Book Review: The Princess Bride (1973)

A woman holding a book to her chest. Text reads 'Book Review'

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

“I love you,” Buttercup said. “I know this must come as something of a surprise, 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.”

Truly, one of the best books (and films) of all time. I love Goldman’s humour and his writing style. The book was first published in 1973, but it feels so modern and witty and wry. I love his jokes about things like beauty and blue jeans and young love and the excessive use of parentheses and asides. I love Buttercup and Westley’s love for each other. (Buttercup, sweet Buttercup, my dearest Buttercup, who starts off a bit airy fairy [we share a love of horses and romance, so I really connect with her] and grows as the novel goes on and becomes quite keen by the end as she matures.) Westley, a true hero, a swashbuckling pirate, an utter romantic who will do anything for his true love. I love Fezzik and Inigo’s relationship, which is so wholesome and lovely. I love Max, the miracle man, and Valerie, his faux witch wife. I love reading about the Zoo of Death, which sounds frankly horrifying and I do hope someone let all those poor animals free at the end. I love reading about the Fire Swamp and the ROUS. Honestly, saying this is one of my favourite books (and films) of all time doesn’t begin to touch it. I adore it. Through and through.

I also really loved that this version had Buttercup’s Baby, a single chapter follow-up that tells you what happens to Buttercup, Westley, Fezzik and Inigo after the final reunion scene that ends with them fleeing Humperdink’s men. [SPOILERS]: Now we know they made it to One Tree Island and had Waverly and Fezzik was the best babysitter. I just really like that little addition :’)

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