I recently learned that my husband has never seen The Princess Bride. I remember guffawing with shock and informed him that we would be rectifying the situation rather quickly. The Princess Bride is one of those movies that has a defining place in the memory bank of anyone who has seen it. For me it was in my high school Spanish class. We had watched the movie, dubbed in Spanish, probably half a dozen times. In order to pass the class we had to say the "Hello my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die" in Spanish. It is about the only Spanish I can speak to this day.
Given my long love of both the book and the movie, I was ecstatic to receive an ARC of As You Wish, a book about the making of the movie by Cary Elwes. Not only do we get "Westley's" take on the making of the movie, but there are very special guest appearance from Mandy Pantakin, Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Rob Reiner, Bill Goldman, and more. The book is primarily Cary Elwes's experience, but it was thrilling to get input from everyone else involved in the movie. There are so many funny stories that were shared that I found myself laughing out loud more than once. The funniest story shared had to be when the late Andre the Giant let out a fart so loud and so long it rattled the walls of the castle. I had serious belly laughs at the descriptive nature of the writing. I was a bit surprised at how much of the book was devoted to the late Andre the Giant, but in reading the book, I understand why. He played such an important role both on and off screen. It was sweet to read and makes me a little sad to think of how much the world missed out on his talent. During the Billy Crystal/Carol Kane scenes, the director, Rob Reiner had to leave the set because he couldn't stop laughing at Crystal's improv. Little stories like that lets you know that the magic of the movie wasn't imagined, the magic was there both on-screen and off-screen.
Bottom line, I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book so much. It was a quick read, but one I didn't want to end. Even after twenty-five years, The Princess Bride , for great reason, is one of the most beloved movies of all time and Cary Elwes's book is just another reminder why. If you have a fan in your life, As You Wish would make a great Christmas gift.