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Book: “As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales…” by Cary Elwes

Like 95% of the audience and 97% of the critics, I’m a big fan of The Princess Bride. The movie turns 30 this year (special anniversary super-duper Blu-ray extended mega cut, please?), and it stands up well to the test of time. If you haven’t seen it yet, well, see it. It’s not only full of quotable quotes (“Inconceivable!”), the story is enjoyable, the acting campy and perfect, and certain characters are just incredibly memorable. Well worth the time.

But this post isn’t about the movie. It’s about a book about the making of the movie, written by Cary Elwes, who starred as Westley, aka The Man in Black. And in the interest of thoroughness, the book’s full title isn’t As You Wish, it’s As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride.

The book is well written (with some credit to Joe Layden, noted as the “with” on the cover), and details Carey’s experiences with the film starting with the original casting call (actually a note under his hotel room door) up through the release and some detail on the inept marketing behind the movie. It’s a great read, and very interesting on its own.

But what really made the book for me were all the quotes that Cary secured from others involved in the production. These are present throughout the book, and you seldom need read more than a page before encountering one.

They aren’t shown inline, which would interrupt the story flow. Instead, they’re presented as asides, like this one:

Each appears near relevant content, so they’re applicable to what you’re reading. But by separating them, you can read them when you like. These snippets have some real gems, such as the one above, which explains how The Princess Bride book came to be. Since finishing the book, I’ve gone back through it, just to read all these asides again; they really are wonderful.

If you’re a fan of The Princess Bride, Cary’s book is well worth your time.

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