Sunday Book Review – Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye

It was disheartening to learn that Carrie Fisher had passed and the very next day her dearly loved mom, Debbie Reynolds died after her. No doubt after watching a heartfelt special on TV, a docudrama, ‘Bright Lights’ featuring Carrie and Debbie, and their wonderful mother/daughter relationship that Debbie’s heart could never mend after the loss of her daughter.

 

I watched that documentary a week after the two passed away and then I felt compelled to read one of Carrie’s memoirs she had written 8 years before she died, Wishful Drinking. Below you will find my review:

Wishful Drinking

 

Get This Book on Amazon!

 

Blurb:

 

Finally, after four hit novels, Carrie Fisher comes clean (well, sort of ) with the crazy truth that is her life in her first-ever memoir.

In Wishful Drinking, adapted from her one-woman stage show, Fisher reveals what it was really like to grow up a product of “Hollywood in-breeding,” come of age on the set of a little movie called Star Wars, and become a cultural icon and bestselling action figure at the age of nineteen.

Intimate, hilarious, and sobering, Wishful Drinking is Fisher, looking at her life as she best remembers it (what do you expect after electroshock therapy?). It’s an incredible tale: the child of Hollywood royalty — Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher — homewrecked by Elizabeth Taylor, marrying (then divorcing, then dating) Paul Simon, having her likeness merchandized on everything from Princess Leia shampoo to PEZ dispensers, learning the father of her daughter forgot to tell her he was gay, and ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed.

Wishful Drinking, the show, has been a runaway success. Entertainment Weekly declared it “drolly hysterical” and the Los Angeles Times called it a “Beverly Hills yard sale of juicy anecdotes.” This is Carrie Fisher at her best — revealing her worst. She tells her true and outrageous story of her bizarre reality with her inimitable wit, unabashed self-deprecation, and buoyant, infectious humor.

 

My 5 Star Review

 

This isn’t your average book of fairytales about a child growing up in Hollywood fame. In an era where Fisher’s parents were both becoming legends of their times, Fisher begins with stories, which let us peek into windows of her life as she bares her raw self through adulthood. She takes us into her life with her stories about her dysfunctional childhood and despite the dysfunction shares her treasured memories growing up with a mother she adored, some of the glamor, but mostly how having a stage mother left her wanting more time with her mother, and the fallout from some of the wrong choices her mother made with her choice in relationships.

 

Fisher unabashedly takes us through her own rise to fame, later diagnosed with mental illness, what broke her, what healed her, and through it all she wears her smile of courage through her humor which no doubt became her shield helping her get through some of her weakest moments.

 

I laughed at some of her quirky analogies and appreciated the candor. If you enjoy stories of becoming and overcoming and are compassionate, you’ll love this book.

48 thoughts on “Sunday Book Review – Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher

  1. I loved Postcards from the Edge, and Wishful Drinking sounds equally compelling. I can’t imagine growing up in the public eye and then catapulting into the limelight ~ no room for mistakes and always subject to judgment. Great review, Deb. You and Carrie seem to have a lot in common ♥♥

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    1. Thanks T. It was an interesting read because even growing up in the land of fairytale fame there were certainly hurdles for Carrie. Damage doesn’t escape the privileged either. I think I share a lot of Carrie’s observances and identify with a lot she went through. It’s just sad that she died so young. ❤ xo

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  2. This sounds like a book I would adore — a very different kind of “tell all” book with a message of hope along with a glimpse into the reality of a situation that seems to most onlookers to be idyllic. Great review – I really got a sense of what I’d be getting into. It’s on my TBI list.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

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    1. Hi Madelyn. So glad you enjoyed. And you summed it it nicely, “a tell all book with a message of hope” not a whiney or gloaty book. 🙂 xx

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      1. So I read. It was the two deaths so very close together that made it so dramatic for me.

        I need to return “Sleeping Giants” (which I loved) to the library after tomorrow night’s book club, and I will see if I can pick up this one. I’ll suggest it to the others, but they do tend to rally round the non-fiction books.
        xx,
        mgh

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      2. Oh that sounds great Madelyn, reading together in a book club getting a conversation going about books. Also, if they rally round non-fiction books, then perhaps they’d enjoy this one. 🙂 xx

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      3. Oh thanks so much Madelyn. Maybe if you can dip their toes into it, down the road you may dip their feet into one of my books? Hmm? 🙂 ❤

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      4. I thank you on behalf of all of us Indie writers Madelyn. I know you’ll let me know what happens on that front. 🙂 xx

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    1. That’s what engaged me with this book Jacqui, Carrie’s true self and humor telling her stories. You know while reading it, it wasn’t ghost written. 🙂

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  3. It must have been hard being brought up with absent parents too who were busy calving our their own career paths at the time..
    Many thanks for this share Debby..
    I admired both Debbie Reynolds and Carrie And thought like you about a broken heart when they passed so close together,
    Love and Hugs..
    xxx ❤

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  4. Great review, DG. Carrie is going to be missed by millions of her fans. Star Wars will not be the same without her. I have seen her docudrama on cable TV and it was so funny I about fell on the floor laughing. All the more sad because she died so young.

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  5. I have a feeling I would find this to be a great read. I’d just have to be in the right frame of mind to take on the subject matter! Mind you, Carrie had a great wit about her.. Thanks for sharing about her book. I like to think she and her mom are having a lot of fun together up there ❤

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  6. I didn’t know that Carrie Fisher had a book, Debby, so I am really pleased to learn about it. I grew up at the time when the first three Star Wars movies were huge and Carrie Fisher was a household name. Her death was a great tragedy. A lovely review.

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  7. I’ve heard much of this about Carrie but haven’t read the book. It sounds as if it’s delivered in her “holy-crap-I-can’t-believe-that-why-am-I-laughing?” style. Great review!

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    1. Bingo! That’s exactly how it’s written. Easy to distinguish that it’s written by her, with her delivery it’s easy to tell, and not a ghost writer. 🙂 xx

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  8. Thanks, Debby. I loved her as an actress (quite liked her mother too) and have read three of her novels (although there are biographical elements there for sure) and loved them too, but haven’t caught up with any of her non-fiction books. I must. Thanks!

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    1. Well I’m glad I could interest you in yet another book Olga. Lord knows my TBR is toppling because of so many great recommendations you share and it seems you and I are interested in many of the same books and genres. 🙂 x

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  9. I’ve been thinking about reading this since the sad sad news hit the headlines, now I think I will get on with it. She was one of my childhood icons, and I still can’t believe she’s gone.

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  10. An excellent and intriguing review, Debby! I can’t imagine growing up in the Hollywood fishbowl and not coming out the other side unscathed. One of our windsurfer friends, whose father was a big-time Hollywood agent in those days, grew up actually playing with Carrie and Todd. He recounted some of this on his facebook page after the news of her death. From what I hear, they were just regular kids for a while.It was really amazing to see Carrie in her “cameo” role in the very last Star Wars movie playing her young Princess Leia self (the magic of movies)! Gives me chills just thinking about it!

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    1. Thanks for sharing this Terri. If you watch the special on HBO with Carrie and Debbie there was lots there about their childhood including photos. 🙂

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  11. An excellent review, Debby. This sounds like a book I would enjoy. We’ve seen over and over how difficult the adult lives of children who grow up in the limelight can be. A lot of people in the public eye, whether stardom or political, try to protect their children and give them a “normal” childhood, but I wonder to what extent that is possible.

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    1. Good points Michelle. I think this book covers that because Carrie takes us through parts of her childhood and talks about the normal parts and the parts in the spotlight giving us good insight. 🙂

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  12. She sure had some tales to tell! I can only imagine what a good read this would be – not an easy life, but a very exciting one, nevertheless!! Glad you enjoyed it, Debby.

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