Jul 25, 2017

#Collaboreads: As You Wish by Cary Elwes

I haven't linked up with the monthly #Collaboreads hosted by Rachel and Kristen for a loooong time, and thought this month's Summer Read theme was a fun one to jump back and join! Those who link up can gush about whatever summer read they choose and I chose my favorite (audio)book I read in July:

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
by Cary Elwes with Joe Layden 

As per #Collaboreads, I will use the R.E.A.D.S acronym to help organize all the gushing that's about to happen about this fun read. But first, allow me to give a brief summary of the books

As You Wish is a behind-the-scene look at the making of the iconic The Princess Bride, from hilarious hijinks to the close bond that connected the cast and crew. I chose to listen to the audiobook, which was narrated by Cary Elwes (who played Westley in the movie) along with other cast and crew from the movie, including Robin Wright (Princess Buttercup), Wallace Shawn (Vizzini), Billy Crystal (Miracle Max), and Christopher Guest (Count Rugen), which made it extra fun to hear their perspectives. It was written shortly after the twenty-five year anniversary of the movie's debut. 

Riveting: Which part of the book could you not get enough of?

I loved everything! It was so enchanting to get a behind-the-scene look at the makings of one of my favorite movies. I especially loved hearing about the special (and rare in Hollywood) bond between the cast and crew. The stories about Andre the Giant were hilarious and sometimes almost unbelievable. The man could eat and drink like no other!  It was also so interesting to hear about how it took so many years for the movie to finally be made after several other directors tried picking it up but failed for one reason or another. Its like the story was just waiting for the perfect cast and crew to bring it to the big screen.

Elements: What are your thoughts on plot, twists, character development? Did you care for the characters/story?

Cary Elwes wrote (and spoke on the audiobook) with high praise for all who joined in the effort in creating the masterpiece that is The Princess Bride. He seemed really humble about the pleasure of playing one of the main characters and just seemed like an overall awesome guy, rather than a stuck-up movie star. The director, Rob Reiner, sounded like an upstanding and caring guy who was really passionate about creating a film that captured the same lovable qualities of the original book written by William Goldman (who also wrote the screenplay that was used for the movie).  

I thought it was pretty fascinating that critics and audiences weren't sure what to make of The Princess Bride when it first made its debut in theaters. Was it a kid movie or for adults? Was it a girly movie? Nowadays there are plenty of genre-bending films but that was a new thing back then and it wasn't until the movie came out on video that it really took off and people realized how special the movie really is. 

Associate: Does it remind you of any other book, movie, TV show, or current events?

The only other behind-the-scenes book I have read was Seinfeldia by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, which looked at the infamous "show about nothing". But this was different since it was written by someone who was actually there rather than comprised of interviews. It of course brought back different scenes of The Princess Bride as he talked about hijinks that happened, like how he broke his toe (when driving Andre the Giant's huge golf cart) right before filming an important scene with Buttercup that included a lot of running (Ouch!) or the  numerous hours (and months) of intensive sword-fighting lessons to prepare him and Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya) for what is easily one of the most memorable and impressive sword-fighting scenes on film.

Design: What did you think of the cover?

The cover has Cary Elwes' character, Wesley, in his iconic man-in-black outfit and a font reminiscent of Old English. It wasn't flashy but it also wasn't boring either. 

Stars: How many do you give and would you recommend this book to a friend

★★★★★! I loved it and would definitely recommend it to anyone who has seen and enjoyed the movie and likes to know what went on during the making of the movie.  I really want to read the original book by William Goldman now!


If you are interested in hearing about other books that bloggers deemed as Summer Reads, hop over to the link-up

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Elle Alice