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Wishful Drinking Paperback – Bargain Price, September 8, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fisher's larger-than-life personality shines through as she performs her raucous memoir with all the panache of the standup routine that inspired the book. Her comedic talents are on full display—particularly in her diagram of Hollywood inbreeding that ends with the ironic punch line that Fisher's teenage daughter is now flirting with the grandson of Elizabeth Taylor, who broke up Fisher's parents' marriage in the 1950s. As Fisher romps through her own affairs and marriages, and her bouts with alcoholism and drug abuse, she manages to see the funny side in all of it, even bipolar disorder (she calls her manic side Roy and her depressed alter ego Pam, after piss and moan). She does a fantastic impersonation of her mother, Debbie Reynolds, and an uproarious sendup of George Lucas, who wouldn't let her wear a bra in Star Wars because he was adamant that there was no underwear in space. A Simon & Schuster hardcover (Reviews, Nov. 3). (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


"[Fisher] has a talent for lacerating insight that masquerades as carefree self-deprecation...The effect, ultimately, is extraordinarily painful while being extremely entertaining...[S]he's done her best to make sense of it all, and throughout, her humor has held up. In her own defiant manner, she's fought the good fight." -- The Los Angeles Times

"She's still funny as hell...Her stories bubble, bounce, and careen with an energy...Get someone to read this rollicking book aloud to you." -- Entertainment Weekly

"Fisher makes each crushing tragedy hilarious." -- People (4 out of 4 stars)

"[T]here are also sparkling bons mots bespeaking [Carrie's] quirky intelligence and sweetness. Spoken like a true princess." -- Elle

"Clearly, you should buy this book....she has expert comic timing and, perhaps more importantly, better stories than most drug addicts....Fisher is unafraid to write, brutally and vividly." -- New York Post

"Fisher, unlike most celebrities (especially ones spawned from other celebrities) can actually write, and...Wishful Drinking, though an extremely short book, is super salacious and entertaining." --

"Fisher is a language obsessive, a nimble verbal acrobat who puns and somersaults around a page with glee...If you are a fan of Fisher's fiction, a follower of her mental illness or simply a looky-loo stargazer curious about her Hollywood heritage, Wishful Drinking will likely make you laugh." --

"There are more juicy confessions and outrageously funny observations packed in these honest pages than most celebrity bios twice the length...With acerbic precisions 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." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143915371X
  • ASIN: B007BW9OB6
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (315 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,906,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carrie Fisher, the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, became an icon when she starred as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Her star-studded career includes roles in numerous films such as The Blues Brothers and When Harry Met Sally. She is the author of five bestselling novels, Wishful Drinking, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, The Best Awful, and Postcards from the Edge, which was made into a hit film starring Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep. Fisher's experience with addiction and mental illness--and her willingness to speak honestly about them--have made her a sought-after speaker and respected advocate.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By scootersdf on December 28, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being a big fan or Carrie's books and admiring how she could survive such a Hollywood upbringing, I really looked forward to this new book. While there are moments of hilarity, it really reads better if you imagine her standing up in front of an audience doing this as a cross between a stand up routine and a semi biography. As a book it just is not on the same caliber as her previous efforts. But i was able to get through it by picturing her reading this live and laughing along with the audience. It is witty and funny in places but more properly belongs as it started - a stand up show or audio book. I applaud her survival and honesty about her addictions and bipolar disorder, but this is better as an interview than a book.
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54 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Lauren Las on December 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Even though I'm sure her one-woman show is funnier, Carrie Fisher's wit and humor definitely come across in this book. There's no plot, and little chronology, but it comes across the same as it would on stage. Just an iconic and kinda crazy woman, rambling on about her strange and interesting life. Any fans of Fisher or Star Wars would love it, and I think people who don't fit one of those categories would at least be amused by it. It's a quick read, with large print and pictures!
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55 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Shine_3013 on May 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't generally write reviews, but this book just made me want to write one.

I've liked Carrie Fisher's other books and generally really like "memoirs" about drug addiction, drinking, mental health issues and things like that. So it seemed like Carrie Fisher's "memoir" titled Wishful Drinking would be very good. I was excited about reading it.

But, I did not like this book at all. It didn't go into any detail about anything in her life. Just a sentence or two about some "issue" and that's all. I was always waiting for "the story" then I finally just got to the end and really didn't feel like she actually told anything. It was just sort of rambling about herself while trying too hard to be funny yet leaving out an actual story. Along with that, although some authors can do the rambling, then getting distracted and changing to some other topic, she really couldn't pull it off.

I would not recommend this book at all which upsets me because I was really expecting something much better.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Amy Tiemann VINE VOICE on December 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I would love to be able to give this book four or five stars, as I think Carrie Fisher is hilarious, and I've been a fan since I was an eight-year old watching Star Wars in 1977.

But it seems that her one-woman show, the source material for this book, loses a lot when it's put onto paper. I haven't seen the show, but I have heard her on the radio several times and she's a great interview. You can dig into the NPR archives to listen.

On stage, this material could become a whole performance. But pain transmuted into mere anecdote loses a lot in translation, without voice, expression and body language to support the story.

Fisher remains detached from her own memoir, partly a result of growing up so publicly in the ultimate dysfunctional Hollywood family, and now she says also due to her ECT treatments for her manic depression. For example, she's funny when she talks about being in Star Wars, and how it's taken over her identity, but she doesn't really share what the experience was like, as a nineteen-year old daughter of Hollywood finding herself (almost certainly unexpectedly) in the biggest movie of all time.

Fisher is a talented writer and performer, and I wish her all the best. I enjoyed Wishful Drinking, but ironically it feels like some of Fisher's biggest fans might be the most disappointed by the distancing effect of her humor. On the other hand, I have not read her novels, and fans of that work might be gratified to see Fisher finally telling her story as memoir rather than thinly disguised roman a clef.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Garren M. Jakubiak on January 8, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I should first say that I truly wanted to enjoy Carrie Fisher's book, "Wishful Drinking". In spite of its flaws, I finished the book, hunting to the last for some reasoning or moral concept within its pages, and the only conclusion I came to is that $9.99 was better spent elsewhere.

The first issue I had with "Wishful Drinking" was its lack of content. It certainly contains a few funny anecdotes, but they're of the "Heh." variety rather than the rolling on the floor sort. The vast majority of the anecdotes presented lack substance as she retells stories that were likely far more hilarious at the time that they occurred. For the observer, they lack the depth to hit home. For Star Wars fans, there really isn't a boatload of information here...two or three offhand references, a surprisingly low amount. This leads to my next issue.

Problem number two is that the book serves as a narrative spouting of issues for Carrie Fisher. Prior to reading "Wishful Drinking", I had no idea of her history of substance abuse problems in conjunction with a bipolar condition. This is an unwelcome revelation, but could at least serve as kindling to create a great big firestorm of a book. The issue is that Carrie Fishers writing style too greatly illustrates that she has had substance abuse and bipolar issues...her book lacks organization or structure, is devoid of context, and often lacks coherent thought. Unfortunately, her personal narrative presents as a disjointed and confusing babble rather than as personal conversation with the reader. This book could very easily have been written in a day or two, with absolutely no preparation or design.

To end, I had one final issue with this book.
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