Cannonball Read IV: Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher
If your memory was escaping you, and you were making conscious choices to let it go, what would you record for yourself? What would you choose to remember? This dilemma is what frames the beginning of Carrie Fisher's Shockaholic. For those unaware Ms. Fisher suffers from severe depression linked to a substance abuse problem. In order to deal with both of those issues she has taken what has become the last stop on the therapeutic path - electroconvulsive therapy (that would be the new and improved shock therapy to those in the know). The upside of this therapy for Ms. Fisher is a brain which finally feels that it is working; the downside of the therapy - gaps in memory which can be months long.
I decided to pick this one up based on my love of her stage version of Wishful Drinking in which Ms. Fisher takes the audience through her personal history - the story of how she went from being the baby of stars to a star in her own right to Princess Leia forever. Shockaholic is where Ms. Fisher delves into the events in her life which lead her to ECT, what the after effects of ECT have been for her, and how it all culminated in a relationship with her father at the end of his life.
The good parts of this one include Ms. Fisher's delicious way with words. If you've ever seen her on an interview chat show or one of her stage performances, the book reads the way she speaks. There is also the delicious voyeuristic part of any Hollywood memoir where you feel as though you have been told things that perhaps you shouldn't really know. The bad parts? Mostly that's the choppy, uneven nature of the writing and the constant reminders that the ECT has robbed Ms. Fisher of some of her memories. However the memories which survive make for a fun ride.
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This review is part of the volunteer Cannonball Read IV. Read all about it.
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