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Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

By Jeremy Feist | Books | February 15, 2010 |

By Jeremy Feist | Books | February 15, 2010 |

There’s a saying in my family that goes “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story,” and if anything, this might be the best way to encapsulate Carrie Fisher’s autobiography, Wishful Drinking. It may seem paradoxical to wish that someone would stretch the truth in their own life story, but, well, it’s a little more complicated than that.

You might recognize Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia from Star Wars, of from her stand-up shows, or (If you happen to have a fetish for hairbuns and golden bikinis) your masturbatory fantasies. Admit it: If you grew up in the ’70s, you totally fingerblasted yourself to Leia.

Anyway, in Wishful Drinking, Fisher delves into her past, retelling stories about gay men dying in her bed, Hollywood inbreeding, growing up on Broadway, becoming a Pez dispenser, marrying/divorcing Paul Simon, bipolarity and electro-convulsive therapy, getting an intervention from Cary Grant and, of course, Star Wars (and to a certain extent, why you cannot wear a bra in space, lest you be strangled by your undergarments.)

Now, it’s not that any of these stories are boring, or that she’s not a good writer (the fact that her book, Postcards from the Edge, was adapted into an Academy Award winning movie has proven this), it’s just that she doesn’t really add much else to the story. It’s a delicious dish without the spice: perfectly good, but there’s no added zest to it, nothing that really separates or distinguishes it from the others. I enjoyed it, yes, but I enjoy a lot of things. Length is a bit of an issue as well. There’s nothing wrong with a quick read, but the short length of the book doesn’t really give Fisher much time to establish much of a unique voice.

Think of it this way: If you’re going to spend a day at the beach and you need something to read and finish by the time you head home, you can’t go wrong with some Carrie Fisher.

This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. For more of Jeremy’s reviews, check out his site, Notes on a Bar Napkin. There may also be nudity. Be warned.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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