Monday, May 15, 2017

Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher

Wishful Drinking
Title: Wishful Drinking
Author: Carrie Fisher
Publication Date: 12/2/08
Pages: 163
Genre: Memoir / Nonfiction
How I Found It: I've been wanting to read some of Fisher's work.
Date Completed: 4/28/17

Summary: Fisher recounts the highs and lows of her life in the spotlight, including her struggles with alcohol and drugs, her celebrity parents, and that time a friend died in her bed. 

What I Thought: I have been wanting to read Fisher's books since her death in December. When she died, I had heard a bit about her most recent memoir, but I had no idea she had been such a prolific writer. I am a Star Wars fan, but really did not know much about Fisher beyond her tenure as Princess Leia. So, when I was looking for a lighter read late one night and this was available via my library's digital collection, I jumped. 

I am so glad I did. I read the whole thing in less than two days, sneaking bits here and there when I could, devouring chapters at a time when I should have been sleeping. It's not a long book, so two days is not quite the accomplishment it sounds. Still, Fisher's writing style made it easy to devour and hard to put down.

While I did not make the connection between Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds until some time in the past few years, I have always been a Reynolds fan. Or, I guess I should say, Singin' in the Rain was my favorite movie for years in my childhood. I guess I haven't seen much else of Reynolds work, but I adored her in that and have known who she was as long as I can remember because of that classic film. So, the fact that Fisher spends so much time discussing her childhood and her very close, unique relationship with her mother in this memoir was wonderful for me. I loved hearing how delightfully quirky Fisher's childhood was and how very clearly her mother adored her and her brother Todd. Reynolds is certainly not the squeaky clean girl she portrays in Singin' in the Rain, but her real life persona sounds like loads of fun. 

I also appreciated reading about Fisher's battle with bipolar disorder. She approached her diagnosis with much of the same attitude Jenny Lawson does, though they did not share the same struggles with mental illness. As I mentioned when reviewing Lawson's latest book not long ago, I do not have any sort of diagnosed mental illness, but I think it's great that more and more people are talking about mental illness openly. 

I learned a lot about Fisher's life and her personality through this book. She was, as reported, a truly incredible writer. She has a unique voice and her skill with words shines through even in the midst of her sarcastic, caustic banter. I definitely want to pick up more of her books, starting with the rest of her memoirs and eventually moving on to her fiction. 

Rating: ★★★★☆
Will I Re-Read: No, but I want to read more of her books. 

A Reduced Review: Fisher lived an incredible and dramatic life. She recounts in a way that is easy to devour and hard to put down. 

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