Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Book Review: Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher


Infused with Carrie Fisher’s trademark incisive wit and on the heels of Wishful Drinking’s instant New York Times bestselling success, Shockaholic takes readers on another rollicking ride into her crazy life.

There is no shortage of people flocking to hear what Princess Leia has to say. Her previous hardcover, Wishful Drinking, was an instant New York Times bestseller and Carrie was featured everywhere on broadcast media and received rave reviews from coast to coast, including People (4 stars; one of their top 10 books of the year), Entertainment Weekly, New York Times, and scores of others.

Told with the same intimate style, brutal honesty, and uproarious wisdom that placed Wishful Drinking on the New York Times bestseller list for months, Shockaholic is the juicy account of Carrie Fisher’s life, focusing more on the Star Wars years and dishing about the various Hollywood relationships she’s formed since she was chosen to play Princess Leia at only nineteen years old. Fisher delves into the gritty details that made the movie—and herself—such a phenomenal success, admitting, “It isn’t all sweetness and light sabers.”


My Review:
I have to say that I was looking forward to reading these three memoirs by Carrie Fisher as they are given very good reviews and are said to be very funny. I must admit that I was actually disappointed in what I read in this book.

The book starts with an honest discussion of her electric shock treatment to treat her mental health issues. To be honest, I knew she had issues connected to drink and drugs through the years but I didn't know that she actually has mental health disorders or how bad things had got for her. She leads into discussion of how she went into a downward spiral after the death of close friend Greg Stevens, She talks frankly about the ECT treatment, what she recalls of how they administer it and the effects afterwards. I was surprised to hear that ECT made her depression better for a period of time, but it did cause her to lose some short term memory and have struggles with her vocabulary. That was interesting and a bit scary.

The worst section deals in depth with a date she had with Democratic Senator Chris Dodd while having dinner with Ted Kennedy and his date. The topics at dinner seemed to be all sex related with Kennedy quizzing Carrie on her sexual practices and quite frankly being an obnoxious git as far as I was concerned. Carrie answers all his questions frankly rather than choosing to ignore him which is what he deserved. This whole section was not interesting or amusing to me in any way and I failed to see the point in including it in the book. I didn't care what the answers to these questions were or that she was proving that Kennedy couldn't embarrass her. 

There was an interesting part where Carrie talks about her dentist being Evan Chandler, father of Jordy, accusers of Michael Jackson. She was disturbed by Evan bragging about how attractive his boy was and how much time he spent with Michael at his ranch.  Carrie talks about Michael and makes it very clear that she believed he was innocent of the charges. I did find this small part interesting. The other topic she covers is her contempt for stepfather Harry Karl and she goes into gross detail of all of his revolting habits. She talks briefly about her relationship with Elizabeth Taylor who broke up her parents and how she was reconsiled with her father Eddie Fisher. 

Basically the book just covers a few topics in depth and is not the full memoir I was expecting. There is no cohesion either in subject matter or in establishing a timeline, and massive chunks of her life are not really covered. It jumps about all over the place and is somewhat rambling in nature. I don't really like the way it is presented and the lack of structure. It is certainly frank and honest, but I didn't really find the humour in the material that I was waiting for. It wasn't what I was expecting and I didn't really enjoy it the way I had hoped I would. I completed it because it was short.

Read January 2018
2 stars

8 comments:

  1. I've been wanting to grab these from the library but this one sounds rather choppy. Maybe I'll skip it altogether.

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    1. Grabbing them from the library and reading them free would be ok...but I wouldn't recommend paying for them!

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  2. Thanks for this review. I feel like you gave me enough that I don't need to read it. :) I will probably pick up one of her other ones eventually.

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    1. I felt that all the books seemed to focus on a few fragments of her life but skip out whole years and events that I'd like to know more about.

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  3. How disappointing. Don't think I'll be reading this one. :)

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    1. I was pretty disappointed with it after seeing all the great reviews.

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  4. wow it doesn't matter how many times you hear it, it is always quite disturbing to hear about Kennedy [and the looooong list that came after that we are still dealing with] sorry to here this book was a disappointment!

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    1. Based on his attitude here, maybe it was better he didn't become President like his brother before him...

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