The Princess Bride – William Goldman

In no other case have I ever said that the movie is better than the book, but that’s the sad truth about this overly clever adventure tale. Allow me to explain the plot. No, too complicated; let me sum up: The lovely (if extremely annoying) Buttercup is going to marry the evil Prince Humperdinck unless the often believed dead Westley (her rather superhuman true love) is able to rescue her with the aid of two of her former kidnapers, the giant Fezzik and the swordsman Inigo—who is seeking revenge again the man who killed his father, who, by the way, works for the Prince. The story has all the classic elements of a children’s story that adults love including adventure, romance, and suspense, but Goldman adds too much metafiction, fictionally explaining how the story was told to him by his grandfather, who edited down the original, and he wishes to do the same in order to bond with his fictitious family. The movie captures all of the important parts, achieving what Goldman is discussing metafictionally about doing.