By Cary Elwes
Rating: 5/5 Stairs
Sometimes on these book reviews I like to tell you where I sit before I tell you where I stand. If you saw my recent TTT (best films of the 1980’s), you already know that The Princess Bride is my number two all time favorite film. We watch this movie A LOT at my house. And we quote it probably daily. (Case in point: Every time I leave the house I yell “Bye, bye, boys! Have fun storming the castle!” And my boys always answer back with “Think it will work? It would take a miracle. Bye!”) So a memoir based on the filming of The Princess Bride? Right up my alley. The only thing better might be a Carrie Fisher written memoir on the making of Star Wars. Hmmmm…I wonder if that’s a thing?
As You Wish. I received this book almost two years ago for Christmas, and fully planned on reading it right away. But as you know, life (and other books) get in the way, and I just never got around to picking it up. Then I found out that Cary Elwes narrated the audio book. SOLD. I love it when an author narrates their own book, especially when it’s a memoir.
What did I love about this book?
Everything. From Cary Elwes narration to the on-set stories, the whole package was fantastic. He takes the reader from his informal audition (in a hotel room in Germany) through to the film’s successful 25th anniversary screening. Some of the information I had heard before, and other pieces were completely new to me.
Throughout the book, other people involved in the film contributed small asides to add to Mr. Elwes’ story. The majority of these contributors read their sections in the audio book. (Robin Wright, Rob Reiner, Fred Savage, Christopher Guest, the list goes on and on. The ones from Wallace Shawn [Vizzini] might have been my favorite.)
This book was also unusual in that my boys could listen to it with me as well, and they enjoyed hearing the tales just as much as I did. Just like the film, Mr. Elwes keeps it family friendly. It almost feels like a companion piece that works hand in hand with the film. Of course, we sat together and watched The Princess Bride again when the book was finished.
What didn’t work for me?
Truly, I can’t think of a single thing. Except that the book ended. Really a fun memoir, and I’m so glad I listened to the audio version.