‘I heard someone say once that many of us only seem able to find heaven by backing away from hell…’
Carrie Fisher makes me all confused. When I watched A New Hope I wanted her to be my protective older sister. I imagine she would have lent me her Catatonia albums and told off the bigger boys for picking on me. However, when I saw her in that gold bikini in Empire Strikes Back I had all together different feelings. Feelings in my tummy I had never experienced before… I was 26. By the time The Force Awakens came out, Carrie Fisher had become like a beloved, fragile auntie and her sudden death brought with it a profound sadness. I think this lifelong adoration has put me off reading any of her books, despite the fact that I have always found her to be funny, intelligent and compelling.
Wishful Drinking is not as acclaimed as any of Fisher’s novels or even her own definitive autobiography, what it is however is an easy read that gives a fascinating insight into the beautiful mind of a troubled but optimistic cinema legend. At just over 150 pages, the second of Fisher’s four non-fiction novels only really scratches the surface of her past but it does provide an acceptable general overview for the uninitiated.
If you have never read any Fisher’s stuff nor seen her in interviews then her constant sarcasm and use of puns and platitudes might seem a little jarring but, for those of us who view Carrie Fisher as an old friend, it seems like her writing style perfectly sums up her personality. Constantly flitting from one extreme to another, never pausing for too long on one thing to fully consider the deeper meaning behind it.
Wishful Drinking isn’t essential reading but it is a nice, easy book and there wasn’t a single moment in which I wasn’t smiling. I guess that is just the effect that Carrie Fisher had on people.