Last week I was heartbroken to hear William Goldman passed away. For those that aren’t familiar, he is the author of The Princess Bride. I had been in the middle of listening to “As You Wish” by Cary Elwes which includes lots of anecdotes from William Goldman and stories from the cast about him. Here are a few of the memorable ones:
- He wrote the Princess Bride as a story for his daughters.
- He was terribly nervous on set and eventually left because he couldn’t take it any more.
- He was a prolific Hollywood writer! He wrote Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and he wrote the screenplay adaptation of Stephen King’s Misery.
The Princess Bride is perfect for use in the classroom too! First, it goes through the Hero’s Journey quite well so its perfect for illustrating that. Second, its a great example of a frame story (the Princess Bride is the story within the story of the boy and his grandfather reading together). Third, there is a great deal of symbolism and excellent use of literary devices (extended metaphors, allusion, rhyme). Honestly, its just one of the most perfect books. As a connoisseur of books, I don’t say this lightly. Finally, its one of the rare times when the movie is nearly as good as the book. Goldman was a huge part of the movie process and each step of the way was filled with exquisite choices from director to cast.
For Thanksgiving, I want to give thanks to William Goldman. Thank you for giving me a love of books. Thank you for giving me the princess story I didn’t know I needed at 8 years old. Thank you for sharing your writing even though it made you endlessly nervous.
The pictures I have included are of the 30th anniversary hardback edition. Its a prized possession for me to be sure. You can get your copy here. Also, As You Wish by Cary Elwes is delightful on audio for fans of the book and movie.