Thursday, May 28, 2009

Review of Wishful Drinking

Isn't this cover awesome? This cover made me want to read the book, so it did its job. Good work, cover designers and marketing team!

However, I'm sad to report the content was not as good as its packaging. You really shouldn't judge a book that way, it turns out!

It was surprising; I read Postcards from the Edge, which was a fictionalized account of Carrie Fisher's life, and I really enjoyed it. So, the question is: what happened? Was that book edited within an inch of its life to make it publishable? And if it was, what happened to that editor when it came time to release this one?

I think part of the problem is that the book is most likely a (close to) verbatim script from Carrie Fisher's one-woman show. And while the jumping around, non-linear style might work when spoken in front of a live audience, it really didn't work on the page.

Some of the tidbits she relays were awesome--like how George Lucas told her she couldn't wear a bra with her white gown in Star Wars, because "people don't wear underwear in space" (but apparently they do wear bikinis?). Most of it was just sad, although you can tell she meant it to be funny--one of those laugh about it or you'll cry kind of stories. She talks about the string of awful men her mother dated and married, about her own struggles with mental illness, her failed marriages, her drug addictions, electroshock therapy...and on and on. It was pretty bleak.

So, I'm sad to say I don't recommend this one, but I am still a fan.

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