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Alison

Annandale, VA, United States
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  • As You Wish

  • Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
  • By: Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner (foreword)
  • Narrated by: Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,736
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9,056
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,004

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 screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Warm-hearted retelling

  • By Thomas Allen on 10-19-14

Inconceivable that this book could be any more fun

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-16-14

Would you listen to As You Wish again? Why?

Totally. This is so much fun I could hardly stand it. It's a short listen, but all the heavy hitters from the movie voice some parts of the book that are about them, so it's really great audio in a way that print just can't deliver. Cary Elwes is great, has a lovely voice, and even does some creditable impressions.

What was one of the most memorable moments of As You Wish?

As a fan, I think every moment of the film is nearly perfect, and hearing those moments recounted is pretty perfect too. I think I like best the parts about how each of the actors came to be associated with the film and Rob Reiner's vision coming to life.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Only Billy Crystal. I listened to his Autobiography, Still Foolin' em, which is also really good and funny. These are funny people, and famous actors. They know what they're doing. Only Andy Scheineman, the producer, sounds like he's just reading the words off the page, but it's okay. It's well-written, so he doesn't need to "perform" it.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. It's short enough that you almost can. It's not like it's suspenseful. We all know what happened, but it's kind of like sitting around with a bottle of wine listening to the cast and director tell stories about the movie. Who'd want to leave that party?

Any additional comments?

If you haven't seen the movie, Princess Bride, (Really? Unless you're under 12 or over 75, I don't get that...) obviously do that first. But for any fan of the movie or of Rob Reiner as a director, this is a no-brainer.

50 of 53 people found this review helpful

  • He's Gone

  • By: Deb Caletti
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 548
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 502
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 500

The Sunday morning starts like any other. But on this particular Sunday morning, she's surprised to see that her husband, Ian, is not home. As the hours pass, Dani fills her day with small things. But still, Ian does not return. And then, like a relentless blackness, the terrible realization hits Dani: He's gone. As the days pass, Dani will plumb the depths of her conscience, turning over and revealing the darkest of her secrets in order to discover the hard truth - about herself, her husband, and their lives together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Audible Book I've "Read"!

  • By Swallowtail on 12-27-13

Better in Print?

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-09-14

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not sure. I think it would depend on the friend. Fair and full disclosure, this is not a mystery. It's kind of a character study with a "mystery," but really more of a crisis or a tragedy, as its premise. It moves slowly. If I thought a friend would like that kind of book, I would recommend. I would not recommend to mystery or psychological thriller aficionados, because that's just not what this book is, or was ever meant to be.

What did you like best about this story?

There is some beautiful writing in this book. In passages, some of this book makes spot-on observations and has some beautiful descriptive passages of Seattle, where it takes place. Great little details many readers will greet with a little spark of recognition. The problem though, is that all these beautiful passages don't really come together in a satisfying way. Some readers won't like the characters. I myself didn't like them very much. Dani Keller is the kind of woman a lot of women may have trouble tolerating, and if you don't like her, you're in for it, because it's all Dani, all the time. (The story is told in first person narrative from her POV, and she spends a considerable amount of time inside her own head.) Some readers, alternatively, will find her sympathetic. Be warned though, Dani and Ian, the couple, met while each married to others and had an adulterous affair before they married each other. If that's going to bother you, it's going to bother you a lot, because a lot of page time is spent examining it and re-living it and all its unhappy but completely foreseeable consequences. That fact doesn't automatically make them unsympathetic to me, but for some it might. I do think the author intends for them to be more likeable than ultimately they each turned out to be, to me.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Cassandra Campbell?

I don't know. I can't think of anyone specific, but the narration irritated me. The way Ms. Campbell narrated in my opinion made Dani sound even more self-delusional and self-pitying than she would appear in print. A more lively narration, not so morose sounding, might have helped me like her more. And if I had read in print, I might have been able to edit some of that out as I read. Her male voices also kind of bothered me. A little one-note. A wonderful female narrator, like Davina Porter, for example, does a male voice and though she is clearly female, voicing a man doesn't pull you out of the story and make you remember that. Ms. Campbell sounds awkwardly like a woman trying too hard to deepen her voice and pretend to be a man.

Do you think He's Gone needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. The book was pretty self-indulgent as it was. More would be fairly excruciating.

Any additional comments?

Reading back over the review, I think it appears as though I didn't like the story. I did, though. I didn't LOVE it, but I liked it. I do think it would be better in print, because there were a fair number of times I thought, "I wish I could just skim this part..."

  • Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son

  • By: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Hope Edelman
  • Narrated by: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,255
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,166
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,168

In this remarkable dual memoir, film legend Martin Sheen and accomplished actor/filmmaker Emilio Estevez recount their lives as father and son. In alternating chapters—and in voices that are as eloquent as they are different—they narrate stories spanning more than 50 years of family history, and reflect on their journeys into two different kinds of faith.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hartwarming and Captivating but Fix the Audio!

  • By CyndiLooWho on 05-24-12

Compelling

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-20-13

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. I don't usually write reviews, but I was so moved by the experience of this book that I wanted to share it. I loved hearing the stories from the actors' in their own voices. I especially recommend this book to men, both fathers and sons. It's an amazing snapshot of one father and son relationship that also has universal meaning.

What did you like best about this story?

The first person narrative, and the fact that sometimes both Emilio and Martin recounted the same events and each offered his own perspective and emotions about what had happened.

What about Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez ’s performance did you like?

Everything. They were both awesome. If you're a fan of either actor, you will LOVE this. And if you're not a fan now, I think you will be after you listen to this. They were both extremely honest and direct about a lot of things, even if some of the stories they told were not particularly flattering to one or the other, or both of them. This is no vanity piece, and I really admired that about it.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both. This book was extremely moving to me, without being sappy, and not a laugh riot,but also charming and very funny in places.

Any additional comments?

Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen's 2009 movie, The Way, serves as kind of a backdrop to the book, although the story is mostly chronological and starts much earlier. I had not yet seen the movie when I read/listened to the book and wished I had seen it, for my enjoyment of both the book and the movie, but the book can stand on its own, as well.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful