The Princess Bride - William Goldman

Few who know Lee Benfield can avoid knowing The Princess Bride. It's a cult film/book, and my friend is part of that cult. So, I've watched the film and enjoyed it. I have now also read the book, and enjoyed it.

William Goldman has won two academy awards for screenwriting, and also wrote the book Marathon Man, which became the film. So, he knows something about screenwriting. It seems appropriate, then, that his novel is so terribly film-like. Many novels require a fair amount of adjustment for the silver screen. This, very little.

It's a wonderful fairy story of true love, filled out with memorable, (excessively) larger than characters and memorable quotes. This cute adventure fluff is scaffolded by a meta-story of it being the abridged version of an obscure and uneven classic, described by a rather more cynical voice of the author. This twisted structure prevents the whole thing becoming too saccharine, making the whole thing a fun, light read.

Certainly a nice change from dry market microstructure theory!

Posted 2012-04-05.