Book Review: As You Wish (by Cary Elwes)

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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Book Review: As You Wish (by Cary Elwes)

Post by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Fri May 25, 2018 3:25 am

Title of the book: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
Authors: Cary Elwes with Joe Layden
Series: No
Genres: Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir

Short summary of the story: Cary Elwes has been in many movies but the one that brought him to the attention of the movie-public is The Princess Bride. The book starts with an Introduction -- with him being with many of the other people who made the movie, at a 25th anniversary of the movie. He looks around at everyone and is overwhelmed with memories and feelings and, most of all, a sense of wonder. Wow. Look at what they had created and look at how many people love it, and continue to love it. The book 'proper' starts in Berlin, June 29, 1986, when Cary meets Rob Reiner and Andy Scheinman with an eye to him playing the part of Westley. Carey had read The Princess Bride and loved it - and, it's not a spoiler, he got the part. From there he goes into meeting all the other people of the cast and crew, training for the Greatest Swordfight in Modern Times (and it was!), and ... just everything. He has quotes from everyone put in everywhere and there are pictures to enjoy. During the making of the movie such a wonderful time was had by almost everyone -- except for the author, who knew this was his favorite book ever and was terrified of how the movie would turn out and how it would be received. Then the movie wraps and was released. Cary talks of how the film's distributor, 20th Century Fox, had no idea of how to market it -- and that showed in the initial reviews and responses to the movie. But somehow, somehow, by the magical osmosis of word of mouth and videos, around Christmas 1988, the movie took on a life of its own. Cary tells both of the disappointment of the failure of the film to catch on when first released and then of the joy when it started being appreciated. He writes of how the film is magical -- and how he feels it was and is an honour to have been a part of its creation.

Good points / bad points: If you love The Princess Bride movie, you'll love this book. It's absolutely filled with all kinds of facts and data and stories and wonderful of how things were done and little things (smoke alarms going off ... a broken toe ... Andre being asleep in the lobby and, since no one could move him, they just put a cordon around him until he woke ...) to big things (the Cliffs of Insanity and how that was done). If you are not a fan of the movie, this still might be of interest to you because of the explanations of how films are made and how different people interact during the making of the movie, but it probably won't have the same richness for you as it did me.

GoodReads writeup:
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!

With a foreword by Rob Reiner and a limited edition original poster by acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, As You Wish is a must-have for all fans of this beloved film.
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