Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book Review: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

To start with, this book was very obviously a book based on a stand-up routine. Which is not in any way a criticism, but the anecdotes were pretty short, and there were a couple of spots where a joke felt a bit flat on the page, but I could see how it would work well on the stage.

Ms. Fisher is being fairly confessional here - although not quite as much as she hints at in the beginning - talking about growing up in her messed-up Hollywood family, about her failed romances, her drug and alcohol addictions, her manic-depression, and other stories along the way. But she covers each in just a few pages so while she is telling us about the bad things in her life, she is telling them in a pretty superficial way.

The book though is hilarious. Ms. Fisher talks about how she decided this as a very young child as a coping mechanism - humor does help a lot of bitter pills go down. And between Elizabeth Taylor, self-doubt, and being told she was too fat at 105 pounds, she did have some bitter pills in her day. She shows how to deal with life with grace and laughter. Wishful Drinking is a quick gem, made to lighten anyone's day. At the end, you'll have laughed, and also you'll feel very happy that your parents (and brain) are not Carrie's.

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