I love you so much I have to hit you in the face!
I’m seeing so many book blogs and history blogs going all crazy over The Princess Bride at the moment. It is the thirtieth anniversary of the movie adaptation’s release, so I suppose that’s why.
However, I’m still troubled that I’m the only one who seems to have huge issues with William Goldman’s 44-year-old book.
You know the part in the movie version where “hero” Westley raises his hand to hit heroine Buttercup in the face, and she flinches away from it? This movie came out when I was FIVE, and even then I knew there was something very wrong about that scene.
The book is worse.
Here is the scene as it is in the book the movie is based on:
“I am no one to be trifled with,” replied the man in black. “That is all you ever need know.” And with that he yanked her upright.
“You’ve had your moment.” Again he pulled her after him, and this time she could do nothing but follow…
…“I have loved more deeply than a killer like you can possibly imagine.”
He slapped her.
“That is a penalty for lying, Highness. Where I come from, when a woman lies, she is reprimanded.”
“But I spoke the truth, I did, I–” Buttercup saw his hand rise a second time, so she stopped quickly, fell dead silent.
I’m being told all over the place how FUNNY the book is, but the way I read it, it’s not so much funny as pretty horrible. I am also not a fan of making Buttercup so stupid so that her man can spend an entire book patronising her.
However, I would have thought the abuse alone would’ve been enough to at least raise a few eyebrows.
Apparently not so much… It may famously be called a kissing book, but it is also a hitting book!