I first heard of William Goldman when his book 'The Princess Bride' was recommended to me by a friend as "the best book I have ever read". Hefty title, but once I picked it up I knew it would live up to expectations. Witty, dry and confronting conventions with every chapter, this was a fairy tale written by a modern man that put all others to shame. The sheer absurdity of the story only helped pull you in to it. This is a story that you have to let pull you along, to lead you to the ROUS and through the magnificently formed characters and settings.
Goldman also adapted the novel into the wonderfully charming film. A film that so resembles the book in narrative and character that I can't help thinking that where Goldman put similar fairy tales to shame with his book, so the film does with others of the same genre.
The script of Butch Cassidy is coupled with the amazing cinematography and use of sound, and complemented completely by the casting of Paul Newman and Robert Redford. A more compatible duo could never be found. The script never falters, like the actors, and every sentence screams to become famous quotations. Some films are lucky in the sense that all aspects of film making fall together and compliment each other. This is one such film.
The things I remember most from my 2 favourite creations by Goldman, are the characters. They fully form in your head more than any other writer can create. The characters of Butch, Sundance and Woodcock from Butch Cassidy, and Inigo Montoya, Westley and Fezzik from Princess Bride stick in your head for years afterwards, bringing a smile whenever thought of.
There are, of course, lots of other books and films written by Goldman. These 2 are my personal favourite, worthy of a celebration. I am in the middle of my Goldman schooling, and I am planning on reading more of his novels.
So thanks, William Goldman, for showing me the top standard of creative writing.