Saturday, December 19, 2020

Review: The Princess Bride Deluxe Illustrated Edition

 By William Goldman

This tale of true love, high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts, as depicted in the 1987 film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Fred Savage, Robin Wright, and others, is now available in a beautiful new package, with foil and embossing on the cover and an interior printed on elegant uncoated cream stock with rough-cut edges.

This keepsake edition also includes fifty full-page color illustrations by Michael Manomivibul, full-color chapter openers, and a gorgeous color map printed on the endpapers. A stunning package no fan will be able to resist!

My Thoughts: I first read The Princess Bride when I was in high school.  The movie was a family favorite so I was stoked when I found an old copy of the book at a yard sale. At that time, the edition I read was one of the first copies.  It didn't have the extra commentary chapters from the author nor did it have the extra one called "Buttercup's Baby." Even the story was not as long (the book had about 200 pages). So when I got the Deluxe edition, I was a little surprised at the weight of the book. I knew it had illustrations and the added chapters, but I did not expect the actual story to be that long.  At least, I don't remember it being that long. 

Plot: The story is absurd but absolutely fun! As it is promoted in the movie, it has adventure, romance, passion, pirates, giants, sword fights, and castles. There was so much more described in the book that the movie left out, such as how Buttercup realized she loved Westley, the reason behind Prince Humperdink's dislike towards Guilder, and Prince Humlerdink's Zoo of Death. And of course, the pages contained side notes from the author that added some silliness to the story. 

Characters: The book gave more in depth details about the characters. The reader got to learn the back story of most of the characters: Buttercup was not as sweet (or smart) as she was made out in the movie, Humperdink was obsessed with hunting, Inigo had a tragic past, and gow Fezzik came to be part of Vizini's gang. I enjoyed learning more about the characters and I really enjoyed how their famous catch phrases were still the same in the book (e.g. inconceivable!).

Illustrations: This edition had beautiful artwork. The illustrations were in brown tones but they were still gorgeous to look at. I enjoyed the artist's depiction of the characters. He drew them to resemble the description in the book. My favorite art piece was the map on the inside covers. Maps are fun, plus this was the only illustration that was in color.

Buttercup's Baby: This was a major teaser.  I won't spoil it for those that have not read it but I will tell you that it ends with a cliff hanger. I felt a little annoyed that it ended the way it did. Who knows when the author will actually finish it? *sigh* Also, I didn't enjoy the author's commentary in this section, especially the one before the chapter. It felt very unnecessary. 

Overall, this was not the best written book but I still loved it. Ignoring my feelings with the last chapter, I really had fun re-reading the first part of the book. The Princess Bride holds a special place in my heart so I can't help but love this book. I rate this edition:

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