I recently finished the book the Princess Bride, and I thought it was hilarious. The movie sticks closely to the book (the screenplay and the book adaptation were written by the same person, William Goldman), but the book has a lot more to offer.
The book skips over some parts written by S. Morgenstern that I would have liked to read, for example, Fezzik getting the holocaust mud and the holocaust cloak for the pill when Westley is “mostly dead”. But others I was not as bothered that he left out, such as Prince Humperdinck’s royal lineage in Chapter 2. Others I was more neutral about, like Princess Buttercup’s royal training.
What I was most surprised to find out was that a lot of the events might have been real. Exaggerated, and put into a sort of poetic license for entertainment purposes, but there is apparently a museum where they have the real Fezzik’s clothes and the real six-fingered sword somewhere in Europe. And apparently the real Fezzik was much, much bigger than Andre the Giant, who played him in the movie.
Another thing I was surprised about was that there was a sequel called Buttercup’s Baby, that only the first chapter was adapted by William Goldman. Apparently the whole book was or will be adapted by Steven King who has connections to the real city of Florin. I wasn’t sure how I would like a horror writer by trade to adapt a humor novel, but the first chapter was very interesting and funny and made me want to learn more.
Overall, I would highly suggest reading this book. The mass market paperback is cheap, although it is pretty thick, but once you get to the heart of the book and past the introductions it’s hard to put down. And it’s different enough from the movie that it will be worth reading it, even if you’ve seen the movie a hundred times over.