The Princess Bride - William Goldman “Has it occurred to you that I have gone to great effort...to reach this point”
Buttercup is a milk maid; Westley is a farm boy. One day, Buttercup realizes she is in love with Westley. Westley immediately leaves for the Americas, to make his fortune and return to wed Buttercup. But the Dread Pirate Roberts attacks his ship and leaves no survivors. The most beautiful woman in the world is then wooed by Prince Humperdink, is captured by a Sicilian, a giant, and a Spaniard, and is chased by a dreaded man in black.

I Liked:
This is the second time I've read “The Princess Bride”. Being let in on the secret that there is no Morgenstern and that the story of Goldman's family is a lie makes this almost better the second time around.
What Goldman is able to produce with this is humor...and satire, which he jibes “Morgenstern” for having. He takes all the “fantasy” and “adventure” cliches and turns them on their heads. Damsel in distress? Check! Masked hero? Check! Scary bad guys? Check! One note sidekicks? Check! But...Buttercup is a damsel in distress, a hideous one and one that is frequently mentioned how brainless she is (instead of the copious movies and books that say the heroine is so smart and then proceed to have her stand around, doing nothing). The masked hero is so perfect and manly, his perfection is hyperbole at its best. The bad guys are deliciously aware of their bad guy-ness and don't bother to conceal it (it's only because everyone else is so dimwitted that they can't see it). And the sidekicks? Inigo is a sword wizard, but don't ask him to think, it'll take an hour or more! Fizzik may be able to tear down walls with bare hands, but don't ask him to use his brain, he'll go into a panic. And thus, the whole point of why this works is because Goldman is so aware of his surroundings, so genre savvy, it actually is funny.
In addition, I actually did enjoy when Goldman interjected and stated what “Morgenstern” left out or what happened to him in his non-existent childhood. I felt it took the story that one more step, past stereotypical fantasy into a different plane. The story became a satire of the doorstopper fantasy stories (I can only imagine what he'd think now!); the story became a heart-warming tale of a child enjoying a tale his dad told; the story became a subtle jab for anachronistic writing (Westley wears blue jeans?).
And enjoyable to read! Goldman (or “Morgenstern”) writes in a breezy manner, very easy on the eyes. I found myself flying through the pages, and I'm a very slow reader. Good description, good word choices, good flow.
When talking about the book, it's impossible not to mention the movie. And the book is definitely different than the movie—not all that much, since Goldman worked on the screenplay of the movie, but enough that it makes reading the book somewhat worthwhile. We learn Inigo and Fezzik's backstories. We learn more about Miracle Max, Dread Pirate Roberts, and even dumb things like where the heck Fezzik got the holocaust coat at the end (it's dumb, but it's here).

I Didn't Like:
Buttercup is an idiot. The author basically states she is all beauty and no brains. Heck, even Westley basically tells her she can barely think. And although all characters are poked fun at (Humperdink, Fezzik, Inigo, Miracle Max, even Westley), I still hate seeing the only female character treated like a incapable moron.
In fact, most of the characters' faults are picked on. I hated seeing Fezzik being brainless, Inigo being only wiry, and Humperdink only interested in war.
Also, the book is very much like the movie, only without the brilliant actors giving their performances. This made particularly Miracle Max's parts stay kinda flat for me.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Mild.
Buttercup fears that the Countess is interested in Westley. Boys chase Buttercup; girls follow Westley.
Inigo's father dies. Fezzik's parents die. Westley is tortured. Humperdink hunts animals in his Zoo of Death (different name from movie). Swordplay. Chases. Betrayal. You get the picture.

Overall:
Upon a second reading, I found I liked the novel more. Yeah, so Buttercup is a moron; but all the characters are really idiots. Do I think it's better than the movie? For once, I'm going to say “no”. Most of the time, I find the book better than the movie, but not in this case. The movie stuck more along the lines of the typical fantasy (while also being highly genre savvy); the novel has a slightly different bite to it. Plus, the book is missing the great actors that really brought life to the movie.
However, if you have ever watched the movie, you definitely need to read the book. In fact, I highly recommend everyone to read this book at least once. It's definitely a good summer read.