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The year that Buttercup was born, the most beautiful woman in the world was a French scullery maid named Annette.

This is the first sentence of The Princess Bride, and it begins the story with a tone that stays consistent throughout the rest. It acknowledges that it is a fairy tale by simply stating that there ever was a world's most beautiful woman and yet it mocks the phenomenon by allowing this woman to be anyone other than our heroine, Buttercup. The entire story follows this trend. The narrator creates scenarios of adventure and romance, yet it continually refuses to be conventional in any of them. All of this story's most glorious heroes are also, in a way, anti-heroes; Fezzik, the world's strongest man, is terrified of bats and loves rhymes. Inigo, the wizard of steel, drinks too much brandy. This story affectionately celebrates imperfections within its genre, yet without compromising the simple greatness of its characters.