride
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2010 Reads > TPB: Am I the only one who thinks this book is overrated?

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Brad Theado | 217 comments Its seldom that I like a movie better than the original book, but I am 2/3 of the way through this and I can't wait for it to be over. I am prepared for the fire storm of hatred that will rain down on me for writing this though.

I am usually not one to bang on a classic, I can always find something that I like about it from one perspective or another. I think what I am taking issue with is the author's self-indulgent dialog that goes along with the story. I know that he is using this dialog as a form of satire/humor, but it just doesn't work for me.

I much preferred the way that the movie took us out of the story with the boy and the grandfather. hearing about the author's fat son and cold wife just didn't add anything to the story for me.

Anyone else agree with me? We talk a lot about what we love about a book, is there anything else that you hate about this one? Feel free to disagree with me.....I know you want to.


message 2: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5872 comments Sometimes a movie is a nicer edit of a book (Time Traveler's Wife).


message 3: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Nope your not the only one who liked the movie more. I quit reading just about half way through. Never did finish it.


Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments In my experience, about 50% of people hate the book the way Star Wars fans hate Greedo shooting first. They just can't stand that Fred Savage grew up to be a huge jerk who can't stand his wife and kid.

Personally, I've always felt the movie to be mediocre. Sure, it has some memorable lines, but overall it's just fluff. I much prefer the book for all the metatextual elements.


Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments I have loved the movie ever since it came out. I've watched it many, many times and it always seems new to me. I read the book for another group last year and was kind of disappointed. The main storyline was almost exactly the same, down to the dialogue. And, the book did add some nice detail that was missing in the movie. However, I absolutely loathed the metatextual elements.

I did really like the map in the book. I rarely look at maps in fantasy and find them to be superfluous. However, this map is great.


Hilary A (hilh) | 40 comments I looooved both the movie and the book, but found that I couldn't compare them with each other. I was initially annoyed with the amount of satire in the book, but in the end grew comfortable with it when I put the movie out of my mind and read it for what it is. Somehow reading/watching the book/movie with its counterpart in mind tarnishes the experience for me.


Remington | 38 comments I too was so tired of the book and incredibly grateful when it finally ended. You never really get the feeling that Buttercup and Wesley are deeply in love since they bicker every time they are together. He even slaps her across the face in one scene! Fezzik comes across as a complete, not very likeable, idiot. The only character I was interested in while reading the book was Inigo. And don't get me started on the ending. Good god, that was just pathetic.

And if you get tired of all of the meta, self indulgent crap the author puts in the book, then you might want to try the abridged audio version. It seems to cut down on a lot, but not all, of that stuff. The only problem is that you have to listen to Rob Reiner read the story to you and he is not a very skilled reader. I wish they had hired a professional.

All in all this was a huge disappointment as I was really looking forward to this book. Hopefully, 'The Once and Future King' will be better.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Welp, I'm about halfway through and really rather enjoying it. I haven't seen the movie in a while, nor ever even seen it in it's entirety, so that may be why I'm having no issues.

The author's little asides and notes come off pretty humorous to me, the writing flows effortlessly and the characters feel good, for lack of a better term.

Maybe that will change once I'm further on, though. But so far, I'm loving it.


Brian Williams (bwilli88) | 1 comments I did not like the secretary stuff at the beginning and had to edit it when my kids wanted to read it when they were 10 and 13. otherwize I thought the book was almost written from a screenplay.


message 10: by Sean (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments Remington wrote: "You never really get the feeling that Buttercup and Wesley are deeply in love since they bicker every time they are together..."

Sounds like every relationship I've been in. Some people just do the Han Solo/Princess Leia thing.


Nukethewhalesagain | 27 comments I was really disappointed by the introductions in the book. I don't know if the guy is trying to be ironic or funny but it just came off as mean. I do like that they go into Buttercup's mind a little more in the book. In the movie she always just came off as a prize to be won but in the book she seems to have motivations and thoughts.


message 12: by Stan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stan Slaughter | 359 comments The movie was just a part of the book and some people are disappointed that the book is not a mega-version of the movie.

I read the book first, and loved the monty-pythonish feel I got from it. When the movie was made they focused mainly on the main story line. It had it's bit of humor, but was missing the, "Now, for something completely different" vibe I got from the book.


message 13: by Skip (new) - rated it 3 stars

Skip | 516 comments I agree with Stan. The "author" in the book is not meant to be taken at face value. Even though it is supposed to be the author writing explanatory text, it is part and parcel of the book.

The author is written as a 1970s father trope. His marriage is loveless, he hates his kid, he brags about his job, and makes unthinking degradory remarks. I mostly enjoyed the silly breaks in the story. Some are made more jarring by the passage of time and changing mores, but for the most part it didn't disappoint.


message 14: by Doug (new)

Doug (dougfromva) | 25 comments I felt completely fooled when I realized the entire thing including all the notes were a work of fiction. It's been a while since I've read it. Don't think I'm going to do it again. But then that's why I voted for the first place winner. :D


message 15: by Nukethewhalesagain (last edited Oct 05, 2010 02:39PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nukethewhalesagain | 27 comments Yea. I get that its fictional and I get that its supposed to be a joke or ironic (this guy who so admires this epic romance is a hateful human being) but it's just not funny enough. It added nothing to my enjoyment of the book.

On the other hand, the asides from Morgenstern, the stuff between parenthesis about how the story takes place after the invention of hairdressers for example, are hilarious.


message 16: by Skip (new) - rated it 3 stars

Skip | 516 comments You do get that the "hateful human being" is no more real than Morganstern, right?

The old trope of the 1970s blowhard father isn't one that resonates much today. Read as a modern character he seems even less likable than he would have seemed when the book was published. So I understand that the character comes off as a drag to the story.


Nukethewhalesagain | 27 comments Yea. I get that its fictional and I get that its supposed to be a joke or ironic.


message 18: by Jlawrence, S&L Moderator (last edited Oct 11, 2010 12:58PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jlawrence | 960 comments Mod
Just finished, and I did enjoy it, but not quite as much as the movie. I think the film did a good job of streamlining and, given that it was aiming to be a charming comedy, wisely ditched the 'jerk-of-a-narrator' aspect. I kind of enjoyed experiencing that extra, cynical aspect as something unique to the book version, though.

The meta-trickery stuff was interesting as a framing device for the story -- when it cropped up within the story, I didn't always like it but felt it was well-balanced with the actual story - too much of it and it would have been unbearable.

I laughed out loud several times, sometimes at things repeated verbatim in the movie (like the whole 'Inconceivable!' trope during the early chase), sometimes at things unique to the book, felt myself rooting for Inigo, etc. - so it won me over in those ways.

I think both did good jobs of poking fun at traditional fairy tales while at the same time actually succeeding as charming fairy tales.


Margaret (megallina) | 23 comments I love this book. The story of the author, the story of Morgenstern, and Morgenstern's author notes take a mediocre fairy-story and turn it into an incredibly wonderful, funny, and magical story.

If you have it in your book (and you probably do), make sure to read the epilogue, and the "writing of Buttercup's Baby".


I read this book for the first time in the sixth grade, and didn't realize until spring of senior year of high school that absolutely none of it was true! I felt seriously betrayed, and didn't pick it up again until now.

However, my point (and the reason I'm posting it on this thread) is that I've realized this isn't a book about a story. The story of Buttercup and Wesley isn't the point. It's more about an author playing around with a story he told his daughters, to make it more than just a fairy tale.

We've got a million fairy tales. But we only have one Princess Bride. For that reason, it can never be overrated.


terpkristin | 4037 comments I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, though I agree with whichever commenter had said that they didn't like it when they broke out of the story to show dialog between Peter Falk and Fred Savage.

Funnily, I thought the parts where Goldman broke out of the story to give his little asides in the book were quite amusing. I didn't care too much for the introduction (it was too long and told me things that didn't add to my experience of reading the book) and I really could have done without the Buttercup's Baby part at the end. I think I would have actually been happier if I'd stopped reading where the original story ended.


message 21: by Skip (new) - rated it 3 stars

Skip | 516 comments I see what you are saying and I agree the interstitial comments work much more effectively than the introduction. The introduction works better than the added bits to the 30th Anniversary edition too. I like the introduction and feel that it provides a necessary contrast to the sweetness of the main story line, but I can see that a fan of the story may find it a waste of space.

The Buttercup’s Baby piece is too much. I get that it may be intentionally bad, but I draw the line at reading that much into it. The reunion scene gets a pass from me as the author left it out and figured only the clueless or true fan would ever read it. Adding it to the book for the new release lets the publisher market it as “now with new content”, but as I fall into neither camp I didn’t need to read it.

Also, rereading my earlier post, I didn’t mean to come off quite that snarky. Reading some of the reviews, especially on the book seller sites, it is obvious that a large number of people that left comments associated the author with the author character in the book.


message 22: by Feargal (new)

Feargal | 12 comments Just finished it today and the movie was indeed much better. The ending, in particular, seemed really rushed.


message 23: by Tina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina (javabird) | 652 comments Just finished the book and loved it (even though I actually never liked the movie that much). Goldman's a master at cliff-hangers, and I love his sense of humor.


message 24: by Curt (new) - rated it 4 stars

Curt Taylor (meegeek) | 107 comments Finished and posted my review. This brilliance of this book is in the meta. Let's face it, without the interruptions in the narrative and the clever dialogue this is really nothing more then another fairy tale. Even the movie, the grandfather and grandson dialogue is really more interesting. Maybe this is not a great representation of the fantasy genre in general, but I still enjoyed it.


Alfredo | 62 comments I am enjoying this book. I liked the movie, but if I have to chose what my kids do (read the book or watch the movie) I'd rather they read the book. It has a lot more than the movie and it's fun the intermixing of reality and fiction.


message 26: by Missy (last edited Nov 04, 2010 09:03AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Missy (booksofmissy) | 14 comments Just a little overrated.
When I first read this book I was about 14 years old. It is the perfect book for a 14 year old. I will not change my 5 star review because of what the story and the movie meant to me. If I were to read it fresh now I would probably give it 4 stars for cleverness and magical fun.

Re-reading is a bit like going home again...
The house is familiar and full of nostalgia but just a little too small and not quite as remembered.


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