Friday, October 10, 2014

As You Wish by Cary Elwes

I'm a big fan of the film The Princess Bride, so I eagerly anticipated As You Wish, a book about filming the movie written by Dread Pirate Roberts actor Cary Elwes.

The making of The Princess Bride was clearly one of the highlights of his career and life. If you are looking for dirt, don't look to As You Wish. Elwes is effusive in his praise of his costars and the crew behind the movie. Everyone was beautiful, talented, and perfect for their roles.

The sugary sweetness of the narrative was a little hard to take at times, but I thoroughly enjoyed As You Wish all the same. Elwes spends a lot of time talking about what he and Mandy Patinkin went through to create what Goldman described in The Princess Bride script as the "second-best" swordfighting sequence on film (according to Goldman, the "best" comes later in the movie). The fight and the training were very interesting to read about. The only part of the fight not filmed by the two leads were the somersaults - wow! That had to be a lot of hard work.

I definitely got the impression that Elwes is trying to give his career a shot in the arm by publishing this book. However, his true affection for The Princess Bride and its cast and crew came through.

As soon as I finished the book, I was ready to run off and rewatch The Princess Bride. If you are a fan, that alone is a good reason to read As You Wish. I definitely recommend it for all Princess Bride fans. 

I read an advance reader copy of As You Wish. It will be released on October 14 and will be available in the nonfiction section of the Galesburg Public Library.

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