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Wishful Drinking Paperback – Bargain Price, September 8, 2009

3.6 out of 5 stars 352 customer reviews

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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 Kindle Edition 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." -- 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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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: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (352 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,524,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
This book is best as the unabridged audiobook read by the author herself! Much like David Sedaris, the only person that can fully convey the emotional impact and placement of emphasis in their experiences, is the author themselves. After listening to this three hour conversation with Carrie, as she does ask rhetorical questions of her reader/audiences, I wondered why she has not reached the level of gay icon status as Cher or Liza. The woman smoked Harrison Ford's dope, she turns men bald and gay, was the daughter of a gay icon (which gives you 10 points automatically), and has her fair share of True Hollywood Story moments - I mean come on! Has your mother given you a vibrator for Christmas, no? Only Carrie? Find out she ended up with a dead gay Republican in her bed...as one does and several other intriguing stories! A new tour of the one woman show also titled "Wishful Drinking" is being planned for 2009, so if you like Margaret Cho, Sarah Silverman, and Kathy Griffin and want to go a bit old school Enquirer - than make it a point to see her live!
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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately, I can't give Carrie much for this effort. Not much at all. It's almost shocking, how throwaway and weak this very meager "memoir" is. Fisher proved, with 'Postcards from the Edge,' that she can write with a great measure of fresh wit (or was that merely great editing, so loooong ago?), but this book seems written with palpable disinterest in...HERSELF. Where's the wit? Her turns of phrase, when she tries to turn them, are bland and unconvincing. Even her one-liners are generally awful, e.g. "Well, if the Enquirer has become your standard of living, you're in a lot of trouble!"

Whah? That's like writing, "If your car breaks down in the Ozarks, you're probably going to meet some scary hillbillies!"


Sadly, this is typical of the humor in Carrie's new work. Obvious and drab. As some reviewers have noted, it does indeed seem as if she phoned-it-in, as if she wrote this on the back of a grocery list while watching a Wolf Blitzer marathon on CNN one afternoon. I'm more than a little astonished, to be honest. She got paid for this? This is considered "quality" in Hollywood and in literary circles in New York?

Who am I kiding? Of course it is. That's the problem.

Carrie's anecdotes are sometimes interesting (sure they are--she grew-up with movie stars and became Princess Leia and had Hollywood adventures). But her writing (here) is so poor, lazy, and lacking in verve that even the best anecdotes seem blah, or forced. She sprinkles exclamation points at the end of sentence after sentence, like a schoolgirl desperate to fake or manufacture some excitement in the tedious essay she's barely bothered to craft.

Fisher uses "really, really" a lot. Disturbingly so.
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