Reading...As You Wish

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

As You Wish, by Cary Elwes with Joe Layden is a must-read for any fan of The Princess Bride, or any fan of film making. With the help of several of his Princess Bride cast-mates, Elwes walks the reader through the entire creation of this classic film. It's clear that everyone involved in this film sees it as one of the highlights of their career, so there's that perfect sense of nostalgia and warmth. It's like a family reunion without any interpersonal drama, just fun stories and lots of compliments. And although that may make it sound bland, it's the drama of the film itself that keeps it from being saccharine. Elwes takes you on a journey, from the casting, to the epic sword fight (who knew that Elwes and Mandy Patinkin practiced six days a week for almost the entire duration of filming), to silly accidents, and the challenges of shooting scenes with the hilarious Billy Crystal (Mandy Patinkin apparently cracked a rib from holding in his laughter). It's really just a delightful book. And it's really great in audio, because Elwes reads it himself, except for the little parts written by his friends, which are read by those individuals: Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandan, Christopher Guest, and a few others. And be prepared: you will want to watch the movie immediately upon finishing this book.