Wishful Drinking

  • by Carrie Fisher
  • Narrated by Carrie Fisher
  • 3 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher tells the true and intoxicating story of her life with inimitable wit. Born to celebrity parents, she was picked to play a princess in a little movie called Star Wars when only 19 years old. "But it isn't all sweetness and light sabers." Alas, aside from a demanding career and her role as a single mother (not to mention the hyperspace hairdo), Carrie also spends her free time battling addiction, weathering the wild ride of manic depression and lounging around various mental institutions. It's an incredible tale - from having Elizabeth Taylor as a stepmother, to marrying (and divorcing) Paul Simon, from having the father of her daughter leave her for a man, to ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed.

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Wishful Grieving

A couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be fun to listen to "Wishful Drinking" (2008) to get ready for Carrie Fisher's newest, "The Princess Diarist" (November 22, 2016). Before Audible, I'd read "Wishful Drinking" on paper. I thought it was mildly amusing but not terribly insightful or even memorable, a 3 or 3.5 out of 5.

"Wishful Drinking" as a listen is brilliant, laugh out loud funny, and - especially for those in the 18% - a bookmark-that-clip "at last someone isn't afraid to say it" picture of an intriguing life with mental illness. It is so good it was nominated for a Grammy for Spoken Word in 2009, losing to former Vice President Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" - and to be fair, global warming affects the 100%.

What's the 18%? According to the National Institute for Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health, that's the percentage of American adults who, in any given year, are living with a mental illness. (Retrieved from nimh dot nih dot gov on December 27, 2016).

I personally hate the term "suffering from" - does anyone say they are "suffering from" diabetes? a heart condition?" I don't think Fisher ever used it. She lived with manic Roy and sobbing Pam, the names she gave to the two wildly divergent sides of her bipolar disorder. Fisher's bipolar disorder went undiagnosed for long enough to give her blackout drinking and overdose drug problems when she self-medicated. Shock treatment helped eventually, but it robbed her of some memories - but thankfully, not her sense of humor.

Here are some great quotes from the book: "Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." And "I like to quote fictional characters because I'm somewhat of a fictional character myself."

I really liked hearing Fisher narrate, and I got such a kick out of the times that she couldn't help but laugh at herself. I was so looking forward to listening to "The Princess Diarist." I'd planned something special: I was going to wait until Fisher was on her book tour in Los Angeles so I could get a signed hardback - and then buy the Audible and listen to it , book in hand. I was hoping for an appearance at the 2017 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

I was crushed when Fisher died on December 27, 2016. Her mother, the charming actress Debbie Reynolds, followed Fisher just a day later, on December 28. I imagine if there's an afterlife, Fisher's already busy at work on an amusing monologue about her mother dramatically upstaging her in death.

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- Cynthia "Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always.""

An entertaining, yet unfortunate story.

I decided to listen to this AudioBook because I have been a fan of Star Wars since I was a kid. I wanted to hear more about Carrie Fisher from her own words and hear her stories.

There are essentially two parts to the book. She talks about growing up in the entertainment industry, and how it's weirdness, along with the influences of those around her, famous or not, helped shape her life. She does briefly talk about Star Wars, and how George Lucus "ruined her life" but, in the nicest way possible. She also talks about her Mother (Debbie Reynolds) quite a bit as well.

The second part goes into great detail her struggle with Bipolar disorder, and also her struggles with drugs and alcohol. She mentions her electro-shock therapy as a means to help overcome this disorder, with the unfortunate side effect of losing a lot of her memory.

The tale she tells is very entertaining, as Carrie Fisher is a very witty individual. I never felt bored or wishing I was listening to something else during the audiobook. At first, I had wished for more stories about her experiences with Star Wars, but I do understand that it certainly wasn't the only part of her life and if anything made her life very stressfull.

The quality of the audio is well, though Carrie does have the tendancy to shout some of the end of her lines to try and add a bit of humor, which isn't all too necessary. Overall, I'd recommend this one and would listen to any future audiobooks by the author.
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- N. Lusignolo

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-11-2008
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio