Book Review – As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of “The Princess Bride”

“As You Wish” is sure to delight fans of “The Princess Bride”, the screen adaptation of S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure from the much-loved William Goldman book to the modestly-received film to a multi-generational classic.  Primarily the recollections of Cary “Westley” Elwes, though liberally sprinkled with asides from many other members of the cast.  Several things are obvious: the cast and crew loved the book, they worked hard to produce a movie version of which they could be proud, and they grew to a tight-knit group during production.

One of the most fascinating parts for me was when Elwes details the intense fencing training that he and Mandy “Inigo Montoya” Patinkin underwent to create their epic cliff-top battle.  Many other hilarious anecdotes are given–Wallace “Vizzini” Shawn’s fear that he was going to be replaced, Billy “Miracle Max” Crystal’s ad-libs that were so funny that director Rob Reiner had to leave the set so his laughter didn’t interrupt the picture, Goldman’s nervousness that his work that he loved the best would not be properly adapted, Robin “Buttercup” Wright’s kindness and ability to stay in character.

The most touching part of the book was how Andre the Giant “Fezzik” comes across as an incredible human being who positively touched every life on the cast.  He comes across as a phenomenally kind man, concerned with the well-being of others despite his own back pain and discomfort.  Worth reading just for the parts about him!

Filled with nuggets of pure pleasure for fans of the movie, “As You Wish” is a sweet and enjoyable read–very satisfying.

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