When I first received this book, I read it cover to cover. I love the Princess Bride movie, and the book expanded upon what was in the movie, giving more backstory. While it’s great to know more about the beloved characters, there is a large focus on character backstories throughout the book – I mean a massive focus. This opens up the world, and gives us more detail where the movie failed to do so, and yet, as a book… it’s not a page turner.
The exploration into the giant’s history with the circus was interesting, so was Humperdink’s obsession with hunting. His Zoo of Death was both accurate to his narcissistic personality, and humorous that it existed. By themselves, the backstories are intriguing, and they give much colour to otherwise fairly one dimensional characters. However, the book is almost entirely focused on backstory. The main storyline gets almost completely lost in the past, indulging much too far. The result is not only a choppy pace, but a story dragged through the muck. It’s too slow, and it can be absurdly boring, especially Princess Buttercup’s expanded portion at the beginning of the story.
Diehard fans of The Princess Bride will find much intrigue here. The corny lines and swashbuckling entertainment remain fun. I wouldn’t say it’s watered down. Ironically though, the movie eludes to a much more exciting book, and this simply isn’t that engaging. The tedious, extra plot points almost felt unneeded to a degree.
How the movie plays out is everything you really need to know, the book just adds extra, painstakingly long detail. Detail is great, but I found myself tired of the backstories. For fans of this movie, this might be just what the doctor ordered, and it is interesting for one read through. Beyond that, it doesn’t have much lasting entertainment. In fact, I haven’t picked up this book in a long time, and it’s probably going to stay on the shelf.