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Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  32 reviews
A remarkably candid biography of the remarkably candid—and brilliant—Carrie Fisher

In her 2008 bestseller, Girls Like Us, Sheila Weller—with heart and a profound feeling for the times—gave us a surprisingly intimate portrait of three icons: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. Now she turns her focus to one of the most loved, brilliant, and iconoclastic women of our
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by Sarah Crichton Books
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  108 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was swept away by this book immediately as it recounted the birth of Carrie Fisher to her famous Hollywood star parents Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. All the screen magazines covered this idyllic family, and I found myself googling those covers to see the serious expressions on baby Carrie's face. They lived in a closed off Beverly Hills enclave surrounded by other stars. I loved reading about Carrie growing up as a teenager and how delicate and pretty she was with her soft, long hair. She ...more
Valerity (Val)
This is a book for Carrie Fisher fans or for those like me who are really wanting to know more about her since her passing. I remember how huge her death was, on a return flight from London, just a bit before Christmas in 2016. It really was kind of a shock, as she wasn’t that old and seemed pretty healthy. Sheila Weller covers Carrie’s life here, going back before she was even born to show the makeup of her parents’ Hollywood celebrity marriage. It’s a good bio of a life that had quite a ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I just love biographies, memoirs, and autobiographies, especially when they are about someone I’ve “known” most of my life. Like many from my generation, I fell for Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. I thought she was mesmerizingly beautiful and magical. Most of all, she was formidable, and little did I know, the actor was just as strong as the character.

Later in my life, I vaguely remember interviews with Carrie after the drug overdose, and also one with her mother, when she talked about her life,
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sheila Weller writes a beautiful and intimate portrait of a Hollywood Icon, the one and only Carrie Fisher. Born to Hollywood Royalty, father Eddie Fisher and mother Debbie Reynolds, Fisher from the time of her birth, lived a life so public filled with scandal and drama, and yet have been admired and adored by people all over the world. Most of us know her as Princess Lea with her hair buns, and as the fearless Resistance leader who would later be Han Solo’s love interest in both on screen and ...more
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

"If my life wasn't funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable." -- Carrie Fisher

I have a bit of a soft spot for Carrie Fisher as she's probably the first actress I was truly aware of, because the original Star Wars trilogy represents some of the earliest live-action films that I saw at movie theaters as a child. (I am just old enough to have seen The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in 1980 and 1983, respectively, though I caught the first film on a re-release in
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book about Carrie Fishers life. She led a honest and truthful life and had a no fucks given attitude. I wish more women were like her. I also wish I couldve partied with her since her parties were legendary. Now i have to read her 7 books!
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
It dates me, terribly, that I actually remember the Life, Look and Photoplay stories about "America's Sweethearts," Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Later, Eddie flew to the side of his best friend, Mike Todd's, widow, Elizabeth Taylor. It was a scandal, especially for my mother who grew up in South Philadelphia and remembered Eddie's grandfather selling bananas from a pushcart.

How could they not be perfect with infant son, Todd, and cherubic Carrie rounding out the family. We never know what
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit to some ambivalent feelings about this book, due to Carrie's family's reaction to the imminent publication of Weller's bio of Carrie. A month ago, Bryan Lourd, on behalf of his and Carrie's daughter, Billie, denounced the bio stating that the family was not involved. Todd Fisher, Carrie's brother, also spoke out, directing people to Carrie's own works (Postcards from the Edge, Wishful Drinking, The Princess Diarist, etc) for
what is important to know about Carrie. Had I read
Nov 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

Admittedly, I'm picky about biographies. I tend not to enjoy them and often shun them in favor of autobiographies and memoirs, because they always seem shallow and heartless when they're not written by the person who is the subject of the book. That was definitely the case here. I felt like I was reading a textbook rather than a biography, and in the 50 or so pages I suffered through, I didn't learn anything I couldn't have learned via a
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge by Sheila Weller is a highly recommended biography of the well-known actor, best-selling author, and advocate for mental health awareness.

As the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Carrie Fisher began her life in the public eye and her fame followed her through her entire life. Many people immediately associate Fisher with her iconic role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, while others immediately think of her many books. She honestly covered many of her
Nov 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
I loved reading this book, although there was virtually nothing between its covers that I did not already know. I do have the unfair advantage of being the foremost researcher in modern Leiaology. Your jaws may have dropped, but this vocation does not require costly tuition payments. To consider yourself a fan of Carrie Fisher, all you have to do is follow her, which she made so easy with her everywoman-ness and honesty. both as General Leia and in her writings. Sheila Weller does not honor this ...more
Cece Shelburne
Nov 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Definitely not for Star Wars fans. Not for Carrie Fisher or Debbie Reynolds fans either. Slow start. Couldn't finish it.
Linda Zagon
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Linda's Book Obsession Reviews " Carrie Fisher A Life On the Edge" by Sheila Weller. November 2019

WOW! Kudos to Sheila Weller, author of "Carrie Fisher" A Life On the Edge" for writing such a poignant, memorable, compassionate, and intriguing Biography of the life of Carie Fisher. The Genre for this book is a Biography, and Sheila Weller has interviewed many friends, acquaintances and has done extensive research into Carrie Fisher's life.

Sheila Weller shows us Carrie Fisher as "Hollywood
Jennifer Schultz
Read if you: Want an engaging and empathetic look at a Hollywood legend.

From Carrie Fisher's remarkable Beverly Hills childhood, to her iconic role as Princess Leia, her struggles with addiction and mental illness, her writing career, her triumphs, setbacks, and untimely death, Sheila Weller paints a picture of an eccentric, sometimes difficult, endearing, generous, and gifted woman who died much too soon. Whether you're a fan of Fisher because of Star Wars, her writing, or her outspokenness
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
I knew, prior to buying this book, that Carrie Fisher's ex Bryan Lourd and their daughter, Billie, had disavowed it. I knew that the author, Sheila Weller, had never met Fisher. I also felt, as a lifelong, die-hard fan, I couldn't NOT read the book.

Unsurprisingly, there is virtually no new information in this book. It's not particularly easy to read, either, as it's a jumble of snippets of Fisher's books and interviews and interviews with other celebrities who were in some way adjacent to her.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Weller traces Fisher’s life from her Hollywood royalty roots to her untimely and shattering death after Christmas 2016. Her mother was the spunky and adorable Debbie Reynolds; her father, the heartthrob crooner Eddie Fisher. When Eddie ran off with Elizabeth Taylor, the scandal thrust little Carrie Frances into a bizarre spotlight, gifting her with an irony and an aplomb that would resonate throughout her life.

We follow Fisher’s acting career, from her debut in Shampoo, the hit movie that
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-edelweiss
2.5 Stars

I tried to go into this biography with an open mind. Carrie Fisher wrote four memoirs and four semi-autobiographical novels. She told us a lot about herself in those eight books and countless interviews. She told us with tight writing and an insightfulness that was often painful. Still, I thought, perhaps there was more to be said, by those who loved and mourned her. So I requested the ARC. Not long after, Fisher's family disavowed the biography. Carrie's daughter Billie Lourd and
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I am, at best, ambivalent to Star Wars. The special edition re-releases of the original trilogy in the mid-'90s comprised my first exposure to the classic films. I saw the prequels in theaters, and hated myself through each one. (Why'd I keep going back? It was a social thing.) I saw Episode VII when it released in 2015—again with friends—and I thought it was fine. I haven't seen any Star Wars since. Not movies, not TV shows, nothing. I know about baby Yoda through means, and I'm already sick of ...more
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
We all know Carrie Fisher! She was famous literally from the day she was born. Being born to famous parents Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds threw her in to a life of fame even if she didn’t want it. She may be best known for staring as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, but did you know she was a ‘script doctor’ and had her hands in 45+ movies! A Life on the Edge covers her whole life and career. It was so many things- good, sad, funny and heartbreaking.
If you are a fan of memoirs, I would
Cassie-Traveling Sister-
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
When asked to review this book I of course jumped and said yes! Who doesn’t want to know more about Carrie Fisher! I along with everyone else always have known her as the gorgeous Princess Lea from Star Wars. The question is who is the person behind the characters she played ? Carrie Fisher was born into Hollywood. Two famous parents, Her Father was Eddie Fisher and her mother was Debbie Reynolds. Her life has always been in the spotlight. Anything she does or says will be immediately thrown ...more
Marcia G. Yerman
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I wrote a review of the book, and was also able to interview author Sheila Weller for insights.

It is true that Carrie navigated her ordeals within the confines of extreme privilege and Hollywood glamour, unlike the average person. Yet, the essence of her evolution and aspects of her struggles will be easily recognized to other women especially of her generation. Her myriad insecurities, one of the continuous threads of her personal history, is what makes this telling of her life accessible to an
Eric Gilliland
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well written portrait of Carrie Fisher who left us way too early. Weller documents her childhood as the daughter of Hollywood royalty to her rise to fame as Princess Leia in Star Wars. While her struggles with Bipolar Disorder and addiction are covered in detail, we also get a sense of her inner strength, intelligence, and sense of humor. A first rate writer, her novel Postcards from the Edge is essential reading on Hollywood during the 1980s. Her talents as a script doctor were also widely ...more
I've been thinking of Star Wars a lot lately, since I've become obsessed with the Mandolarian. I loved Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds.

I wanted to learn more about Carrie's life so I got this book from the library. Although Sheila writes about Carrie in a mostly respectful way, the overall revelations and writing style of this book was too gossipy and tabloidish for me to enjoy.

I felt like Carrie would not approve of me reading this book and would want me to read one of her own
Cristie Underwood
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Carrie Fisher will forever be known as Princess Leia to Star Wars fans, but she was so much more and this book captures it all. Carrie lived a life of extreme highs and lows and it is all captured in this amazing biography. Despite all of our fame, Carrie seemed like she was someone that could go into any room and make people laugh and enjoy her company. This is a fitting tribute to a truly one of a kind woman.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love Carrie Fisher and this biography, generously annotated and well written, reinforces that feeling. This book shows how Carrie Fisher morphed into an iconic free-wheeling feminist from the spoiled 19 year old Princess Leila in Star Wars. A bi-polar addict, her life is layer out warts and all. Well done, interesting and highly recommended.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very well written, fast-paced book about a fast-paced life of a woman gone all too soon. Carrie was something - one of those women I wish I had known. She had some serious mental health and addiction struggles, I knew of them somewhat but not to the extent that I just read about. It's sad she's gone. I think she had a lot more to say to the world.
Jennifer Hunter
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Carrie Fisher’s actual books are much better. This is just a bunch of quoted material from other sources thrown together in an often incoherent hodgepodge nonlinear fashion. I understand why the family didnt want it coming out...the quality is atrocious ...more
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Carrie Fisher is a goddess, we miss Carrie Fisher every damn day, and Carrie Fisher was one of the most hilarious humans to ever walk this dysfunctional planet." (from Vulture review of The Last Jedi, as quoted p. 357)
Nov 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I couldn’t get into this.

It seemed like the author just cut and pasted everything anyone has ever said about carrie. It was dry and too textbooky for me. DNF.
Gary Shapiro
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sheila Weller did an excellent job telling the life of Carrie Fisher. I found this book considerably more satisfying than the one by Carrie Fisher’s brother. There a many insights into the quirky aspects of Ms Fisher’s personality and Sheila Weller did a great deal of research into Bi-polar disorder. Illuminating and worth a read!
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Sheila Weller is a bestselling author and award-winning magazine journalist specializing in women’s lives, social issues, cultural history, and feminist investigative.

Her seventh book, The News Sorority: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour – and the Triumph of Women in TV News, will be a major release from Penguin-Random House on September 30, 2014.

Her sixth book was the critically