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As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  61,657 ratings  ·  9,995 reviews
From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and s ...more
Hardcover, 259 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Atria Books
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Tanya I listened. It's a good audiobook!…moreI listened. It's a good audiobook!(less)
Jennifer Yes! Completely real and I was able to get a signed copy at showing of The Princess Bride (quote-along) and an exclusive interview with Cary Elwes him…moreYes! Completely real and I was able to get a signed copy at showing of The Princess Bride (quote-along) and an exclusive interview with Cary Elwes himself about the book and his life after The Princess Bride! So far the book has been really good.(less)

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Jan 13, 2017 rated it liked it

Three stars? Inconceivable!

--I do not think that word means what you think it means--

It's true; it is barely conceivable that one could not adore "As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride." But despite a deep and lasting fondness for the movie (of course I own a copy), this was a mixed adventure, much like a stroll through the Fire Swamp. Despite containing fencing, giants, and the miracle of a sleeper hit, I found it lacking in fighting, revenge and true love.

I spe
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was the perfect audience for this memoir. I have probably seen the movie "The Princess Bride" 100 times, and I've read William Goldman's book so often that the cover is torn, the binding is broken and some pages are falling out.

Oh, and the song "Storybook Love" played at my wedding. So yes, I am a fan.

"As You Wish" is the story of how the movie "The Princess Bride" got made. Cary's perspective is the main one, but other cast and crew members shared anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stories abou
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This is a deeply affectionate, engaging story of the making of the film The Princess Bride, as told by Wesley Cary Elwes. It includes frequent sidebar comments from many of the other actors, the director, Rob Reiner, and others involved in creating this classic tale of pirates and princesses, wizards and giants, swordfighters and devious Sicilians. True love. And fights to the death.

As You Wish is told in a chatty, anecdotal style, and is unremittingly positive in tone (no dirty laundry being a
❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...
25th anniversary

I am so tempted to give it 5 stars just for how much I love learning any new tidbit about this movie. I am such a Princess Bride fan girl. This is me when I found out the book existed.

New girl

THIS movie cover is my favorite -- see how the title is the same upside down?
upside down

The book covers how the different actors came together to be part of movie. Cary talks about his nervousness and how sweet he was on Robin.
holding hands

Cary talks about how grueling learning the swordplay was.
Just for fun, here is a link to t
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is, by far and away, one of the warmest "let's get together and talk about the making of my favorite movie" books I've ever read, but I really need to remember that it's really nothing more than that. :)

I've already heard, from what seems like millions of sources, that Princess Bride touched them deeply and how it always seems to be a personal favorite film for each of us.

Hell, I find myself being one of those people. I LOVED the film. It has fantastic writing, great pacing, great acting,
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this warm-hearted, nostalgic valentine for fans of this fairytale cult classic!

From its swashbuckling appeal to its humor and memorable lines, this film’s journey is inconceivable to me. It languished in development hell, was then mishandled promotionally leading to a box office flop only to become a generational, cultural phenomenon due to of all things, video. Yet throughout this memoir, Elwes makes it clear that only Reiner could have hit upon this magical formula of adventure, satire
K.J. Charles
Entertaining memoir of the making of The Princess Bride. Very sunny and happy read, nothing hugely deep, makes you want to watch the film again.
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I have to say, first of all, that I love the Princess Bride. It's one of the few stories where I love the movie as much as I love the book. I can't remember the first time I watched it, whether it was on tv, or I rented it by chance from our local movie place. My sister, who is not a fantasy fan, loves this movie. Her best friend from high school loves this movie. When my sister had to give a speech at said best friend's wedding it was from the Princess Bride, and how they used the movie in the ...more
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I remember seeing "the Princess Bride" at the dollar movie at the end of 1987. I loved it completely and wondered why I'd never heard of it. Of course, I was smitten by Westley. I bought the book at the campus bookstore before I graduated the following year. The movie has since become a classic and my children quote it better than I ever did.

The actor playing Westley grew up and wrote a memoir on the making of this epic movie. I do not use epic lightly. Cary Elwes a little known actor who was ju
Montzalee Wittmann
Nov 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
by Cary Elwes, Joe Layden
Who doesn't love the movie The Princess Bride? This is the behind the scenes book that brings it to life and really makes it even more touching! I will never watch the movie the same way again! I will think of certain things from the book as I watch different scenes now! I love all the actors and actresses and the hilarious satire in the movie. Will miss the lovable Andre the Giant.
Going to watch it r
Allison Hurd
Apr 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
People have been asking if I've read this from the moment it came out. Princess Bride is my all-time favorite movie. Where other kids would watch the Disney movie du jour over and over until their cassette broke, this was mine. We watch it almost every year as our first outdoor movie of the summer. I've been to screenings of it with cast Q&A, my spouse and I arranged our wedding vows so that instead of "I do" we said "as you wish," and my sister got $100 from my uncle for starting her wedding ce ...more
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with a few things in life, I discovered The Princess Bride late in life, this past week to be exact. However, from the first scene onwards I was enthralled and in love. Therefore, and because Ginger said it would be immensely funny and insightful, I had to read this book (I'm usually too sceptical about memoirs or making-of books). It tells the story of how Rob Reiner made the movie adaptation of William Goldman's The Princess Bride as told by "Wesley" aka Cary Elwes, with the kind "help" of ...more
Lisa Kay

★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Wonderfully narrated by many of the stars from the movie, reading their contributions. I did miss Billy Crystal and Mandy Patinkin’s voices, but it is still a wonderful listen.

Even if you only liked The Princess Bride, and didn’t love it like I did, you'll enjoy this book. CE said he wrote it from his heart, and that comes through on every page.

Sorry... can’t write more, I’m off to re-watch the movie.

Sep 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
First things first. If you're not a fan of The Princess Bride, (inconceivable!), then I wouldn't bother reading this book. Even if you're a big film buff or really enjoy entertainment memoirs, I'd say skip it. This isn't some Hollywood tell-all or insightful exploration of the movie business. There aren't juicy anecdotes about celebrity misbehavior. There aren't big technical explanations about filmmaking. Instead, this is a big, gushy, enthusiastically nostalgic love letter to The Princess Brid ...more
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs, pop-culture, film
Finished this one on the day I bought it. I'm thinking about buying it again, this time on audible so I can hear the author read it. For some reason, nearly everyone of the Andre stories – – of which there are many – – kept making my eyes fill with tears. ...more
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4 stars for the book itself, and 1 additional star for the wonderful narration.
It was just lovely, heart warming and funny. I listened to the whole thing with a big smile on my face and sometimes tears in my eyes.
If you're a fan of the movie, you HAVE to listen to the audiobook. Just make sure you've got the dvd ready once you're done!
Cindy Newton
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, non-fiction
If you're a die-hard Princess Bride fan, you'll eat this up with a spoon. This is a light-hearted, charming account of the making of the movie from Cary Elwes' (Westley's) point of view. It's a definite love-fest between and about the cast members--no dirt dished here! That's okay, because we don't really want to think about our beloved PB characters being nasty to each other. There's plenty of awed admiration for everyone from the young, star-struck Cary, who was only 23 at the time of the film ...more
Unlike many of you, I am one of those who remembers life before The Princess Bride. In fact, I remember where I was the first time I saw it on VHS somewhere in the first few years of the VHS becoming popular--most likely 1989, but definitely before the fall of 1990 because it was before I was dating that cellist which was before I dated my now husband. But, and this may come as a shock to some of you fans, I've only seen the movie twice. But that has been enough that there wasn't one scene discu ...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

A happy, cute, sweet (insert sugary words here) non-fiction story about the making of the classing movie, The Princess Bride.

Honestly, I don't what I was expecting. There is no juicy dish here, nothing out of the ordinary. Just a great group of actors who genuinely seemed to love each other talking about the rather mundane aspects of filming said movie. The most exciting part of the story was when Cary Elwes broke his toe.

A must read for The Princess Bride superfans, but just a mildly pleasant
Last year, Disney (I think) floated out the idea of remaking The Princess Bride. In a world of stupid politicians, racist violence, an unsteady economy and now Covid, apparently the one thing people agree on is DO NOT REMAKE THE PRINCESS BRIDE!!!!!!

Charming, sweet and engaging. Words that describe both The Princess Bride and As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride and make this a great book to either read or listen to right now. I recommend the audio as Cary Elwes
Heidi The Reader
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Before I start my review, I want to mention that As You Wish is the perfect audiobook for a road trip between St. Louis, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. I was traveling with my daughter and husband, and we were all entertained by Elwes' memories of the making of the film. It's really not that easy to find a book that works for all three of us, but this was an absolute hit. I can't recommend it enough and if you're already a fan of the movie, I'm sure that you'll love it even more.

Though it sta
Larry H
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

I was a freshman in college in 1987 when The Princess Bride was released in theaters. (Egads.) I didn't know what to expect from the movie, but I'm a big fan of noble quests, swashbuckling heroes, and true love, so it was no surprise I was completely enamored of it, and saw it twice more in the theaters. (What else was I going to do, study?)

Even though The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies of all time, it was only a modest box office hit. I had no idea 27 years
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a delightful experience. Nonfiction isn’t anywhere near by genre of choice, but The Princess Bride is among my favorite movies of all time, so I decided to give it a go. Also, Carey Elwes is an absolute treasure. But even the fact that the book was the backstory of one of my favorite movies as told by its lead actor wasn’t enough to entice me into buying a copy of this book. Until I came across the audio version. Let me tell you, I jumped right on that, especially once I learned th ...more
Nov 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
Cary Elwes, the swashbuckling leading man of the fairytale classic, The Princess Bride, takes us on a journey through the making of this film. From the first day's casting to the final scene, he shares his experience as a twenty-three-year-old actor stepping into the principal role of a project peppered with comedic legends. Director Rob Reiner, fresh off his mockumentary hit This is Spinal Tap, filled his roster with as much journeyman talent as it could hold - including but not limited to: Man ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
If somehow you have managed over the last 28 or so years managed to miss The Princess Bride stop what you're doing and get it. Maybe you can find it on line or available on your cable system...go ahead, the rest of us will wait. Go watch it.....

Okay, caught up? Now you'll see why I recommend this book and what all we nerds see in this classic gem of a movie.

I learned a lot from this books which i got in audio read by the author. The first thing i learned is that for 28 years I've been mispronoun
Debbie Zapata
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: saturdaymx
First of all, if by some odd chance you have not seen the movie The Princess Bride, GO WATCH IT BEFORE YOU READ THIS BOOK. At least five times, if not five dozen. Then you can come read As You Wish and see the movie in your head while you read. You can say to yourself "Okay, let me go watch again to see if I spot the USS Coral Sea baseball cap in the little boy's bedroom!" And "Westley really was knocked unconscious when
the Duke hit him on the head with the hilt of his sword?!....I thought it wa
I’m a huge, HUGE, HUGE fan of the movie. My kids have watched it with me year after year since its release on VHS in 1988 (I have since bought it on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Amazon Prime). I even quoted it during my son’s wedding reception earlier this year while I was giving my “best man speech”. I’ve watched it at least a dozen times with my young granddaughters, acting out many of the parts as we play afterwards (I’m usually Fezzik to their Buttercups). :D

Even still, I was hesitant to read this book
Reese Copeland
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great book on the behind the scenes stories of a great movie. Lots of candid stories from all the cast, but mostly from Elwes. Filled with funny, serious stuff and a passion for doing a great film, detailing the pride and insecurities of the actors.
Dec 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, nonfiction
A fun behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Princess Bride, as remembered by The Man in Black himself. That's right, our sweet Westley wrote about book about the making of the world's most quotable movie! The book is delightful in that there's no dirt dished, because there is none. No one threw temper tantrums, none of the co-stars hated each other and couldn't be in the same room after the director yelled, "Cut!" No, the filming was a big love-fest and so is the book.

Which is awesomely r
Jeff Wheeler
Nov 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I devoured this book. The film and the original book have been in my life for so long. The behind the scenes of the film-making was just so much fun to read about. So many stories I didn’t know about, from broken toes, concussions, to the famous last kiss. It’s a delightful memoir and written with such warmth. Well done Cary. Well done.
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Cary Elwes is a celebrated English actor who starred in The Princess Bride before moving on to roles in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Glory, Days of Thunder, Twister, and Saw, among many other acclaimed performances. He will always be indebted to The Princess Bride, he says, for changing his life and giving him a career that has spanned decades. He lives in Hollywood, California, with his family.

Articles featuring this book

His Favorite Books that Became Movies: The dread pirate, suave swordsman, and book lover offers recs in time for As You Wish, his memoir of...
76 likes · 57 comments
“That particular take was the one that ended up in the film. So when you see Westley fall to the ground and pass out, that’s not acting. That’s an overzealous actor actually losing consciousness.” 28 likes
“Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautiful ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Pain. Death. Brave men. Cowardly men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles.” 16 likes
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