I’m not the target demographic for this book. I’m not a huge fan of memoirs/autobiographies in general, and while I am a big fan
of Star Wars, I didn’t see the movies until I was older and Princess Leia was not a foundational fictional character in my youth. I didn’t idolize Carrie Fisher and I never had any desire to meet her or get her autograph (although, of course, if I had run into her in a store somewhere I would have likely been star-struck).
The only reason I “read” this book is because my boyfriend got the audiobook (he is a huge Fisher fan and a foundational-youth Star Wars kid) and lent it to me when he was done, insisting I would love it.
And I mean, there was nothing wrong with it. Fisher reads the audiobook herself, so it’s extremely charming to listen to the story from her own voice (although you can tell she’s not a professional audiobook recorder because her vocals vary wildly—I had to constantly adjust the sound so I could either hear what she was saying or, a few seconds later, tone down her screaming in my ear).
This memoir covers when she was filming the first Star Wars, and how her unexpected rise to super stardom/sex symbol status affected her. I found those sections the most interesting, especially since I forgot that before Star Wars came out, the movies were expected to be low-performing. So her jump in fame, even with her famous mother, was very unexpected. She partially knew how to handle it, but it also caught her completely off guard, and I loved the sense of humanity and also feminist sensibilities she expressed in those parts.
However, the main bulk of the book focuses on her affair with Harrison Ford and I just…I don’t really care? First of all, he sounds like kind of an asshole. Her descriptions of his humorless, detached and dismissive attitude remind me of my ex-husband, so excuse me while I roll my eyes a little at the idea those could be charming character traits.
(Fisher and I were of a similar age when charmed by these traits, so I’m in no way blaming her for falling for them. I’m just not going to look back on things and pretend like there’s still something redemptive or “cute” about it.)
There’s a section in the middle where her daughter reads some of Carrie’s own poetry from that time and I don’t have enough cringe in me. It’s exactly the type of poetry you would expect from someone who is still basically a teenager who is mooning over some guy.
It’s the kind of stuff I would find in my own old journals from high school or college and just want to burn immediately. In a way, I liked that it humanizes Fisher (“Hey, she wrote bad poetry like the rest of us!”) but in another way I don’t really want to read any of it, and I definitely don’t want to read a lot of it.
Finally, we get to a section at the end where she talks about when she first started doing signings and interacting with fans after aging and gaining weight. While I found this section interesting, as well, I thought it dragged on a little too long and got repetitive (possibly on purpose). She recreates stories fans used to babble on about to her and they kind of just go on and on and on. Then she attempts to reassure that she’s not begrudging her crazy fans and yet…it kind of sounds like she is. I genuinely feel sympathy that she had to deal with that and that she even had to resort to signings because she needed the money. I don’t think it’s “the price she had to pay for fame” because I don’t think the world should work that way. But just be upfront about it if you’re going to say it. Don’t try to apologize for it.
I would say if you’re a big Fisher fan or you love memoirs, you can’t go wrong with this one. It’s a quick read and she does tell some very humorous stories. If you don’t fall into either camp, however, it’s probably not going to wow your socks off.