The Princess Bride, by William Goldman, is a classic tale of true love and high adventure. Filled with fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, girants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautiful ladies, pain, death, chases, escapes, lies, and miracles. Not your typical bedtime story, right? When Will is stuck in bed with pneumonia, his grandfather comes in and says he is going to read him a book. Will is not very exited, but is soon drawn into the action-packed story.
The main characters are Westley and Buttercup. Buttercup is the only daughter of perpetually fighting parents. She goes riding whenever she can to escape her terrible home life. She is also the most beautiful woman in the world. Westley is a boy who works on Buttercup’s farm. Every time she orders him around, every time she forces him to do something, he only replies, “As you wish.” Eventually, she realizes her true feelings for him, and they fall in love. Westley is tall and strong from working on the farm every day. His eyes are like the sea after a storm. Their love for each other is what drives the whole book. The passage, on page 56, is when Westley admits his true feelings for Buttercup.
After Buttercup and Westley fall in love, he leaves to make money to support them. On his way to America, his ship is attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who never leaves prisoners alive. Buttercup is devastated, and vows to never love again. Years later, the Prince Humperdinck demands that Buttercup marry him on the 500th anniversary of their country, Florin. This is in 3 months. Buttercup complies, saying that she will marry him but never love him. Later, while riding, she is kidnapped by three men. They are pursued by a mysterious man in black who defeats all three and takes Buttercup. He taunts her, and reveals he is the Dread Pirate Roberts. She pushes him into a ravine while he is distracted, but when he shouts,” As you wish!” and removes his mask, she realizes he is Westley and jumps in after him. They reunite, and journey through the Fire Swamp, only to be caught by Prince Humperdinck. Buttercup is taken back to the castle, and Westley is taken to he Zoo of Death, the Prince’s personal torture chamber. He is tortured every day until the day of the wedding. On that day, Prince Humperdinck is enraged with him and kills him. The kidnappers from before, Inigo and Fezzik, need Westley’s help to storm the castle, so they bring his body to Miracle Max. Miracle Max makes a reincarnation pill, and tells them to feed it to him. Within a minute Westley is alive but very weak. They storm the castle, and Westley confronts Prince Humperdinck with Buttercup. This passage, on page 310, is that confrontation.
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I saw it as a movie years ago, and laughed until I cried. This book has everything, from true-love to scathing insults, and is an exciting read. I recommend it to anyone with a lot of time and a sense of adventure.