Posted by: montclairlibrary | September 29, 2017

The Princess Bride Turns 30

Books for people who love The Princess Bride, a list by the Friends of Montclair Library

It’s almost inconceivable that “The Princess Bride” movie celebrated its 30th anniversary this month – the film was released in theaters on September 25, 1987.

The now-classic tale of swashbuckling romance pairs traditional fairy tale elements like a kidnapped princess, a gentle giant and “the second best sword-fighting sequence on film” with humor and memorable lines that have become part of pop culture.

If you love the movie and haven’t read the book yet, do yourself a favor and check out William Goldman’s 1973 novel right now: The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, the “Good Parts” Version, Abridged by William Goldman (FIC GOLDMAN) (not at Montclair).

The new book The Dharma of “The Princess Bride”: What the Coolest Fairy Tale of Our Time Can Teach Us About Buddhism and Relationships by Ethan Nichtern (so new that OPL has ordered copies but they aren’t yet circulating – you can request it now) explores principles of Buddhist teachings through the lens of the iconic film, examining the concepts of friendship, romance and family, and how they are experienced by such characters as Buttercup, Fezzik and Westley.

And if you want the behind-the-scenes take on the making of the movie, and are willing to wade through some Hollywood back-patting to find the interesting bits, actor Cary Elwes’s first-person account of the making of the cult classic film is “filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs and interviews with” cast and crew: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of “The Princess Bride” by Cary Elwes (791.4372 PRINCESS) (not at Montclair)

Lastly, here are a few more books that mix fairy tale elements with humor — stories about princesses, sword fights, mistaken identity and true love — fans of “The Princess Bride” might enjoy. These are mostly books for adults, with a few middle-grade books that fairy-tale-loving adults will enjoy thrown in:

Stardust by Neil Gaiman (YA SF GAIMAN) – Perhaps the most obvious parallel for The Princess Bride, Stardust also features magic, adventure and true loves separated by fate, as our young hero Tristran sets off to retrieve a fallen star.

The Robber Bridegroom by Eudora Welty (FIC WELTY) (not at Montclair) – Welty’s Southern folk tale about a gentleman bandit who kidnaps the fair Rosamund weaves together elements of Mississippi lore and a story from the Brothers Grimm.

The Silent Gondoliers: A Fable by S. Morgenstern by William Goldman (not in OPL – available through Link+) – Written in the form of a fable by the same mythical S. Morgenstern who wrote The Princess Bride, this story about the boatmen of Venice lets Goldman “satirize both the literary forms themselves and the modern values that are so humorously contrasted with the expected traditional values of fairy tales or fables.” (BookRags)

The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides by Ben Tripp (the book seems to be missing from OPL, but you can check out the ebook) – In this middle-grade novel set in 18th-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol (in a Dread Pirate Roberts-like move) “takes on the persona of his dead master, the notorious highwayman Whistling Jack, who pledged a fairy he would rescue a feisty princess from an arranged marriage with King George III.”

The Color of Magic (Discworld 1) by Terry Pratchett (SF PRATCHETT) (not at Montclair) – “A slightly disorganized and somewhat naive interplanetary tourist joins up with a bumbling wizard and embarks on a chaotic voyage through a world filled with monsters and dragons, heroes and knaves, in the first novel in the Discworld series.”

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (J FIC HALE) – “On her way to marry a prince she’s never met, Princess Anidori is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim the crown that is rightfully hers.”


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