Kelly Lynn Thomas's Reviews > Wishful Drinking

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
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's review
Feb 28, 12

bookshelves: memoir
Read in February, 2012

I went into this book with generally low expectations, actually, but I thought it was fairly well executed. The only major flaw, I think, is how short the book is. Fisher definitely keeps a wide distance between herself and the reader with humor, and she doesn't reveal a whole lot more than what you could probably find in interviews, newspapers, tabloids, etc. Not that tabloids are reliable sources, but. You get what I'm saying.

The point of this book isn't a tell-all memoir, so the distance didn't bother me at all. Fisher is hilarious, and she actually has an important message threaded throughout the narrative: living with mental illness is hard, and anyone who has to do it deserves a little slack--but just a little. She manages to treat the subject of mental illness in a serious way with humor, and I admire that. She constantly makes fun of herself, but never because of her disease, only because of the stupid decisions she's made.

Fisher's memoir is also incredibly self-aware. At one point she makes a crack about "you", the reader, only reading the book because of Star Wars, and I'm guessing in 99 out of 100 cases that's absolutely true. It certainly is for me, and I felt a little pang of guilt, which I imagine was the intended effect. (Another reason why the narrative distance didn't bother me at all.) This self-awareness also carries through the whole text, although it's a bit choppier.

I think Fisher's memoir would make an excellent classroom tool to talk about the writer's persona, because it's right there, front and center, and you can't pretend like you "know" Carrie Fisher after reading this book. But it's also not a vapid book.

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