The Princess Bride by William Goldman
One of my favorite movies as a kid and even still now is the Princess Bride. I love Fezzik and Inigo, and the story of romance and adventure. It was the first time I ever learned what the word inconceivable meant.
As it turns out, one of the directors of the Princess Bride movie is William Goldman, who wrote this abridged version of one of his favorite books as a kid. A lot of the book is word for word in the script, so if you have seen the movie, it has a lot of the same text.
What is this book about? Adventure. Love. Death. Fighting. Evil. Good. Princesses. Princes. Swords. Pirates. A lot of things. It is basically the story of young Buttercup and Westley, who fall in love. Then, when Westley must go to America for money, his ship is attacked by the dread pirate Roberts and there are no survivors. Prince Humperdinck must have a wife, and he is so captivated by Buttercup's beauty that he commands her to wed him. It is a great story, really, and always keeps you on your toes.
One of my favorite parts in this book was the love confessions of both Buttercup and Westley in the early start of the book.
“I love you,' Buttercup said. 'I know this must come as something of a surprise to you, since all I've ever done is scorn you and degrade you and taunt you, but I have loved you for several hours now, and every second, more. I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew that what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm. Your eyes are like that, did you know? Well they are. How many minutes ago was I? Twenty? Had I brought my feelings up to then? It doesn't matter.' Buttercup still could not look at him. The sun was rising behind her now; she could feel the heat on her back, and it gave her courage. 'I love you so much more now than twenty minutes ago that there cannot be comparison. I love you so much more now then when you opened your hovel door, there cannot be comparison. There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey. Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that. Do you want me to crawl? I will crawl. I will be quiet for you or sing for you, or if you are hungry, let me bring you food, or if you have thirst and nothing will quench it but Arabian wine, I will go to Araby, even though it is across the world, and bring a bottle back for your lunch. Anything there is that I can do for you, I will do for you; anything there is that I cannot do, I will learn to do. I know I cannot compete with the Countess in skills or wisdom or appeal, and I saw the way she looked at you. And I saw the way you looked at her. But remember, please, that she is old and has other interests, while I am seventeen and for me there is only you. Dearest Westley--I've never called you that before, have I?--Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley, Westley,--darling Westley, adored Westley, sweet perfect Westley, whisper that I have a chance to win your love.' And with that, she dared the bravest thing she'd ever done; she looked right into his eyes.”
“Do you love me, Westley? Is that it?’
He couldn’t believe it. ‘Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches. If your love were—‘
‘I don’t understand the first one yet,’ Buttercup interrupted. She was starting to get very excited now. ‘Let me get this straight. Are you saying my love is the size of a grain of sand and yours is this other thing? Images just confuse me so—is this universal business of yours bigger than my sand? Help me, Westley. I have the feeling we’re on the verge of something just terribly important.’
‘I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids….Is any of this getting through to you, Buttercup, or do you want me to go on for a while?’
‘There has not been—‘
‘If you’re teasing me, Westley, I’m just going to kill you.’
‘How can you even dream I might be teasing?’
‘Well, you haven’t once said you loved me.’
‘That’s all you need? Easy. I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I.’
‘You are teasing now; aren’t you?’
‘A little maybe; I’ve been saying it so long to you, you just wouldn’t listen. Every time you said ‘Farm boy do this’ you thought I was answering ‘As you wish’ but that’s only because you were hearing wrong. ‘I love you’ was what it was, but you never heard, and you never heard.”
Or my favorite classic line: “Inconceivable!"
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
“My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”
And this is why I love Fezzik:
“No more rhymes now I mean it!”
“Anybody want a peanut?”
Buttercup to the Prince:
“Westley and I are joined by the bond of love and you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds, and you cannot break it, not with a thousand swords.”
Anyway, no more spoilers. This book was absolutely amazing as I have already said, and so yes, read it. Ten out of ten.