As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
by Cary Elwes & Joe Layden
Read by the author
My rating: 5 / 5
Twenty-five years after the release of The Princess Bride, a movie that was not much of a success in its time but later became a cult classic, Cary Elwes, who played the iconic Westley in the movie, writes about his time working on the set. With additions by many of Elwes’s co-stars, along with the director, the producer, and the screenplay writer (who also wrote the book the movie is based on), Elwes gives us a peek at the making of a movie in general, and this family favorite in particular.
As soon as I knew this book existed, I knew I’d be reading it, and I knew I’d enjoy it. I’ve seen the movie several times, but even more importantly, it is my husband’s all-time favorite movie. So I suggested we both listen to the audiobook, which is narrated by Elwes himself, an actor we have both really liked for a long time, which is exactly what we did. And we both loved it! We also loved that the bits added by other people who worked on the movie were mostly read by those people as well. I think the fact that they were willing to take the time to first write, and then narrate their own thoughts on the making of this movie illustrates exactly what Elwes says throughout the book, that this cast and crew became a lot like a family. Others who read this book seem to be looking for the seedy underbelly, assuming that Elwes left out anything negative in his rush to extol the virtues of his co-workers. And I can’t say that’s not the case, of course, but perhaps the reason this memoir is so friendly and upbeat is because that’s how it really was. It’s not like poor Wallace Shawn was brow-beaten into saying his time working on the movie was all sunshine and rainbows (he had some issues, but I won’t say more than that).
I loved hearing some of the accounts of things that happened throughout the months working on this film, and even in the time after. Some of them were described by multiple people, which added a nice depth to them. I had re-watched the movie in anticipation of reading this book, but still felt compelled to look up certain scenes to see something Elwes described, whether a specific way he moved during the scene due to an injury or a line that was improvised. For fans of The Princess Bride, this book may make you see the movie in a whole new light and, hopefully, a good one. If you’ve never seen the movie, I recommend it.
Find out more about As You Wish
If you’ve read this book, or read it in the future, feel free to let me know what you think!
4 thoughts on “Book Review: As You Wish”
This is one of my favorite movies and the audio for this book was truly the only way to go. Besides, he has such a soothing voice, how could you not? So happy you loved it, too.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Oh, absolutely, listening to the audio was the only choice to make. I love Elwes’s voice as well, so it was such a treat!
What a fun book about an even more fun movie! I’d enjoy reading this one, and so would my sister. 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
My husband and I both listened to it around the same time and enjoyed discussing our favorite parts afterward. It’s a good buddy-read book!