Book Review: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

I’m a big Carrie Fisher fan. She’s appeared in 5 movies I love (When Harry Met Sally, The Blues Brothers and, of course, the Star Wars trilogy). Off screen she has seemed an interesting person, charming and funny in interviews, even if occasionally shambolic, and so when I saw this on my sister’s bookshelf I eagerly asked to borrow it.
I’m glad I did.

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Based on her live show of the same name, Fisher talks about her life and her issues with addiction and mental health. From the show it keeps an amiable, conversational tone and I heard the whole thing in her voice.
The book is written with fantastic openness, Fisher is fantastically honest about her life, revealing details of her family history in a sardonic, indiscreet manner which makes for grey reading.
It’s not just a lurid tell all, filled with big names being dropped, because Fisher’s major focus is herself, her struggles and her stories. That may sound self absorbed but, then again, aren’t all autobiographies?
Fisher tells her story in funny, no-frills episodes, acknowledging that she’s had a strange life and sharing it in a way that feels like someone sitting you down and talking easily with you.
While a joke or sarky aside is never too far away, it does have serious moments, with Fisher talking about her mental health and addictions, but it never gets maudlin or depressing, because Fisher knows she’s lucky in lots of ways and is oddly positive.
It’s a great quick read and shows Fisher’s skills as a writer and is hugely entertaining.
Verdict: Funny, open and wonderfully indiscreet, Fisher is an engaging and amiable narrator who knows her failings and flaws all to well, but still has lots to share. It had me chuckling and it’s one of the best and most honest autobiographies I’ve read. 8/10.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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