The Princess Bride (the book)

book coverNot to brag, but I had a pretty awesome Mommy Moment with my daughter yesterday.

“Mom,” she says, “When you read The Princess Bride did you read the abridged version?”

I have to stop and think. I read The Princess Bride so long ago that I recall very little about it. I remember that it was quite similar to the movie, and that it gave some back story on Fezzik the giant, and that I didn’t love it. Other than that, I’m drawing a blank. But one thing I know for damn sure: I would never knowingly read the abridged version of anything.

I’m also surprised that there would be an abridged version of this book. So I question her further. No, it doesn’t say “abridged edition” on the cover. “But Mom,” she says, “there are all these spots where William Goldman tells you about the parts he left out. You know, the parts that S. Morgenstern originally wrote, and Goldman edited them out.”


It starts to come back to me now. That’s right, the actual title of the book is The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure. That’s right, this is a book about itself. It’s post-modern! It’s meta-fiction! How could I have forgotten about that?

So I explain to Elle that “S. Morgenstern” is fictional, and William Goldman’s commentary is part of the story. Like breaking the fourth wall. I wish you could have seen the expression on her face as comprehension dawned. She was actually upset with herself for not having realized this from the beginning — there was a hint of tears — but admiration for the writer’s craft took over and she could hardly get back to her book fast enough.

Leave a comment


  1. I loved the movie. It never occurred to me to look for or read the book. Adding this to my list of must-reads.

  2. I loved the movie too! I was amazed to discover that it was based on a book. The movie is so seamless and perfect in every way that it doesn’t feel like an adaptation at all. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy the book!

  3. Hi, Mo –

    Not a fan of Princess Bride but I like what you’re doing here … and want to support your Postaday efforts. So, I’m adding you to my Blogs I read links. I don’t mean to make that sound like an honor or a BFD … it just means I’ll be stopping by.

  4. Ha ha! Thank you very much, oldereyes. I’ve added you to mine as well, not that it’s a BFD either. And thanks also for introducing me to YAA (Yet Another Acronym) to add to my arsenal.

  5. I loved the movie, but never read the book. I’ll have to add that to the ever growing lists of books I want to read …. I just need about 10 more hours in each day :)

  6. Ten more hours, yes, and three or four extra arms would come in handy too!

  7. Have I mentioned you’re rad? Yeah, you are. I loved the conversation with your daughter and you’ve made Princess Bride cerebral to a certain extent. Oh, AND, I learned about the notion of the ‘fourth wall’. THANK YOU for this.

  8. Heh, thanks! Yeah, fourth wall is a great concept, isn’t it. I love self-referential fiction more than almost anything.


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