This is a tough book to read. It’s really funny and really interesting, but you can feel as you’re reading, with it’s repetition, it’s constant reminder that she’s had electroconvulsive therapy, memory loss, years of drug abuse, and all that that she’s just not all there anymore.
But, if she weren’t so honest about everything, then it would be unbearable. Instead, there’s just a lower-lying scrim over everything knowing that so much has been lost.
Regardless, the book is really funny. I read this aloud to my girlfriend and the sadness and the funniness helped created a nice cathartic relief from getting caught in a rain storm on a walk home and my leaving the keys in a bar, and with the second book, being caught in some of the worst traffic I have ever been in sans a huge carwreck.
The stuff was particularly good was trying to make sense of how Carrie Fisher, as the child of two of the biggest movie stars in the world, one of whom seemed so depraved and dumb, came out so smart. But of course, it’s clear it came at a cost. There’s also a great moment in the book where she tries to figure out if her daughter and her boyfriend are related, and there’s a funny map and tree diagram, and it turns out they’re probably not related, but are close.
It’s not a perfect book. It rambles, it’s disorganized, but it is good and it is funny, and I never really find that many books to be that funny.
The Princess Diarist
We listened to this one and that fundamentally shifted what we thought of it. We were in bad traffic first north of Boston, fuck that place, and then stuck in traffic in a tunnel in Boston, double fuck that place. But hearing Carrie Fisher tells the stories connected with and associated with her acting in Star Wars was pretty great. This still has the tone and cadence of a lot of celebrity memoirs, with goofy and ineffective transitions, but the clear sense of narrative was stronger. The casting process, the leaving school early, the getting the unearned reputation of a slut on set was all amazing prelude to the meat of the book: her affair with Harrison Ford. Harrison Ford comes off in this book as loved and respected, but stupid and boring and definitely an asshole. I definitely don’t want to be confronted with my behavior when I am 75, but I can tell you that you can put my behavior at 35 up on a screen and I’d be fine. This isn’t like Harrison Ford is 23 and a dummy. No, he’s 35 and cheating on his family with a 19 year old, who is devastated by the whole thing. This all leads up to Billie Lourd reading the actual diaries from the set of Star Wars, and they are sad. Sad for a couple of reasons. Carrie Fisher lost a lot between those years to mental illness and addiction. Also sad because she was incredibly sad to be treated so unloved by Harrison Ford.
Luckily, we get a long section afterward about stardom and fandom to cleanse the palate. These section help the book feel more balanced and more loving in the ultimate. Luckily we ended with something funny.