Jan 14

Review: Wishful Drinking

Wishful DrinkingWishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

This book is basically the written version of a stand-up comedy/memoir of Carrie Fisher.

She talks about being the daughter of famous parents (Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher) about having her parents’ marriage broken up by Liz Taylor (If you’re going to have a homewrecker destroy your marriage, why not use the best?) She also talks about her lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder, with addiction, and with the aftermath of a certain famous role she took on which some of us may have seen her in.

I liked the tone of this memoir. Fisher is self-deprecating without being maudlin or a martyr. She definitely has a different enough life to merit writing a memoir. She’s not just-another alcoholic actress, she’s iconic. She even has her page next to the entry on bipolar disorder (literally, there’s a copy of the photo in the book.)

Quite a bit of this memoir is funny. Some of it is over-the-top hilarious, and some of it is almost-funny, but only if you read it twice. The problem is that it’s a transcript of a spoken word show, and as such, felt at times as if I were reading a script. Much of the humor relies on intonation, and as such is muted by the text. I imagine the show could be fantastic, if Fisher did even a half-assed job performing it.

It’s a pretty good memoir, but it’s pretty good in a wistful way, like a print of a painting by Gustav Klimt. It’s a reproduction that loses quite a bit of the original, just enough that the reader can sense they’re missing something important.

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  1. Speaking of which, have you ever had the chance to see her spoken word show? It’s really excellent; she manages to project a dry, self-deprecating humor which emphasizes the absurdity of it all, but which still makes it clear that she’s talking about real and personally difficult things.

    • Kater on January 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I have not. I don’t get out much. I imagine it’s pretty good.

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