NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Sunday, October 4, 2009

WISHFUL DRINKING

by Carrie Fisher



I took one look at the cover and knew I had to read this. Peter and I recently re-watched all the original Star Wars movies, because I turned him on to the X-Wing: Rogue Squadron series and we wanted to reacquaint ourselves with some of the lesser known characters. (If you are a Star Wars fan, I highly recommend that series of books. They are wonderful!) Anyway, Princess Leia passed out with her martini glass was too good to pass up. :-)

Wishful Drinking is Carrie Fisher's first memoir. As a Star Wars fan, I guess what I really wanted was a book all about her time making those movies, because like so many other narrow-minded fans I believe that her life began and ended with the Star Wars trilogy. This is not that book, because I'm a dolt and there is much more to Carrie Fisher than silly hairdos, awesome metal bikinis, and dating "scruffy looking nerf-herders". This is about her addiction and mental illness, but it's not your typical "woe-is-me, popular-celebrity-brought-low" memoir. It is written in the self-deprecating, humorous style that has made Carrie Fisher a very popular fiction writer. (Remember Postcards from the Edge?) And she is very, very funny!

The book is short, easy to breeze through, but loaded with detailed anecdotes about her strange life, from her famous parents (Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher) and their various marriages/affairs to Star Wars and becoming a Pez dispenser to her own marriages, accidental overdose, AA meetings, bipolar diagnosis and continuing road to recovery. It is all told in bits and pieces, each section not necessarily having anything to do with the others, and made me smile and giggle even when all I really wanted to know was how cool it was to work with Harrison Ford. (Though she tells a great story about when they filmed the scene in the trash compactor!)

Fisher apparently performs Wishful Drinking as a comedy show, and I could completely envision that as I read. But my brain still lurches wildly whenever I try to picture my idolized Princess Leia with such a potty mouth. And I think it is exactly that kind of type-cast thinking that helped send her *over* that non-fictional edge. In her honor, I promise I will try to separate "Carrie Fisher" from "Princess Leia" in the future, but it won't be easy!



24 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I didn't really "get" Postcards from the Edge, so I'm not sure this is for me. My mom is wanting to read it, though. Go figure.

Ladytink_534 said...

Sounds like a really neat story! I think I've only seen one of the Star Wars movies (I know, boo!) but I'd probably still enjoy something like this.

Meghan said...

I just love Star Wars and I also found it difficult to reconcile Carrie Fisher's more extreme life with the Princess Leia from my childhood! I think it was mostly when I watched When Harry Met Sally that I had to realize she was an actress and then knowledge of her life came later. I can definitely understand how that idolization can send someone over the edge. This one has to go on my wishlist even though I don't really like celebrity memoirs all that much.

Lezlie said...

Bermuda Onion ~ Oddy enough, I've never read any of her fiction. Or maybe not so oddly because I never connected with her in any other capacity than Princess Leia. I'm so shallow!

Ladytink ~ It was a lot of fun to read, and while she talks about Star Wars periodically, it's really about the rest of her life. You won't be lost at all without having seen the movies. In fact, you'll probably like it even more with out that in the back of your mind! :-)

Meghan ~ I rarely saw her in other movies, and when I did she was someone else to me, not my blaster-toting idol. I'm probably exactly the kind of fan that drives her crazy. :-) The book will probably only take you a couple of hours to read, so even if you don't like memoirs much overall, this one doesn't take up much of your time. It's like an intermission between other books!

Lezlie

Oh said...

Hi Lezlie, glad you found your award! I realized I am supposed to get over here and let you know about it.
Also, you can play it any way you want. No pressure!
Just want you to know actually that we enjoy your blog.
And I am seriously thinking about getting a border collie and was showing your blog to my daughter last night.

Lezlie said...

Hi, Oh!! Thanks for the award and the nice words! That's exciting about possibly getting a Border Collie! My only advice is to talk to people who have them and read up on them so you know exactly what you're getting yourself into. They are *very* smart, *very* active dogs. But if they fit into your lifestyle, I couldn't recommend a better breed. We love our boys! They are amazing animals! Good luck!

Lezlie

Serena said...

I'd love to see her in a comedy show version of this book. What a great idea. I'll have to read this book.

Lezlie said...

Serena ~ Me, too. I looked at her schedule, and it looks like currently it's only in New York. Maybe she'll take it on the road later?

Lezlie

Nan said...

One of the most clever book titles ever!

Lezlie said...

Nan ~ I agree! Between that and the cover pic, there was no leaving this one on the table.

Lezlie

Amy Reads Good Books said...

Great review! I read this a few months ago and completely agree with you about seeing it live. FYI, The New York Times web site has a story up today about her show going to Broadway.

Terri B. said...

Loved "Postcards from the Edge". This ones sounds good too and the cover is fantastic!

Lezlie said...

Amy ~ Did you write a review for it? I'd be happy to link it here! And thanks for the info on the NYT story. I'll have to check that out.

Terri ~ I need to read some of her fiction. I'd love to see your thoughts on this one! It really was fun to read even if it was all about some serious problems.

Lezlie

Rebecca Reid said...

I think I'll just keep Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia separate in my mind still. I think it would be disappointing to see a favorite character brought back to reality.

Lezlie said...

Rebecca ~ I know what you mean. I think Princess Leia will always be her own entity to me, too.

Lezlie

Michelle Moran said...

Great review. I think that when I actually can see my coffee table I'll need to pick this one up!

Lezlie said...

Thanks, Michelle! You won't need a clean coffee table for this one. It reads so fast that it will never get there. :-) Are things calming down for you a bit now that the new book has been out for a few weeks?

Lezlie

Petunia said...

So glad to see this book reviewed, and positively at that. Every time I go to the book store I look it up but it is always sold out. That's a good thing, right?

Lezlie said...

Petunia ~ I think so! Now that you mention it, I think there was only one left after I grabbed this copy. I hope you find one soon!

Lezlie

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

I am so looking forward to reading this. And I'm taking your recommendation on the series, by the way. Star Wars is very, very big in our house, thanks to the Kid Who Misbehaves.

Joanne ♦ The Book Zombie said...

A friend recommended Wishful Drinking to me and your review makes me want to read it even more!

Haven't read any of the Star Wars books - but strangely enough I turned my non-reading hub into a total bookworm by picking one up for him (book 1 of the Thrawn Trilogy.) The only problem is that he's become a bit anal about reading order - following the timeline from the front of the books lol :)

Lezlie said...

Michele ~ I can't wait to see what you think of them! Peter is on the second one and is really enjoying the series. And he's not much of a fiction reader, with the exception of nautical historical fiction.

Joanne ~ I'm not surprised. The Star Wars books can suck a person right in. I get the "in order" thing. Once I read the original four X-Wing books, I consulted a chart to see the chronological order of all the books and started at the beginning. I think I read 13 or 14 in a row before I burned out. I still think they're great though! And there are so many more than there were then.

Lezlie

Hazra said...

I can't separate both of them either. Happens a lot with my favorite characters: Christian Bale is Batman to me, and the whole verbal abuse case kind of jolted me.

Lezlie said...

Hazra ~ It's weird when that happens, isn't it? When the right actor gets the right role, it can actually end up being a bad thing in the long run!

Lezlie