Joanna's Reviews > Wishful Drinking

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
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's review
Jan 17, 2011

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bookshelves: books-read-2011, non-fiction, this-book-has-a-lesbian-in-it
Read in January, 2011

They say to never judge a book by its cover, but I picked this book up after laughing out loud at the cover image of Princess Leia with her head down clutching an empty martini glass. This is a fast moving memoir about the life of Carrie Fisher, as remembered post-electroshock therapy. But despite Fisher's struggles with depression, addiction, and bipolar disorder, this book is a light, fun, and engaging read.

She gives it to the reader with both barrels, talking about what it is like to be an intergalactic sex symbol, pez dispenser, and textbook illustration for mental illness. She also, on account of having Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher for parents, has a lot of great Old Hollywood gossip sprinkled in to the mix. From her mother calling Ava Gardner to check that her daughter had not overdosed in a London hotel,
to getting two phone calls about LSD use from Cary Grant, to mocking her father for attending Grace Kelly's funeral for the photo op - it's an irreverent multi-generational look at celebrity.

You can tell that this was adapted from Fisher's one woman show, as each brief chapter is replete with one liners and often written in a cadence that seems to wait for the audience's laughter. More rigorous editing could have tightened up the narrative a good deal, but the laughs make up for the sometimes sloppy constructions.

This is certainly a truth that is stranger than fiction read, but as Fisher herself says, "If my life weren’t funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable."

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