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RIP William Goldman

There’s a history in this office of Feelings about The Princess Bride. Some Horn Bookers find it irritating how often people quote it. (I can’t imagine why.) And others believe that this story within a story is a dweam wiffin a dweam. That “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Fate. Revenge…” is only the beginning. That the “anybody want a peanut?” of the movie is the best-placed legume reference in cinema. That the only appropriate response to “you seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you” is “you seem a decent fellow. I hate to die.” That somewhere out there, Buttercup and Westley’s descendants share family lore about the Fire Swamp around the dinner table. That when Billy and his dad in the book choose the “good parts” of (ahem) S. Morgenstern’s tome, it gives readers permission to find their own “good parts” in whatever they read.

That as long as The Princess Bride remains quotable and beloved, author and screenwriter William Goldman is only mostly dead.

(I’ll let you guess which group I belong to.)

Shoshana Flax About Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, assistant editor for The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. She is a member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee.

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