Nov 24

My name is Inigo Montoya... I'm here to fix your washing machine.Click for full UNCENSORED image

Simon Comments: Not only does the illustration not match the fairy-tale quality of the title (not to mention the story), it does not look like the kind of thing you’d find at a library booksale, where I saw it, and where I was urged by my sister to buy it on the grounds that you can never have too many copies of this book, especially one as bizarre as this.
Publication 1974

I give this two Ronnies!
Many thanks to Simon.

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 8.92 out of 10)

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41 Responses to “The Princess Bride”

  1. The Comment Wizard Says:

    Simon comments further:

    I have examined this closely, but I can’t figure out how it’s supposed to relate to the book. I’m guessing it’s some kind of dark-arts interpretation of the Zoo of Death. It’s hard to see from the photo, but along with several tiny faces, some larger upside-down faces, a few skulls, a castle, and the naked lady, there are a number of snakes — those snakes are my sole evidence for the Zoo of Death theory. And also that unmissable bird on the naked lady’s head. Oh, and in case you missed him, the single identifiable character, of all the characters in the book, is the guy on the right with the rosary beads. That’s got to be the “mawwaige” fellow. Strangely, he is also mirrored in less detail on the left. Why him? Why not Noreena-with-no-hair or the stepmother, or for that matter the actual main characters? If you’re going to ask that, you might as well also ask, why all the boobs? And that is a question no one can ever answer to anyone else’s satisfaction.

  2. SI Says:

    Well… thats my childhood ruined…

    Though the publishing date could be wrong, found this looking for info:

    “Despite the above date [July 74], this first paperback of a 1973 hardcover was actually published in April 75 due to production problems.”

    Wonder… if the cover was giving them issues 😀

    “Come on man.. there’s simply not enough boobs on here!”

  3. Weirdmage Says:

    I haven’t read the book, only seen the movie. I used to like the movie, but now I know Hollywood has taken out all the nudity I’m a bit annoyed…
    As for “why all the boobs”…Come on, it’s boobs!

    Seriously, this looks like a rejected Conan cover.

  4. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    This looks like an attempt at a magical incantation made visible. “Font of a romance novel, hips of snakes, washes everywhere, the skull’s parietal suture erupts.”

    Good show, sir!

  5. A.R.Yngve Says:

    That must be the HBO version of The Princess Bride, then.

  6. Elijah Says:

    Ha! One instance where the censorship of the smaller image entirely confused me! I thought, at first, that the two modern faces were part of the original image, and that they were people meant to be part of the much more involved modern day frame story of the novel (as opposed to that of the movie), and I was all ready to get on my high horse and go, “blah blah blah, the novel is totally different from the movie because nyah nyah etc.”

    Phew, that sure would’ve made me look stupid.

  7. THX 1138 Says:

    I don’t remember Princess Buttercup being The Whore of Babylon in The Princess Bride. Maybe I need to read it again?

  8. Herm Says:

    I just don’t want to know who thought this was OK. Seems like the artist can’t even have known the TITLE of the book, let alone the content or tone, or he (I’m arrogantly presuming “he”) must have realised this wasn’t apt.

  9. Pat Says:

    Topical book covers, very clever!


    Or just “What???????”

  10. Brian B Says:

    I imagine this was a cover for some other fantasy novel the publisher had lying around and they just slapped it on this novel. Like Weirdmage said it looks like something from a Conan or some other sword and sorcery novel.

  11. AikoAiko Says:

    The Princess Bride… of Cthulu. What ARE those tentacles doing? Erm…

    It’s like the artist made a Rorschach blot and then started filling it in with all the perverted stuff rolling around in his head. “Let’s see… naked woman, check. Rotting corpses, check, rosaries, hmmm, needs more breasts. Oh, and tentacles.”

    Anyone else notice her head is actually detached a bit from her body? She’s decapitated.

  12. Infoqueen Says:

    I have read this book aloud, cover to cover, over 30 times–and I can tell you the artist who created this cover could not have read it even once.
    Voodoo Priestess Bride, maybe, but The Princess Bride?

  13. Kathleen Says:

    oh you laugh now, but wait until The Princess Bride director’s cut is released…

  14. Infoqueen Says:

    To the cover artist: I do not think this title means what you think it means.

  15. Fred Zimmerman Says:

    This really is awful, very close to the peak on some scale of inappropriateness v. quality of book

  16. NGpm Says:

    Art Director: Really, what we need to lure in readers is something completely unrelated to the story but festooned with naughty bits!

    Unfortunate Artist: As you wiiiiiiiiiiish!

  17. DeadParrot Says:

    If you can ignore the horrible cover, this edition has one neat feature. All the “editorial” asides (talking about removing boring material, etc.) are printed in red. All other editions I have seen has them printed in italics, which isn’t nearly as cool.

  18. Faustino L. Gaspar Says:

    Yes this is weird. Can anyone direct me to the artist’s name? It’s very reminiscent of Frazetta. Yay for boobs.

  19. Fred Zimmerman Says:

    +1 to DeadParrot for the red asides!

  20. Alessandra Says:

    Worst “Princess Bride” cover art ever. It’s … jaw-droppingly brilliant in its own way. Read it on the train and you look weird and perverse instead of a fairy-tale-loving romantic.

  21. Silkenfire Says:

    Anyone know who the artist is? It looks awfully familiar, and I’m sure he/she did a lot of covers during the sixties and seventies.

  22. Phil Says:

    Those modesty-Ronnies look like they belong alongside Ray on this cover:

  23. Stevie T Says:

    Whenever I’m having a bad day, and need a laugh, this is the page I come to. The awesome ridiculousness of this cover, along with the comments never fails to have me laughing helplessly by the time I get to the bottom. Thanks, everyone.

    My copy of this has only a (small) publicity still of Cary Elwes and Robin Wright on it, purchased shortly after the movie came out (not by me). But what I found really strange was the back cover blurb, which reads, in it’s entirety:

    “WHAT HAPPENS when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince in the world–and he turns out to be a son of a bitch?”

    Which also seems rather incongruous for this particular novel. I had a friend who had a first-edition paperback, with an appropriately fairy-tale-ish cover, and it said the exact same thing on the back. It makes me wonder if the edition here says that as well, in which case, if the artist was using that as the basis for his cover, then “The Voodoo Priestess’ Boudoir From Hell” makes slightly more logical sense.


  24. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    How is it I missed this? It’s so terrible it’s brilliant.

  25. Jaouad Says:

    Yes, that bird is actually about to fly away with her head.

  26. Stevie T Says:

    Doesn’t this just cry out for a “bird hairdo” tag?

  27. B. Chiclitz Says:

    “William Goldman’s . . .” Do you think the pretentious apostrophe “s” was ensure that the uninformed reader didn’t think the book’s title was *William Goldman* and the author The Princess Bride? (And wasn’t it nice of her to use her yearbook photo as the cover centerpiece?)

  28. Jenny K Says:

    The artist’s name was Ted Coconis…he has definitely not read the book. Wish I hadn’t lost my copy of that edition, though. I did love the red editorial comments!

  29. Jenny K Says:

    Oh, since you have it…what is the ISBN of that particular edition. I’m on the hunt!

  30. David Cowie Says:

    In the new film of THE LONE RANGER, Johnny Depp as Tonto has a white-painted face and a dead bird on his head. Does anyone else see a likeness?

  31. The Tag Wizard Says:

    Thanks for the CoConis correction, Jenny. Looks like we were misled by our usual trustworthy go-to, ISFDB.

    There’s a five figure identifier in the top right of the cover which ties this edition to ISBN number (978)0-345-24225-4. Hence our use of the ISFDB entry that lists Norman Green as illustrator.

    LibraryThing has a couple of other ISBN suggestions.

  32. Jon K. Says:

    Apropos of the modesty-Ronnies, I saw in the news today that Ronnie Corbett passed away at the age of 85.

  33. mark Says:

    what we are gazing upon is the very first edition paperback of Princess Bride. there were about 1000 copies printed before some fool decided that the cover was too racy and stopped printing and had it changed. its true, this is also the infamous “red letter’ edition..where asides by the narrator are printed in red ink. because it is a first edition, with a rather racy cover that led to its rarity, it actually worth between 600 and 1000 dollars right now. thankfully…i have mine sitting on the shelf behind me.

  34. Bibliomancer Says:

    The Princess Brides of Gor

  35. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @mark: BEHIND YOU!

  36. Scott B Says:

    @mark: I have a copy of the slightly later paperback (2nd? 3rd?) which also has the red lettering (pretty neat) but has a very different cover (presumably in overreaction to the 1st cover as you say) which in my opinion is equally confusing.

    “Farm Boy” Wesley is done quite literally but is still appropriate, I guess, and there is a large snake involved in the story, so I’m OK with that. My memory is blanking on who the hunchback is supposed to be. It’s when we get to “ghostly transparent levitating Buttercup” that things really go off the rails…

  37. fred Says:


  38. Tat Wood Says:

    That’s not Buttercup, that’s a She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed-shaped 70s aftershave bottle, with the top not properly screwed back on after use.

  39. GSS noob Says:

    The actual Norman Green cover (the one I have) is actually rather lovely:

  40. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @GSS Inquisitrix:

    Decent balance, good use of unconventional colour, fonts acceptably garish, fine use of anatomy, horsey looks like a twit. I suppose you could put your thumb over his face or something.

  41. GSS noob Says:

    @DSWBT: It does convey the “fairy tale” part, and Buttercup doesn’t look like a slut. Horse isn’t THAT twitty, and at least he’s all over to the far side. Plus if you look at real medieval art, horses often look weird. If you’re reading the paper version, you’ve possibly got a finger over him.

    Seems to have been the cover most used until the movie tie-in ones, with minor changes in background color and font. I just hate to see poor Norman associated with this when he doesn’t deserve it. I don’t know who edits ISFDB, so we could get Coconis rightly blamed for this.

    Movie version trivia: Mandy Patinkin ends his concerts (after the last encore) by striking a fencing pose and saying “Hello. My name is…” and although he says the whole line, you can’t hear him because the entire audience is saying it with him, in perfect cadence and with the accent. It is a delightful finale.

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