Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade” as Want to Read:
Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,222 ratings  ·  145 reviews
Something odd, if predictable, became of screenwriter William Goldman after he wrote the touchstone tell-all book on filmmaking, Adventures in the Screen Trade (1983), he became a Hollywood leper. Goldman opens his long-awaited sequel by writing about his years of exile before he found himself--again--as a valuable writer in Hollywood.

Fans of the two-time Oscar-winning w

Paperback, 512 pages
Published May 21st 2001 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 2000)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Which Lie Did I Tell?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Which Lie Did I Tell?

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,222 ratings  ·  145 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Of the dozens of reviews none mention that William Goldman wrote Good Will Hunting and the creepy Jews in Hollywood said to let Matt Damon and Ben Affleck take credit for writing it as a marketing stunt. And so he played along only for them to win awards.

Harvey Weinstein, the rapist, liked it. Figures.

If Ben Affleck and Matt Damon had a shred of integrity they would fess up and hand the awards back or give posthumously to William (he died November 2018).

If they really did write it, then why
Abdullah H.
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm a sucker for William Goldman. But this REALLY was useful.
I will say it was better than Part I.

An absolute must have on shelf for any screenwriter.
While I took many notes, I know, like his first back, I will
be pulling this off of the shelf and using it as a reference.

P. Dangelico
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A classic every writer should read.
Jason Luna
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In this sequel to screenwriter William Goldman's first memoir, "Adventures In The Screen Trade", basically carrying his memoirs forward to the time period 1980-2000, Goldman captures the appeal and basic readability and charm of volume one. I think it's marginally inferior to its first book, but it's still very good.

Goldman has a gift for writing amiable anecdotes about Hollywood. They read very conversational and fun to read, and are aided by Goldman's insight into historically significant figu
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'll start this off by saying I love movies penned by William Goldman.

I'll also say that, for my money, the novel of The Princess Bride is funnier than the movie.

So with those two things in mind, join me as I walk through the economically depressed streets of San Pedro, CA. I'm there with a friend, killing time while we wait for the Lovecraft Festival to start up and next door to the (soon-to-be) crowded Whale and Ale Pub is a little bookshop that's just about to close down. Our presence convinc
Stefan Fergus
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not as good as “Adventures...”, but some really good stuff in here - advice, observations, anecdotes, etc. Still a valuable book.

He doesn’t seem to like Brits too much - seems to have had some difficult work experiences.

Another must-read for aspiring screenwriters, but also plenty of useful content for aspiring writers of any kind. And a good read.
Pedro Kerouac
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book on the adventures of one of the most acclaimed Hollywood screenwriters, full of insightful information and a very sarcastic sense of humour. Essential for every movie buff.
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: writers
William Goldman's (his name might sound familiar because he's the author of the book The Princess Bride, and the film's screenplay) follow-up to Adventures in the Screentrade, Which Lie Did I Tell, covers his works post-1982 such as The Princess Bride, Misery and The Ghost and the Darkness. While 'Adventures' is about the happy accidents and why no one really knows anything about how to make movie magic, 'Lie' is a great book about making choices and where to go from there. I can apply his stori ...more
Paul Lyons
Enjoyable follow-up to William Goldman's excellent 80's book "Adventures In the Screen Trade." At times repetitive and frustrating, "Which Lie Did I Tell?" touches on perhaps too many things that were first brought up in "Adventures In the Screen Trade." His continual references to BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID got annoying after awhile. Not only does he mention the movie (and his script) throughout the book, Goldman also devotes an entire chapter to his 1969 Oscar-winning script. William ...more
William Goldman, the screenwriter of two of my favorite movies (and in my opinion, two of the best movies of all time)--"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Princess Bride"--offers an witty, insightful, acerbic and neurotic look at the world of writing in Hollywood. I haven't read this book's predecessor, "Adventures in the Screen Trade," but I have no doubt it was equally enjoyable and eye-opening.

Apart from recounting his own experiences in Hollywood (or "Out There" as Goldman calls i
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I want to write a screenplay.

I want to be friends with William Goldman, author of The Princess Bride and this awesome book! He has the most delightfully conversational style. This book gets pretty technical, but I like that. I don't know if a non-writer would enjoy it quite so much, but maybe if he or she just skipped over the advice in grey, it would be just a book full of dirt on a screenwriter's adventures in Hollywood (among other places.)

This is apparently a sequel, but here are the movies
William Koon
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
I have been a big fan of Goldman's since college days. I loved his novels like Temple of Gold and Marathon Man. I loved his screen plays, particularly Butch Cassidy. I loved his Adventures in the Screen Trade wherein he did a bit of kiss and telling. However,this follow-up is a bit too snarky and polished for me and fairly empty. As a record of Goldman's continuing journey, it's OK. I suppose he had to write it. But the quoting --at vast lengths-- of his favorite screen plays becomes tedious. Al ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
If you liked ADVENTURES IN THE SCREEN TRADE then this is for you.
If you like movies then this is for you.
If you like the great William Goldman then this is for you.
If you don't like none of the above then...well it's your problem.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite Hollywood memoir / insider's guide, one which I've read many times but keep coming back to like an old friend. Goldman's combination of wit, self-reflection and biting honesty is a potent elixir.
Charles Tatum
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: do-not-own
Screenwriter William Goldman has a lot of good stories to tell about working in Hollywood. He is often very funny, and it is interesting to read about the genesis of his work in such films as "Misery" and "The Ghost and the Darkness." He even covers his one horrifyingly awful bomb "The Year of the Comet," a film so bad I forgot it ever existed until I read this book.

Goldman wants to use this book to help other screenwriters through his experience and examples from his own scripts. His honesty ab
Mike Cuthbert
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Goldman’s first book on “Adventures in the Screen Trade” should be required reading for anybody interested in the business of film. This one should be required for all critics and screenwriters or wannabes. Goldman is a superb raconteur and he has a full quiver of stories to tell about his business and how it runs (and doesn’t run!) He is remarkably humble for someone who has written “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Princess Bride,” among others. He tells us how he did it and focuse ...more
James Carter
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I followed up with Which Lie Did I Tell? after reading Adventures in the Screen Trade.

Mind you, I was just mainly interested for the Hollywood stories but didn't care much for the screenplays or advice in regards with them. Needless to say, I was mostly disappointed in the sequel book for saying nothing much really. Either the stories were already mentioned in the other book, rehashed but in different words, or about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for the umpteenth time.

William Goldman fina
Rachel Pieters
I was intrigued by this book, as a novelist with an interest in writing screenplays, and as a huge fan of the movie The Princess Bride (which Goldman wrote). Overall, I thought it was interesting, entertaining at times, informative at times, and a altogether a decent 'insider's view' of 'the biz'.

What I liked: Some of Goldman's stories were highly entertaining, and I like that he wrote in 'his own voice' and often said things other people might be afraid to say in fear of being rebuffed. It was
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm surprised this has so many good reviews. It's clearly a case of getting a book deal to do a sequel and then afterwards trying to figure out what to write. I mean, there are some good anecdotes, but the writing is full of unnecessary superlatives of what everyone must know (in bold with exclamations!!) about writing or the film industry. And gratuitous swearing to make him sound just so real and honest. (And I really have no problem with swearing in writing.)

It all just seemed forced and he s
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Many years ago I read The Princess Bride novel and loved William Goldman's humorous prose. I've also seen quite a few of the films where he was the key screenwriter (such as Butch Cassidy and Misery). So I had pretty high expectations that I'd enjoy this leisurely stroll through the madness of Hollywood - I wasn't disappointed!

Broadly speaking Goldman splits the book into three parts. The first covers a wide range of anecdotes from his time in Hollywood and these are eye-opening (as well as bein
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: film
This book ends with an interesting device - Goldman includes half an unproduced screenplay of his for us to critique - it is a flawed screenplay, and its problems are the same as the problems with this book overall: it is muddled, and doesn't know what it is for sure.

Is the included screenplay meant to be a romantic comedy? A action drama? Who knows. Similarly, is this book a Hollywood memoir? A screenwriting how to guide? A collection of essays on other famous screenplays? The answer: all of t
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I loved this book. My only negatives come from some of the content. It's definitely not clean. He swears and quotes lines from scripts that can be quite difficult to read and are often inappropriate.

But I do love his style. His self deprecation and brutal honesty are what make him so endearing. You feel like you're sitting in a class and learning everything the master has to teach. I was inspired and learned a lot.

The ending is brilliant. I won't spoil anything, but the script he shar
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Here you’ll find some anecdotes, hilarious one-liners, and all the other goodies one can expect from anything by William Goldman. The first book, Adventures In The Screen Trade, had some great stories, helpful tips and all that. But the greatest gem in this book that takes up the last third or so comes in the form of a screenplay. He lets you in deep behind the scenes of Hollywood letting you read an unfinished script and the feedback from other famous writers. That section of this book was pure ...more
Amar Pai
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Goldman is an engaging storyteller and I liked reading about the making of Princess Bride and all his ranting about how screenwriters don't get enough credit.

BUT, then the middle and end of the book becomes more of a teaching guide for aspiring screenwriters. It is interesting to see the nuts and bolts discussed but when I realized the last 3rd of the book is an unpublished Goldman screenplay I called it a day.

I do want to read his earlier book, Adventures in the Screen Trade

Hollywood, explained
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An even quicker read than Adventures, and a book you can pick and choose from in terms of what topics or films you want to dig into. But this is a solid follow-up to that earlier book, and it gives Goldman a chance to refine some of his earlier comments while offering his assessment of the 1990s (much harsher than I would be, but he makes his points).

If you liked the first one, you should absolutely read this one too.
D. Whittaker
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Should get a 4.5. Would be more but the last section was overdone. If you're a writer, especially a screenwriter (or wannabe) you should read this book. The man knows of what he speaks - remember nobody knows anything. Nice stories/vignettes about the Princess Bride and Butch and Sundance (both his), together with other insights. I found it enjoyable and educational - how often does that happen? Highly recommend. Now, on to "Adventures in the Screen Trade". Enjoy.
Alex Daniel
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Good, but not as good as the first. You can probably split this into two halves: gossip & mechanics. The "gossip" half of things is fun, but disposable. The "mechanics" half of things is helpful, and makes for a worthy followup to ADVENTURES IN THE SCREEN TRADE.

You take those two books, take out the gossip-y parts, and you've got yourself the equivalent of King's ON WRITING for screenwriting.
Marion Irwin
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved the Princess Bride. Who didn't?

I loved movies, before this Marvel Universe Takeover, when the script had dominance over CGI.

So I loved this book, with all its Hollywood backstabbing. I didn't read Adventures in the Screen Trade, so it was all new to me. If you want to hear about the old days, when screenwriters were known, read this one.
Stephen Mozug
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
William does a good job of explaining his writing process as well as sharing his experiences working for hollywood. An enertaining read if the reader is interested in screenwriting or the business side of hollywood, but not so interesting for anyone else.
Josh K
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was a little more interested in the business side of things versus the 'this is what happened to me' side of things. I have other books to read right now, but I expect to return to this one at some point.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What a great title... 2 10 Feb 21, 2013 01:18PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Final Cut: Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of Heaven's Gate, the Film That Sank United Artists
  • You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again
  • The Devil's Candy: The Anatomy Of A Hollywood Fiasco
  • Hello, He Lied and Other Tales from the Hollywood Trenches
  • Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told
  • A Short History of the Movies
  • Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film
  • The Studio
  • What Just Happened?: Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Line
  • Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System
  • Hollywood
  • Who the Devil Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors
  • Making a Good Script Great
  • Conversations with Wilder
  • The Kid Stays in the Picture
  • Four Screenplays: Studies in the American Screenplay
  • The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film
  • Making Movies
See similar books…
Goldman grew up in a Jewish family in Highland Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, and obtained a BA degree at Oberlin College in 1952 and an MA degree at Columbia University in 1956.His brother was the late James Goldman, author and playwright.

William Goldman had published five novels and had three plays produced on Broadway before he began to write screenplays. Several of his novels he later used