A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Good vs. evil; evil villains commit evil acts; sweethearts remain true to each other against all odds; two lost souls join up with a criminal but eventually defect to the good side; true friends and strangers come to one another's aid; mean kids tease young giant Fezzik; one character is intent on avenging his father's murder; the main theme is "true love will conquer all."
Violence & Scariness
Swashbuckling-style violence includes evil villains, murder, swordfights, knives, blood, death by poisoning, kidnapping, torture inflicted on humans and animals, giant carnivorous rats, and some other scary stuff. In the more intense scenes the focus is on suspense, not graphic descriptions. Among the most intense scenes is one in which a villain kills an innocent man in front of his victim's young son, then slices the boy's cheeks, scarring him for life.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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Miracle Max calls the Spaniard a "spick."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One of the main characters goes on an anxiety-fueled brandy drinking binge that lasts a few pages, but this side-story shows the destructive nature of alcohol.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that William Goldman's The Princess Bride is a sharp-edged fairy tale is geared to tweens and older. The cliffhangers are more intense and some scenes are scarier than in the film version. You'll find truly evil villains, murder, swordfights, knives, blood, poisoning, kidnapping, torture, giant carnivorous rats and eels, and similar scary stuff. One character goes on drinking binge that reveals alcohol's destructive nature. The Princess Bride was adapted for the popular 1987 movie, which was directed by Rob Reiner. Reiner himself narrates the audiobook version.
Is It Any Good?
Goldman's wild ride evokes virtually every emotion possible, and the plot moves so quickly in most parts that readers may need to remind themselves to breathe.
It's impossible to review THE PRINCESS BRIDE without comparing it to the popular film version of the edgy fairy tale. William Goldman wrote both the book and the screenplay, but the more detailed book includes darker, scarier situations.
Two standout differences in the book are Prince Humperdinck's Zoo of Death (where the brutish royal fights caged animals to the death and always wins), and further development of Fezzik and Inigo Montoya through poignant childhood flashbacks. The description of Humperdinck's "hobby" adds a touch of pure evil, and the flashbacks add so much to the story that you'll wish Miracle Max could magically add them to the next edition of the DVD.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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