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Wishful Drinking
Wishful Drinking
Wishful Drinking
Ebook143 pages1 hour

Wishful Drinking

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

4/5

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About this ebook

The bestselling author of Postcards from the Edge comes clean (well, sort of) in her first-ever memoir, adapted from her one-woman Broadway hit 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.
LanguageEnglish
Release dateDec 2, 2008
ISBN9781439153802
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Author

Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher (1956–2016) became a cultural icon as Princess Leia in the first Star Wars trilogy. She starred in countless films, including Shampoo and When Harry Met Sally. She is the author of Shockaholic; Wishful Drinking (which became a hit Broadway production); and four bestselling novels, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, The Best Awful, and Postcards from the Edge.

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Reviews for Wishful Drinking

Rating: 3.976394849785408 out of 5 stars
4/5

466 ratings159 reviews

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  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    Carrie Fisher, daughter of America's sweethearts Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, has led an interesting life. In Wishful Drinking, she tells about growing up with famous parents (including a father whose scandals with various starlets create a pattern of what Fisher refers to as "Hollywood inbreeding"), her struggles with addiction and bipolar disorder, and the weirdness of her character Princess Leia becoming a PEZ figure.

    Fisher's writing is informal to the point of being flippant, and she shows a rare wit when it comes to the humorous turns of phrase:

    "I never realized how fun it could be to get a current partner and a past partner together and then pit them against each other. I mean, if you can't find a good book to read" (108 - 109).

    "You know how they say that religion is the opiate of the masses? Well, I took masses of opiates religiously" (99).

    While I admire Fisher eschewing the popular trend of telling her story in the model of a torrid "tell-all" that would grace the covers of the tabloids, and for turning her story into a darkly funny one rather than a sappy woe-is-me tale, when you peel away the surface, it's the same thing. It's heavy on the gossip and scandals, but even those who are riveted by such things will likely be disappointed; there is no story in here that couldn't be found on Wikipedia.

    And that, I think, was my main complaint with the book. Once you peer past the way she tells it - which is fun and witty - all that's left is gossip. When you clear through that, all that's left is very shallow observations on her life. I've never been one to dwell on celebrity's lives, so I found myself wondering, "What's the point?"

    While I appreciate this is probably very cathartic for Ms. Fisher, it would take a die-hard fan to find anything solid out of this. It was very much wading through a puddle. She didn't have anything real to say, no message to take out of it, other than, "This is my life." Which, again, might be someone else's cup of tea, but wasn't, ultimately, mine.

    Popsugar 2016: A book written by a celebrity
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Funny. Properly funny. And I loved all the stuff about Paul Simon. But ultimately it's pretty flimsy fluff.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    A memoir read with pitch perfect humor by the author. If you love Star Wars or memoirs on people with addiction or mental illness, this is a great quick read for you.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Further amusing and frank stories from Carrie Fisher's life.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Carrie Fisher had me laughing out loud with this book. It was a very quick and easy read and I loved the way it was written. It felt like she was talking to herself or a good friend and allowing the world to read it. It was a quick read and a lot of fun!

    I also thank Fisher for including an ode to mental illness in the author's note. I completely agree that the stigma surrounding mental illnesses needs to be broken and I appreciate the courage in her saying so.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    This memoir-adapted from one of her stage shows- gives us such insight to her highs and lows, her challenges with mental health and her sarcastic look at her own life itself. I personally love her sense of humor.Her marriage to Paul Simon; her relationship with her mother, Debbie Reynolds; her drug use and abuse she reveals with honesty and candor. I knew she has had many types of therapy and many psychiatrists but I never knew she had shock treatment. This also relates her experiences working on he 'Star Wars'and its influences on her personally.I thought this was witty and fun to read but also very hard and sad. Recommended
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Carrie Fisher had me laughing out loud with this book. It was a very quick and easy read and I loved the way it was written. It felt like she was talking to herself or a good friend and allowing the world to read it. It was a quick read and a lot of fun!

    I also thank Fisher for including an ode to mental illness in the author's note. I completely agree that the stigma surrounding mental illnesses needs to be broken and I appreciate the courage in her saying so.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Enjoyed listening to Carrie Fisher read her memoir Wishful Thinking. Having just undergone shock therapy, Fisher shares stories about growing up with famous parents, addiction, mental illness, Star Wars, marriage and love.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    This was a quick audio book. I enjoyed listening to Carrie tell her stories in her own voice.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    In this rambling "memoir" (apparently made up of bits pulled from the author's stage production), Carrie Fisher talks about her life growing up as the child of two celebrities, coming to terms with her own celebrity, and her struggles with addiction and mental illness.An perhaps important confession at the outset of this review is that I've never watched Star Wars and I therefore don't worship at the altar of either Carrie Fisher or Princess Leia. But after her recent death, I read a number of articles about Fisher and she seemed like an interesting person, who embodied some feminist principles I stand behind and who spoke out as a mental illness advocate. So when I noticed this audiobook at my library, I decided to give it a whirl. Those who do love Fisher are likely to be unhappy with my review below.Perhaps because it is based on a standup routine, this memoir is not told in any kind of chronological order, and Fisher ends up repeating herself several times even though it is a short book. She starts with this opening monologue in which she pretends(?) to be spaced out after an electroshock treatment. In this part, she somehow manages to talk a lot without saying much. Fisher moves on to discussing her unusual upbringing, including an ever-changing list of stepparents. She lavishes praise on her mother (the actor Debbie Reynolds) while holding on to an almost teen-aged petulant amount of bitterness toward her father (the singer Eddie Fisher). Moving forward (but also sometimes backwards), she talks about her own career and her uneasy relationship with her own fame, several failed romantic relationships, and substance abuse and mental health issues. Other random stories dip in and out of the narrative, some of which never really feel resolved (e.g., the story of the dead man in her bed).Throughout the book, Fisher seems half spaced out, like some hippie druggie you wouldn't necessarily want to spend a lot of time with if you saw her in public and she wasn't famous. Her raspy voice and her tendency to chuckle at her own stories (even at really inappropriate times, like when relating an anecdote about how her mother was sexually molested by a neighbor as a child) only add to this effect. It wasn't really the best of audiobook experiences. Most of it wasn't particularly enlightening or funny -- but don't get me wrong, there were definitely parts where I chuckled along with her as well. At the very end when she spoke a bit more seriously about mental illness, I was behind her more. All in all, this book was an entertaining enough distraction during my commute, but I was glad it was short as I doubt I would have enjoyed a longer journey into this world. I'm also not sure that I would recommend it, except perhaps to diehard fans.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    With everything Carrie Fisher has gone through in her life, you wonder how she is able to maintain her sense of humor. An extremely witty book that tells her life story as well as what it was like to be the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher as well as her Star Wars experience. She also discusses her addictions and mental illness. Read this in one sitting. The world lost a real wit with her early death. I would have loved to have heard her thoughts on Donald Trump as President.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I've owned this for a long time, but it got lost in my ebook pile. Reading it now was bittersweet. It reads just like her interviews and standup (which isn't surprising, considering). Short, but fun.

    "She drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra."
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    As fun as this was, it didn't quiiiiite make it past three stars for me. It did make me laugh and it did give me a little bit of insight into Carrie's life. It's very short, so I'd like to read some of her other memoirs to see if they go a little more in depth into her life. I'm glad I read it though, and I will forever laugh at Carrie calling her lady parts her "lagoon of mystery". :D
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    What makes this memoir enjoyable to read despite the serious nature of the issues covered is Ms. Fisher's great sense of humor and comedic timing. She's particularly honest about her problems but also pretty kind about the people around her.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Overall a pretty entertaining, though thin, memoir. Not really a whole lot of substance (for a book about substance abuse), but a rather interesting look at Carrie Fisher. I had seen her show (same title) on HBO before, and that was pretty entertaining (probably better than the book in retrospect).

    This isn't a true autobiography or chronological look at her life, or even a true memoir. Its a bit of a stream of conscious rambling about her ECT, bi-polar, substance abuse, and a overall look at the wacky family she's had. Almost more like an "explanation" for how things turned out and why she is the way she is and why things happened the way they did, more than a true (auto)biography would be.

    You quickly pick up on some idiosyncrasies of Fisher and her humor isn't always that funny/entertaining, but generally the rambling stream-of-conscious memoir here is at least for the most part entertaining. Don't go into this looking for a lot of insight on Leia or backstory to Star Wars or even really Carrie Fisher in general. But worth a read all the same.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    If you're looking for a linear walk-thru of Ms. Fisher's life you will be disappointed and were she to hear of your disappointment she'd probably make a humorous self depreciating remark about that. She is a funny gal, in a "funny because it's true and happened to someone other than me" kind of way.This book feels like a conversation with the Author, she jumps around a bit and one remark can lead down the page to an entirely different story. If you are a fan of Ms. Fisher as a person or as an actress/comedian/activist/badass then you'll like it. The book is a quick but fun read, the kind where you interrupt your spouse repeatedly to read aloud; consumed it in a few giggle infused hours while sipping tea and walked away feeling like I'd just spent the evening talking to her. I'll certainly be seeking out more of her books, biographical or not I know they'll be a hoot.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    It is truth based upon Los Angeles
    I lived there in 1997.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Funny, witty -- excellent writing. Autobiographical and comedic simultaneously.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    A couple of the stories made me laugh out loud. Definitely original. However, the repeated grammatical misuse of the term 'myself' was distracting and disappointing. Ms. Fisher needs a better editor.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    What made it a good book was....... er.........all of it!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Of the plentiful celebrity deaths of 2016, Carrie Fisher’s was the one to hit me the hardest. Carrie Fisher was the sort of a person who simply doesn’t die… Reflecting upon this inexplicable event, I realized I’ve never read Wishful Drinking. So the next chance I got, I picked it up.

    And now here I am.

    Wishful Drinking is both an easy read and anything but. It’s not exactly an autobigraphy. Instead it is a collection of insightful anecdotes about who Carrie Fishers was and how she felt about herself, her family, and the world. It’s snarky, honest, and unapologetic. From celebrity parents through addiction and mental illness to the dead man in Carrie’s bed… or maybe the other way around, Carrie tells it all and she doesn’t flinch away from difficult topics.

    I enjoyed it. It was a punch in the gut wrapped in humor. I laughed, I quoted it to the people around me, and though I occasionally cringed, I loved the ride overall.

    The one thing that did annoy me was the disjointed nature of the anecdotes. Every time I was ready to hear more about some topic, the book abruptly changed directions.

    I wish I could have seen Carrie Fisher perform Wishful Drinking but reading the book was the next best thing.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    This was fabulous! She is hilarious times two! Read her thanks at the end too. They're very interesting and also, humorous.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    This was a very interesting window into Carrie Fisher's brain (and a scary introduction to electro-shock therapy). It was quite the ride, but her stories about Clark Gable made it all worth while!
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Gutsy & fun.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I did not expect to enjoy this book so much as it isn’t my usual genre. ... If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to hardy@novelstar.top or joye@novelstar.top
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    This book has been on my to read list for a while, it’s really hard to get past the fact Carrie is no longer with us. What an extraordinary mind.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    This was quick, amusing read.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I really like Carrie Fisher.
    She's smart, and funny, and honest.
    <3
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    This was absolutely amazing, especially because I did it on audio and it's narrated by Carrie. Driving around with this playing feels like Carrie is sitting in your backseat telling you her life story - and what a story it is. I'll definitely be reading her other novels after this. If you've got 3 hours, I highly recommend giving this a listen.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I love Carrie Fisher!!! She's a brilliant writer. Hilarious and so easy to read!

Book preview

Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher

INTRODUCTION:

AN ABUNDANCE OF APPARENTLYS

So I am fifty-two years old. (Apparently.) Actually, that’s more verifiable than the rest of it. I’d better start off with certainties. Here are the headlines (head—in so many ways—being the operative word):

I am fifty-two years old.

I am Carrie Fisher.

I live in a really nice house in Los Angeles.

I have two dogs.

I have a daughter named Billie.

Carrie Fisher is apparently a celebrity of sorts. I mean, she was (is) the daughter of famous parents. One an icon, the other a consort to icons. Actually, that’s not completely fair. My father is a singer named Eddie Fisher. What was, in the ’50s, called a crooner. A crooner with many gold records. I only say my father is a consort because he’s really better known for his (not so) private life than the life he lived onstage. His scandals outshone his celebrity. Or you might say that his scandals informed his celebrity in such a way as to make him infamous.

My mother, Debbie Reynolds, was in what might be called iconic films—most notably, Singin’ in the Rain. But for whatever reason, when my parents hooked up it had an extraordinary impact on the masses who bought fan magazines. The media dubbed them America’s Sweethearts. The idea of them electrified—their pictures graced the covers of all the tabloids of the day. They were adorable and as such were ogled by an army of eyes. So cute and cuddly and in some ways adorably average. The Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston of the late ’50s, only slightly more so—because they actually managed to procreate—making two tiny children to fill out the picture. Or pictures, as the case turned out to be. An All-American and photogenic family.

When I was younger, starting at about four, other children would ask me what it was like to be a movie star’s daughter. Once I was a little older and understood, to a certain extent, the nature of what celebrity meant, I would say, Compared to what? When I wasn’t a movie star’s daughter? When I lived with my normal, non-show business family, the Regulars (Patty and Lowell Regular of Scottsdale, Arizona)? All I’ve ever known is this sort of hot-house-plant existence, and I could tell from watching how normal people lived—normal people as depicted by Hollywood and burned into our consciousness—I understood that my life was unusual. Like many others, I grew up watching television shows like My Three Sons and The Partridge Family and The Real McCoys. And based on the lives depicted on those shows, I knew my life was a different sort of real. It was the only reality I knew, but compared to other folks—both on television and off—it eventually struck me as a little surreal, too. And eventually, too, I understood that my version of reality had a tendency to set me apart from others. And when you’re young you want to fit in. (Hell, I still want to fit in with certain humans, but as you get older you get a little more discriminating.) Well, my parents were professionally committed to sticking out, so all too frequently I found myself sticking out right along with them.

Now, I’m certainly not asking anyone to feel bad for me or suggest that my existence could be described as a predicament of some kind. I’m simply describing the dynamic that was at work during my formative years.

My parents were focus pullers—and when I say parents, I mean my mother, who raised me, and my father, who checked in from time to time.

I mean, if I came into a room and said, You know how you saw your father more on TV than you did in real life? I don’t think many people would say, Oh my God! You, too!

And by the same token, I have to ask you, how often do you say, in real life?

Like real life is this other thing, and we’re always trying to determine what’s going on in this distant, inaccessible, incomprehensible place.

What are they like in real life?

"That happened in real life? Really!"

Stuff like that.

• • •

I am truly a product of Hollywood. You might say that I’m a product of Hollywood inbreeding. When two celebrities mate, something like me is the result.

I grew up visiting sets, playing on backlots, and watching movies being made. As a consequence, I find that I don’t have what could be considered a conventional sense of reality. (Not that I’ve ever had much use for reality—having spent much of what I laughingly refer to as my adult life attempting to escape it with the assistance of a variety of drugs.)

So, as I said, my reality has been formed by Hollywood’s version of reality. As a child, I thought that Father Knows Best was real and that my life was fake. When I think about it now, I may not have been far wrong.

I tell you all of this as a newly made bystander. As I have been reintroduced into my world by electroconvulsive therapy (more commonly known as ECT for those oh-so-fortunately familiar with it and electroshock for those who are not)—reintroduced to my life at the ripe old age of fifty-two. My memory—especially my visual memory—has been wrenched from me. All of a sudden, I find that I seem to have forgotten who I was before. So, I need to reacquaint myself with this sort of celebrity person I seem to be. Someone who was in an iconic, blockbuster film called Star Wars. (How trippy is that?)

One thing I do recall is that one day when I was a toddler, I sat planted closely to the television set watching my mother in a movie called Susan Slept Here. And, at a certain point there’s a scene where my very young mother tilts her face up to receive a kiss from Dick Powell. A kiss on the mouth. A romantic kiss. So, she has her eyes closed, waiting. But instead of kissing her on the mouth, Mr. Powell bends down and kisses her on the forehead. I sit there, registering this and then look quickly over my shoulder to see if anyone else had seen what I saw. To see if I should be more embarrassed for my mother than I already was. I tell you this to illustrate that I didn’t know the difference between movies and real life. In my life, they tended to overlap. Cary Grant (yes, the Cary Grant) became a family friend, even though he wasn’t precisely that. And characters that my mother played in movies became confused with the person who was and is my mother. So in a way, movies became home movies. Home became another place on the movie star map.

Later on, I worked out that my mother’s appearance in the classic film Singin’ in the Rain was not unlike my own appearance in Star Wars. When she made that film, she was nineteen and costarred with two men. I was also nineteen when I made Star Wars and appeared opposite two men. How this is relevant, I have no idea. Maybe I was just grasping around for a sense of continuity.

• • •

I emerge from my three-week-long ECT treatment to discover that I am not only this Princess Leia creature but also several-sized dolls, various T-shirts and posters, some cleansing items, and a bunch of other merchandise. It turns out I was even a kind of pin-up—a fantasy that geeky teenage boys across the globe jerked off to me with some frequency. How’s that for a newborn-how-do-you-do damsel

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