In recent years, I’ve found that I like listening to audiobooks while on road trips. When I was younger, I’d prefer to read the books myself rather than be read too, but now that I do some of the driving (and trying to make cannonball), I don’t mind using the time to see if I can’t complete a book or two on a trip.
This past February, I was on a trip with my wife and we both decided to listen to Carrie Fisher’s works. I had her works on my TBR, but with her death I felt that I wanted to put Ms. Fisher’s works at the top of the list.
Wow. They were a gut punch. Carrie Fisher tackles two of the paternal figures in her life especially her father, Eddie Fisher. Following up “Wishful Drinking,” Ms. Fisher once again deflates the fantasy of the Hollywood elites. We get the picture of a young woman (herself) who has so much but is looking for some semblance of a normal family life. Instead she’s confronted with an absent biological father and several step-fathers. While she’s not cynnical or bitter, she uses her humor to convey her sincerity. There’s a lot of underlying pain about the lack of a stable family.
The conclusion of the novel details her relationship, as an adult, with Eddie. She’s very frank about his flaws but there’s a lot of self-awareness about their coming to terms with the missed opportunities in her childhood. Again, there’s this idea that the people we hold up as the standard are really just like us. This is poignant in her anecdotes regarding Michael Jackson. We’re shown the warped since of reality celebrities are faced with and the lengths they’ll go to establish something of normalcy for themselves or their children.
While not as humorous as Wishful Drinking, Shockaholic is engrossing in its recounting of an iconic American family.