The Best Awful

  • by Carrie Fisher
  • Narrated by Carrie Fisher
  • 5 hrs and 26 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Suzanne's not sure she has what it takes to be the best mother to her daughter, Honey. She can't seem to shake the blues from losing Honey's father to Nick, the man who got the man who got away. Or maybe those aren't the blues, just more symptoms of her sprawling multi-symptomatic bipolar illness: an illness Suzanne can't bring herself to take all that seriously, no matter what her doctors say. How serious can an illness be whose symptoms are spending sprees, substance abuse, and sexual promiscuity? And worst of all, under the watchful round eyes of the pills the doctors' plied her with, her friends are starting to find her a little...boring. The obvious solution is to take a little walk on the wild side. But what starts out as a brief gambol through the scary/fun world of 21st-century dating becomes a vigorous jog-trot through the latest drug wonderland, and finally a wild gallop toward a psychotic breakdown and a stay in "the bin."
Based on a truant's story, The Best Awful is Carrie Fisher's most powerful and revealing novel: hilarious, moving, and fully informed by the wisdom of a true survivor.


What the Critics Say

"Fisher's powerful and partly autobiographical tale of mental illness translates brilliantly into audio, thanks in large part to the author's skillful narration....Fisher's warm voice and smart, sardonic delivery will keep listeners riveted all the way through." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fisher's strengths lie in her witty dialogue and her lambasting of Hollywood at its most shallow...." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

For Any Family Touched By Bipolar

This book may not be for everyone, but those who will like it include fans of Carrie Fisher's trademark wit and gift for glib good humor in the face of life's all too frequent crushing blows. This is her not even thinly disguised second autobiographical volume, picking up where Postcards From the Edge left off. It tells the story of what happened next to Suzanne/Carrie, including the collapse of her newly created family when her child's father announces he's gay, and her inexorable descent into full-fledged mental illness as the chickens of her previously misdiagnosed and mismanaged manic depression come home to roost, forcing her to confront her demons once and for all so she can recreate some semblance of a normal life with her sweet daughter Honey.

I love Carrie Fisher, and REALLY loved her youthful and even early middle aged voice, speech and delivery. Then, in her later years, I was horrified and baffled by the change in every aspect of her speech and voice. Sadly and very strangely, this is the book/performance where you can practically hear that change happening before your very ears. Some moments she sounds ALMOST her old self, with a normal vocal tone, conversational cadence, near crisp articulation....and then the next minute that voice is changing, becoming hoarser and more strident, and articulation changes too as if she is suddenly growing dentures or a false palate, and with some dysarthria creeping in. Some of the problem (I can't fully tell, even with my allegedly trained speech therapist's ear) sounds like it may be due to artificially enlarged lips, which is quite ironic because in one passage of this book, she goes on at some length about how preposterous it is that Hollywood women get their lips enlarged. But I think the most annoying thing about it is her intermittent lapsing into what she has described elsewhere as a weird, self-taught Mid-Atlantic, pseudo-sophisticated accent (proper copper coffee pot), almost as if she forgot she's talking to the reader as a friend, confessing ugly truths, and began trying to impress her audience with her sophistication instead.

All that said, however, this was an absorbing book and it made me much better understand what goes on in the mind of someone who is bipolar.
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- Gretchen SLP "Avid listener on my daily commute!"

Suzanne's Dilemma

Powerful, funny,scary book. Ms. Fisher describes the descent into drug use in a rhythmic way of writing that gets the reader on the ride with the character. This intensifies and billows in the insanity description s.. Ms. Fisher is a brilliantly gifted writer. I wish we were pen pals. We are both Libras born 1 day apart.Hmmm.
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- lindsay warner

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-09-2004
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio