PLOT– Wishful Drinking is Carrie Fisher’s memoir, based on her one-woman stage show of the same name. In Wishful Drinking, Fisher writes about her childhood, career, relationships, and mental health issues.
LIKE– Admittedly, I’m not a huge Carrie Fisher fan. Sure, like everyone on the planet, I’ve seen Star Wars, but I would not call myself a Star Wars fan. I’ve seen each film once, and I may have snoozed a bit, especially during the latest installment. However, after Fischer and her mother, Debbie Reynold’s passed away in late 2016, I became intrigued with the phenomenon that is Carrie Fischer. I received an Amazon offer to buy a digital copy of Wishful Drinking at a massive discount, and thought that it was worth a go.
The best thing about Wishful Drinking (besides the clever title) is Fisher’s voice. She writes in a personal, informal manner, that made me feel like a dinner guest in her home. She rambles, jokes, strays off topic, but is always engaging and warm.
Being Princess Leia, might be the least interesting thing about Fischer’s life. She is the daughter of famous parents: Debbie Reynolds of Singing in the Rain fame, and crooner Eddie Fischer. Eddie Fischer caused a scandal when he left Reynolds following an affair with her friend, Elizabeth Taylor. This all happened when Carrie Fischer was a young child; her life was in the public eye long before auditioning for George Lucas. In her twenties, she married musician Paul Simon, and although their marriage only lasted two years, they continued to date off and on for over a decade. It was passionate and tumultuous. Fisher would go on to have one child, a daughter named Billie, with Bryan Lourd, a talent agent who ended up leaving Fischer for a man. Fischer mentions her substance abuse problems and her bipolar disorder, including receiving electroshock therapy. She shares a sad story that happened in her home, when a close friend died in bed, while sleeping next to her. Wishful Drinking never suffers from a dull moment.
Speaking of her bipolar disorder, I felt that Fischer’s reveal of her own challenges is helpful for other people who might be suffering, or even living without treatment. Fischer was such an admired celebrity, that I think her sharing her own story, could help others who feel embarrassed or alone.
DISLIKE– I don’t often do audio books, but I would have loved to have read along with Fisher doing her own narrator. I might even go as far as to suggest that you skip reading the book and go straight to the audio version. I suspect that Fischer’s actual voice would enhance the experience. This was originally a stage play after all.
RECOMMEND– Yes. Even as a self-proclaimed non-Fisher fan, she won me over with her feisty spirit and entertaining stories. I think if you’re already a fan, you’ll love Wishful Drinking.