This self-proclaimed classic was 'abridged' by William Goldman, and
travels through time to Florin, somewhere amid where Europe would soon
come to be.
The narrative most often follows either of the main characters,
beginning with Buttercup. She is young and does not care much for her
looks (although her potential shows that one day she will be the most
beautiful woman in all the land), and she pesters the orphaned Farm Boy
But one day, after an intriguingly complicated setup (in her mind), she
realizes she loves the Farm Boy. After beginning to understand the
depth of that love, she goes and tells the Farm Boy, who then decides
to leave, to seek his fortune, so as to be able to provide for her.
So, naturally, she is shocked to hear of his death at sea, taken by the
Dread Pirate Roberts. But was he dead? Well, no, as is apparent rather
immediately. But Buttercup knows nothing of this. She is busy being
courted by the villainous Prince Humperdink, whom she has agreed to
marry, but on terms that he knows that she does not love him.
One day, while on her customary horse-ride, she is kidnapped by a
short, sly, genius Sicilian, a sword-wizard of a Spaniard, and a Giant
Turk who merely wanted to fit in and make rhymes.
The elaborate scheme
to start a war was based upon her kidnapping, and little could the
fiendish trio know that the mysterious man in black who followed them
was, in fact, that selfsame Farm Boy, Westley.
Thenceforth ensues a challenge, one wherein Westley takes on the
Spaniard, the Turk, and the Sicilian, defeating them, and later joining
two of them, in order to take on a slightly larger task:
infiltrating the castle of Florin so that the Spaniard, Inigo, might
seek his revenge, and so Westley might rescue his Buttercup, who by
this time had been returned to the castle.
The entire book is crammed full of adventure, action, true love, and so
forth. This is because, as Goldman claims, he abridged out all the
mundane, repetitive descriptions of scenery and other things of the
like that Morgenstern had woven into the 'original' story.
In 1987, the book was transformed into a motion picture, for which Goldman also wrote the screenplay.