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Book Review

‘The Princess Bride’ anniversary edition, great holiday gift

12/11/2013

bookCourtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Shirley Shiffler

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

11/5/13

$25

HIV

450 pp.

When I was in high school, my brother gave me a copy of “The Princess Bride.” One of my favorite gifts ever, I was enchanted. When the movie came out a few years later, I loved it, too. But this is not a movie review column, and I have to admit, I’ve read the book more times than I’ve seen the movie, so I was excited when this special 40th anniversary edition came out, complete with an updated introduction, illustrations by Michael Manomivibul and a bonus chapter from “Buttercup’s Baby.”

William Goldman wrote both the book and the screenplay, so if you enjoyed the movie, this is one time when the movie is true to the book. Of course, the advantage of the book is that you get so much additional background on all of the characters and situations. For example, you have to read the book to find out about Fezzik’s childhood, how Buttercup came to be the most beautiful woman in 100 years, and the five levels of Prince Humperdinck’s Zoo of Death. I also really enjoy the quirkiness of Goldman’s commentary, breaking through as asides throughout the story.

“Fencing, Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest Ladies. Pain. Death. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.” All guaranteed. This classic tale of true love and high adventure is, above all, flat out fun. It is a great gift for anyone who is already in love with the story, or for someone who needs to be introduced to it. CV

Dear Santa, please bring us Peace on Earth and Good Will toward All. And chocolate truffles. And a good book. XO, Shirley.

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