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Wishful Drinking Paperback – September 8, 2009
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"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." -- Jezebel.com
"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." -- Slate.com
"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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Which is a way of saying that the giddy, girly style of writing in the first chapter almost drove me insane. Nothing but my reluctance to abandon a book kept me going. But then a miracle happened and the writing (while informal and still WAY too full of whimsy) settled down. By the second chapter, I was glued to Fisher's weird family diagram (parents, sibling, spouses, step-parents, half-siblings, step-siblings, actresses, actors, singers, agents, artists, beauty queens, and a respected Chinese-American author) and laughing hysterically. Welcome to Hollywood.
This is not a book you read to find out "what happened." Unless you've been living in a cave, you know all about Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher and Carrie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and Cary Grant and Paul Simon. Their lives may not have been any more troubled or eventful than many private citizens, but they were lived in full view of the public. Old style Hollywood with its carefully groomed stars and jealously guarded publicity may be a thing of the past, but the celebrity machine is still cranking away even more furiously than when Eddie Fisher caused an international scandal by dumping his wholesome wife and marrying Liz Taylor (who soon dumped HIM and married Richard Burton.) Who cares? A lot of people, judging from the ink that was wasted on reporting every detail.
Fisher herself grew up the daughter of two celebrities and became one herself at the tender age of 19 when she played Princess Leia in the Star Wars series. She married a famous singer and then an agent, had a daughter, wrote books, and performed one-woman shows. She also abused drugs and alcohol, attended AA meetings, was in and out of mental hospitals, was diagnosed as bi-polar, and underwent electroshock therapy. You could say she's lived a "full life."
I'm disinterested in the entertainment industry and in celebrities in general, and yet Fisher is an appealing woman. She comes across as brutally honest, especially about her own problems and mistakes. You get the impression of someone who has been through so much craziness that she has both developed an inner toughness and been stripped of the need to hide her defects and weaknesses.
I read this book or a version of it years ago and remembered being impressed. I was happy to find the Kindle version and enjoyed re-reading it. I think it's a valuable story. No, most of us didn't grow up in Beverly Hills, but most of our lives have been touched by addiction and mental illness. In the end, this isn't a story of a celebrity. It's a story of a woman and how she's dealt with her problems.
I'm glad I did.
"Postcards from the Edge" was my only prior impression of the relationship these two women had. This memoir paints a very different picture. I am sorry the world has lost these two brilliant and beautiful souls, but I am glad for them both that they still have each other.
From this point on she opens her heart to you. She reveals all of her secrets and experiences. She goes on tangents and just keeps the conversation going with you as personally and as candidly as possible. You don't so much get to sit down with your hero of stage and screen, but rather get to know a human being in a world full of larger than Life characters. She's the one sane person in an insane world and the product of that. This book is a journey into how and why she became the hero known as Carrie Fisher. And I say she is a hero because having come from such a surreal life it is hard not to fall in love with her and admire the strength and Gaul this woman has in the face of a difficult reality.
By the end of the night her pint is still full, yours is empty, and somehow you feel like you not only got to know her but have been hugged by her just moments before she throws glitter at you as an expression of affection.
This is what wishful drinking is. A very sober but enriching tale into the life of a person born into American royalty, thrust into a surreal life way too young, and her battle to keep herself together with pride and dignity through it all.
Top international reviews
Having suffered from depression myself, I loved the way Carrie was brutally honest and she had some amazing name doing stories. I think I am in awe of this great loss to the world (and her mother) and she is one of my new heroes.
I really enjoyed Carrie's style of writing and the content of the book.
I think having spend so long attending AA meetings, and embracing their ethos she was very self-deprecating and did not ever seek any sympathy. One could certainly think she would deserve some, having been raised in the most unusual circumstances, and dealing with a most tragic life. She described herself as being "blessed with very few problems in life" but when one considers those problems were of such magnitude (a dead guy in her bed, substance abuse and manic depression together with her "half problem" her husband leaving her for another man) she did remarkably well with trying to deal with those problems.
I really enjoyed this book and will certainly be buying her follow up book "Shockable".
However, when her book Wishful Drinking was discounted on Kindle one day and I thought to myself “Why not give it a read?” I bought it and man I am really glad I did. After reading it I come to the realisation that I really wish that I had paid more attention to Carrie Fisher before she had died. She was so funny. I laughed out loud to her witty and brutally honest accounts of drug abuse and her “normal” Hollywood upbringing.
Even if, like me, you are not a fan of the Star Wars franchise this book is still a brilliant and engaging read. With direct comments to the reader Carrie Fisher, even whilst being dead, makes you feel like you are her friend and having a conversation. She makes you feel like part of her story. It is reasons like this that you cannot deny her talent.
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher is available now.
It provides an overview of her youth and then kind of degenerates into her thoughts on how and why she lapsed into substance abuse which seemed to impact on her manual health and relationships.
She talks ultimately about the efforts that she had employed to tackle the many demons that have plagued her as she developed into an adult and is very open about her opinions of family and friendships.
Interesting but not exactly what I expected.
I can't say I was disappointed.
Worth the pennies, but only just.
There is some wonderful name-dropping in this book which I loved. Her mum asking Cary Grant to discuss LSD with her, or sending Ava Gardner to her hotel room to check she was still alive. I liked the brief tales of her marriage to Paul Simon too.
Be aware it's a very short book and you can fly through it in just a few hours.
This book deals with some of her demons frankly as well as honestly. It’s sad that this talented woman should have died so suddenly, I’m sure she had more to show the world