Today’s topic was NOT DIFFICULT AT ALL.
Because I typically think all romance novels should die in a fire (zomg, don’t even ask about the horrible die in a fire search I made the other night, I don’t want to talk about it AT ALL), I knew there was only one book I love that could even conceivably (HA!) be considered a romance.
Only one. Like Highlander, but better (and without Clancy Brown, who my husband for YEARS thought was Tim Roth, but that’s another story and shall be told at another time).
Favourite Romance Novel
“I love you so much more now than twenty minutes ago that there cannot be comparison. I love you so much more now than 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.
I know I’ve talked and talked about how I don’t appreciate romance in my quests. I feel the two should remain separate, forever and ever, amen (which consequently, gave rise to Kate referring to “light boning, but not romance,” which I find unbelievably hilarious). BUT there’s something about The Princess Bride that renders all my talk of not enjoying romance completely moot.
I like romance when it isn’t made the entire focus of the story in an obvious way. I grow annoyed with stories about TWOO WUV that don’t focus on anything else, which is probably why this is the only book on my top five list that could be considered romance-y.
I even love the movie, which is strange, because while it’s EXACTLY like the book, it is also NOTHING like the book at the same time.
This could have something to do with the fact that I saw the movie before I read the book and 8 year old sj thought that Cary Elwes was just the most dreamy thing ever.Also, in SPITE of this being one of my top five books of all time (as well as one of the five movie adaptations I don’t hate) I kind of hate Buttercup.
Don’t get me wrong – she has the best clothes ever and I kind of hate her just for that – I’m sure she’s kind of lovely and all, but she didn’t deserve Westley.
“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 that 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.”
“I hear you now, and I promise you this: I will never love anyone else. Only Westley. Until I die.”
Also. You can totally laugh at me, but until my early 20s, I really thought there was an S Morgenstern, and kept looking for the “unabridged” version of this book every time I went into a bookstore. SHUT. UP.
Your turn, friends. Favourite romance?