Audiobook Review: As You Wish

As You Wish: Inconceivable Takes from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

Narrated by: Cary Elwes, with guest appearances
Genre: Memoir
Maturity Level: 2
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆⋆

From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for close to three decades. Ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 Greatest Love Stories and by the Writers Guild of America as one of the top 100 screenplays of all time, The Princess Bride will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.

Cary Elwes was inspired to share his memories and give fans an unprecedented look into the creation of the film while participating in the twenty-fifth anniversary cast reunion. In As You Wish he has created an enchanting experience; in addition to never-before seen photos and interviews with his fellow cast mates, there are plenty of set secrets, backstage stories, and answers to lingering questions about off-screen romances that have plagued fans for years!

I LOVED THIS BOOK! It was like watching a behind-the-scenes or making-of film, but obviously no such thing exists. This is the next best thing. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if Elwes had collaborated with other members of the cast and production team to make it an all-play. Which, honestly, he kind of did, so it could almost not be better.

Having been a long-time Princess Bride fan, I didn’t know much about Elwes. Listening to this book narrated by him made me feel like I really got to know him. He’s a lovely human being, and I feel so privileged to have been able to spend seven hours with him.

But mostly it was so amazing learning how one of my favorite movies came about. I knew a bit about it, of course. The brilliant book that tricked me into thinking it was real. The unfilmable screenplay. The lackluster theater run followed by long-term success as a cult classic. But I knew none of the details.

Elwes did a great job at giving a lot of exposition without ever being dull. I was entranced by all the little things that go in to making a movie happen. I fell in love with director Rob Reiner and his whole cast. It was especially nice hearing cast members’ voices as they gave short clips of their thoughts. I also loved hearing about the practical effects that went into the making of this movie. When you watch it now it seems so campy and charming. Just imagine if it had been a 21st century movie, how green screens would have ruined it. I’ll never watch it the same way again, knowing how Elwes broke his toe, or Wallace Shawn’s fear of heights. Lord knows I’ll never watch that sword fight in the same light! The greatest in modern times, got to watch with two eyes!

Andre, as ever, stole the show. Everyone loved him so dearly, and Elwes treated him with such respect and tenderness. The world misses him every day.

So much did I love this book that after finishing I insisted on watching the movie with my five-year-old. And you know what? It’s still amazing. My son loved it too. We will never stop watching this movie, never stop quoting it, never stop loving it. This book was the perfect companion. If you’re interested, I strongly recommend the audiobook, as hearing the actors’ voices as they talk about their own experiences really brought it to life. Loved loved LOVED it.

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