Thursday, January 22, 2009

Under the Covers: Wishful Drinking


TITLE: Wishful Drinking
AUTHOR: Carrie Fisher
GENRE: Memoir, Humor, Celebrity
SUMMARY: Fisher has fictionalized her life in several novels (notably Postcards from the Edge), but her first memoir (she calls it a really, really detailed personals ad) proves that truth is stranger than fiction. There are more juicy confessions and outrageously funny observations packed in these honest pages than most celebrity bios twice the length. After describing how she underwent electroshock therapy for her manic depression, Fisher then sorts through her life as her memories return. She predicts that by the end of the book, you'll feel so close to me that you'll want to divorce me. At one point, this daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher (one an icon, the other an arm piece to icons) hilariously diagrams her family tree of Hollywood marriages and remarriages to make sure her daughter's potential date is not a relative. Revealing that at 15 she got a vibrator for Christmas from her mother, she writes, You might be thinking that a lot of the stories I'm telling you are over the top... but you can't imagine what I'm leaving out. With acerbic precision and brash humor, she writes of struggling with and enjoying aspects of her alcoholism, drug addiction and mental breakdowns. Her razor-sharp observations about celebrity, addiction and sexuality demand to be read aloud to friends.*

ROSE'S REVIEW: I've been meaning to get this review up for awhile but have obviously failed to do so. I got this book as a Christmas present and finished it before the second week in January. This book is hilarious; the reviews on Amazon don't do it justice. Fisher is completely candid about her life and makes fun of it appropriately. Nothing seems to be off-limits in this book except the parts she can't remember due to electroshock therapy. She takes joy in making fun of the strange life she has, complete with stories about her famous mother Debbie Reynolds, and her marriage to Paul Simon. She makes fun of her manic depression and substance abuse problems with considerable ease. According to her if you're gay in American it may be her fault. If you ever wondered what is was like growing up in Hollywood, Fisher has no problem telling you how strange it is. Like how Cary Grant (Fisher's childhood idol) called her twice to talk about her drug problem; Once because her mom requested it, and the second because her dad needed an excuse to talk to Cary Grant at Grace Kelly's wedding (Fisher's father not actually knowing either of them). My only discrepancies with the book is that it is far too short (although probably due to the electroshock therapy), doesn't go in any linear fashion (which works remarkably well, anyways) and she doesn't talk much about Star Wars. The huge star wars nerd in me wanted just a little bit more on what it was like shooting those movies although when she does talk about it, you can understand how surreal it was to wake up one morning and be a huge star (complete with a Pez dispenser). Here is to hoping Fischer writes a sequel.

GRADE: A-


*From Publishers Weekly

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