Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crazy is as crazy writes — except when it's not

Normally, Carrie Fisher's works of fiction are scathing, biting and hilarious looks at life in Hollywood, a life that often (strangely) resembles her own. With Wishful Drinking, Fisher drops the pretense of fiction and goes with an actual memoir that (sort of) focuses on her fight with mental illness, among other things.

Sadly, Fisher is more cloying than caustic, which quickly became tiresome and a major disappointment. The book completely lacks structure and this came off as a calculated and pretentious move on Fisher's part, as if a book on being bipolar must be scattered and, well, manic. This made the writing feel forced, draining most of the entertainment value from her personal anecedotes about her mother, her father, Gary Grant and George Lucas, among others.

The cover is hilarious and readers will find a few flashes of the wit and bons mots that spilled forth from her earlier works like Postcards from the Edge. But ultimately, this book reads like an attention-seeking, "look-at-me-I'm-crazy!" plea from a fading star who still has the capacity to shine much more brightly than this memoir indicates.

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