Read: based on the recommendation of a bunch of bloggers (Simon & Schuster, 176 pages)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (3/8/10)
Synopsis: Fisher’s larger-than-life personality shines through as she performs her raucous memoir with all the panache of the standup routine that inspired the book. Her comedic talents are on full display—particularly in her diagram of Hollywood inbreeding that ends with the ironic punch line that Fisher’s teenage daughter is now flirting with the grandson of Elizabeth Taylor, who broke up Fisher’s parents’ marriage in the 1950s. As Fisher romps through her own affairs and marriages, and her bouts with alcoholism and drug abuse, she manages to see the funny side in all of it, even bipolar disorder (she calls her manic side Roy and her depressed alter ego Pam, after piss and moan). She does a fantastic impersonation of her mother, Debbie Reynolds, and an uproarious sendup of George Lucas, who wouldn’t let her wear a bra in Star Wars because he was adamant that there was no underwear in space.
Overall Impression: This was a quick, very funny read. It’s the book version of her one-woman Broadway show, which has been a big hit. I think it would have been even better in person. The book took me barely two hours to read one evening — to begin with, it’s short. Second, it is full of (wonderful) photos. Third, if this helps, it’s only 3 CDs long on audio book. Dang, that’s short.
If you’re looking for a celebrity expose, this really isn’t it. She does spill a bit about her famous parents and Paul Simon, but mostly it’s just her own struggles growing up in Hollywood and how she’s dealt with her bipolar disorder. Her writing is a little scattered, but the feel of her writing style is actually sort of cohesive to her all-over-the-place story. Some of the sentences, though, felt awkwardly written, and a few times I had to read things twice. The whole thing was very funny. I was eating while reading it and nearly choked on whatever I was swallowing after one hilarious bit about drama college tongue twisters and how they aided her when trying to say the ridiculous lines that George Lucas gave her in Star Wars.
Pros: Incredibly funny, offers a clever and realistic perspective on bipolar disorder, gives me a whole new idea of who Paul Simon is (the boy in the bubble and the baby with the baboon heart!).
Cons: Awkward writing and it was too short — I really wanted more.
Other books I’ve read by Carrie Fisher: none