Thursday, January 28, 2010
Cannonball Read #14: Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher
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, 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 70's, 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 electroconvulsive 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; What makes it so special? Length is a bit of an issue to. 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 to her work.
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.