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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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120 of 132 people found this review helpful
I'm a bit confused by the low-ratings other listeners have given this audiobook, as I found it to be a frequently hilarious, laugh-out-loud work marked by an enjoyably idiosyncratic performance by the author. My only complaint is that at just a hair over three hours, it left me wanting much more. I can only hope that in the near future we'll see the release of Wishful Drinking Strikes Back!
23 of 25 people found this review helpful
Well, Carrie Fisher has definitely lived life to the full, there is honestly not much that she hasn't done from the list of 100 weird things to do before you die. She narrates this slice of her life with wry humour (sounding a bit slurred in places but frankly I'm not suprised) and is all the more engaging for it. She is clearly one of life's survivors and has reached a stage where she can look back objectively and appraise the people around her and make sense of their impact without blaming them. Because of what she is like, and who she is, this book inludes descriptions of a life as a child of a very famous filmstar and a whole range of bizzare incidents that frankly you wouldn't believe if I wrote them down. This is a fascinating insight into a unique life and its only about 4 hours long, so an excellent choice if you want an humourous and entertaining listen or want to be reminded that actually, your life isn't nearly as bad or complicated as you think!.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
I was looking for something different from the fiction I had previously purchased and decided to go for a biography, and I was pleasently suprised. It's a very humorous insight in to the parentage, young life and personal issues of an actress who played one of the most memorable characters of the late 20th century.
Carrie's reading of this boook is fluid and personable, almost like she was talking to you! Highly recommended !
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Ah, Carrie, I'm writing this review knowing that this wonderful woman died yesterday. I read Wishful Drinking with eager anticipation when it was first published... BIG mistake. To truly enjoy the full colour and depth of this book you must purchase the audio version. Carrie's voice may not hold the youthful softness it once had, but none of her warmth, wit or loveliness has been lost. Her anecdotes are hilariously told and not once does she let you pity her many misfortunes. As she herself will tell you, she's had a good life- just a shame it ended all too soon. RIP Carrie, the world is a little greyer without you.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Loved it from start to finish, but hearing Carrie read it makes me feel closer to her