Wishful Drinking

by Carrie Fisher

Paperback, 2009




Simon & Schuster (2009), Edition: Reprint, 176 pages


A memoir based on the author's one-woman show describes growing up with celebrity parents, her early success in "Star Wars," battle with addiction and mental illness, turbulent romances, role as a single mother, and struggle for recovery and healing.

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½ (827 ratings; 3.6)

User reviews

LibraryThing member elliepotten
This is definitely what I'd call a sketchy book. Sketchy because it is adapted from Fisher's one-woman show, flitting to and fro between various areas of her life and events in her past. Sketchy in that her ECT treatments have undoubtedly damaged her memory and therefore many of the details that
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might otherwise have been included in an autobiographical book have been lost. And sketchy in that in true bipolar style, her prose veers from insightful genius to a little incomprehensible and back again.

That being said, I really enjoyed it! I could almost hear Fisher recounting her anecdotes, deadpanning at every comic twist, offering up each tidbit of her life with a bittersweet kind of relish. I didn't really know anything about her other than that she played Princess Leia, grew up into the actress I'd seen in When Harry Met Sally and Undiscovered, and was severely manic depressive, so for me it was an interesting read. She covers everything from her alcoholism to her relationship with her beautiful but decidedly unconventional mother; from the trend in her family for multiple marriages to the inescapable legacy of the Star Wars movies. She is irreverent, self-deprecating and has a refreshing voice that simultaneously pays tribute to and breaks down the illusion of Hollywood glamour thrown up by her glittering background. I'll be eagerly awaiting the release of Shockaholic at the end of 2011!
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LibraryThing member MarysGirl
A very fast read with large type and 1.5 line spacing. I enjoyed the book and laughed out loud at a couple of spots. My favorite is where she finds her picture in the Abnormal Psychology textbook illustrating "The Biology of Bipolar Disorder" - and it's her Princess Leia head shot! Her response?
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"So I'm not crazy, that bitch is!"
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LibraryThing member Gaiagirlie
As fun as this was, it didn't quiiiiite make it past three stars for me. It did make me laugh and it did give me a little bit of insight into Carrie's life. It's very short, so I'd like to read some of her other memoirs to see if they go a little more in depth into her life. I'm glad I read it
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though, and I will forever laugh at Carrie calling her lady parts her "lagoon of mystery". :D
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LibraryThing member jessieb30
Lets face it, I wanted to be Princess Leia when I was a little kid. The problem was, Carrie Fisher didn't... she was already so many things by the time she got to the Leia part she just couldn't take it. Plus she married a rock star, a gay man, had another gay man die in her bed, and finally went
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through electro shock therapy to get herself to this point of writing her witty account of her life and times thus far, realizing, (only she can't really distinguish), that her life was never normal. Her moviestar mother, on more than one occasion, for instance, was apt to call up other majorly famous moviestars to save her daughter from imminent death from LSD. Has Cary Grant ever called you and told you to stop it with the acid? Yeah, me either, and thats why this is a fun read.

While its easy to believe that Carrie Fisher is the woman from Postcards from the Edge, it is definitely difficult to believe, after getting to know her even a little, that she could have ever listened to the Force and let it guide her actions....
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LibraryThing member Cynara
Short, entertaining, and scattered, this is a great read. Fisher recounts vivid anecdotes from her Hollywood childhood, her drug-ridden young adulthood, and her life with bipolar disorder. It's fascinating stuff, due in equal parts to her chatty, confessional style, and her acerbic willingness to
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say anything about anyone. Witness her account of her father's infidelity with Elizabeth Taylor: " [...] naturally, my father flew to Elizabeth's side, gradually making his way slowly to her front. He first dried her eyes with his handkerchief, then he consoled her with flowers, and he ultimately consoled her with his penis."
Enough said.
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LibraryThing member Brianna_H
Despite the sometimes dark subject matter, Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher is ultimately a light, quick, and humorous read. Ms. Fisher's ascerbic wit and droll humor make reading about drug addiction, alcoholism and depression entertaining. Carrie Fisher is nothing if not irreverant and funny.
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Wishful Drinking is packed full of hilarious antedotes about some of old time Hollywood's biggest stars as well as interesting tibits such as the fact that she once dated Senator and former presidential candidate Chris Dodd.

It is worth noting that Wishful Drinking can be read in one sitting. It therefore makes the perfect airplane book, but you might want to purcahse it used from Amazon.

After reading Wishful Drinking, you'll wish that Carrie was one your friends so that you could call her up on whim to do lunch as she regales you with tales from her unusual Hollywood upbringing....you would be sure to ask about the Christmas when she was 15 and her mother gave both Carrie and Carrie's grandmother vibrators as gifts!
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LibraryThing member bookymouse
Carrie Fisher, you may know her as Princess Leia from Star Wars, dispenses small scenes from her life with wit, sarcasm and openness. Born to famous parents and suffering from bipolar disorder, Carrie sought solace in drugs and alcohol while pursuing her own career in show business. The absence of
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her father, the tabloid rumors surrounding the death of a close friend, even the fleeting joy of marriage - nothing is off limits. Everything is fodder for Carrie's delightful sense of humor.

I read this book in a matter of hours. I simply could not put it down. Laughing out loud, often to the point of tears, I repeatedly found myself reading portions aloud to my sister just to share the laughter. Read this book. It could very well be the funniest thing you read all summer.
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LibraryThing member BenKline
Overall a pretty entertaining, though thin, memoir. Not really a whole lot of substance (for a book about substance abuse), but a rather interesting look at Carrie Fisher. I had seen her show (same title) on HBO before, and that was pretty entertaining (probably better than the book in retrospect).
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This isn't a true autobiography or chronological look at her life, or even a true memoir. Its a bit of a stream of conscious rambling about her ECT, bi-polar, substance abuse, and a overall look at the wacky family she's had. Almost more like an "explanation" for how things turned out and why she is the way she is and why things happened the way they did, more than a true (auto)biography would be.

You quickly pick up on some idiosyncrasies of Fisher and her humor isn't always that funny/entertaining, but generally the rambling stream-of-conscious memoir here is at least for the most part entertaining. Don't go into this looking for a lot of insight on Leia or backstory to Star Wars or even really Carrie Fisher in general. But worth a read all the same.
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LibraryThing member brianinbuffalo
If an incredibly short novel is a novella, is an incredibly thin memoir a memella?
Thin doesn’t describe “Wishful Drinking.” Carrie Fisher barely scratches the surface when it comes to giving readers true insights into her bipolar disorder, drug problems and alcohol abuse. She appears to be
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more focused on trying to elicit chuckles from her audience. She succeeds at this goal in many spots; she flops in other sections. Do we really need four Republican-bashing jokes on the same page? Trust me, I'm not politically offended. It just gets awfully old, awfully fast.
I wish Fisher had made a greater effort to take readers beneath the surface to better understand her multiple demons. I’m betting that there are some amazing lessons to be learned. True, she tries to serve up advice for those who are facing similar challenges. But she’s far more interested in telling tales about Liz Taylor, Paul Simon and other entertainment luminaries than she is delving into the complex world of personality disorders and substance abuse.
Still, Fisher’s book is quite entertaining in many spots. It certainly serves up some intriguing nuggets. Who knew that George W. Bush could pass gas on command?
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LibraryThing member Laurenbdavis
I picked this up yesterday, thinking I'd just read the first chapter, and found myself glued to the chair, occasionally laughing out loud, reading right through to the end. Fisher's a very funny woman, with just the sort of semi-bitter, sarcastic tone I like. It begins with a dead man in her bed,
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and ends with electro-convulsive therapy. In between there's Star Wars, in more ways than one. It's an intriguing mix of damn-the-torpedoes, scorched-earth, combined with sincere affection and compassion, and the sort of hard-earned humor I hear in those church basement meetings I go to regularly. There is the unavoidable name-dropping (how could there not be with the sort of life she's lived), and although no one comes out unscathed, including Carrie Fisher, all are treated with generosity.

It's a somewhat thin book, but it doesn't aspire to be more than it is -- large print and lots of pictures. I suspect it will appeal most to those of us who have been through at least some of what Fisher has, and who can appreciate the crazy (sorry!), and perhaps sacred joke of it all. Well worth reading. I imagine her live show is even better.
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LibraryThing member burningtodd
Yet another stars autobiography, filled with drugs, sex and escapism. The difference lies in how it is written and the honesty in which it is portrayed. Carrie Fisher is a very smart woman, who has taken a hard look at her life and decided to talk about it. This book is simultaneously smart,
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touching, funny and a little bit heart wrenching. In this book she talks about depression, alcohol, electric-shock therapy (yes she had it) and attempting to over come it all for the love of her mother and daughter.
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LibraryThing member jbrubacher
Carrie Fisher enlightens us while she refreshes her own memory after a course of electroshock therapy. These are anecdotes and reflections on her unusual and sometimes bizarre life, stories about depression and addiction, growing up with stars, being a mother, and having full awareness of who you
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used to be.

"I had no idea" was my reaction for a lot of it. Not only are some of the stories surprising, they're hilarious, told in a way that makes you feel like she isn't holding back. You might not like her a lot but the author proves her honesty and humour and her strength after a lot of serious shit. That is, if you can trust that she isn't being sarcastic or pulling your leg. Which really you can't.

This book didn't change my life but I'm giving it four stars anyway because it made me laugh out loud, made me marvel at the celebrities we think we know, and made me want to call my mom.
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LibraryThing member mcelhra
Wishful Drinking is Carrie Fisher’s memoir with having both bi-polar disorder and a drug addiction as well as growing up as the daughter of two very famous parents – Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. She starts out boldly by disclosing that she has had electroconvulsive therapy or ECT, as part
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of her treatment for her mental illness. Because of this, some of her memories are fuzzy or have been wiped out. One of her reasons for writing this memoir is to record the memories she has left in case they go as well.

Carrie has written this book with her trademark sense of humor. What easily could have been a depressing book what with her mental illness, an absent father, two-failed marriages and a drug addiction is actually really funny. I listened to the audio book, which she narrated herself. Her delivery makes her story all the more humorous. In fact, the book is based on her hit one-woman show, also called Wishful Drinking.

I just wish she would have included more details. For example, she talks about her on again/off again relationship with her first husband, singer/song writer Paul Simon, but doesn’t say what they fought about, just that they fought. And how did she find out her second husband was gay? I need to know! The book was pretty short at only three hours so there was room for more. Perhaps the details were foggy for her due to the ECT and that’s why she didn’t elaborate.

Carrie jokes about her death a few times and what she wants people to say about her after she dies. These parts were hard to listen to. Of course she didn’t expect to die so young. I’m so glad she wrote this book and narrated it herself so I could spend some more time with her. I recommend this book to her fans, which should be all of you!
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LibraryThing member laws
I actually enjoyed reading this book. I found it to be very interesting and quite funny at times. I esp, liked the pictures . I could never have imagined all the stuff she went through. I guess being famous(having famous parents)and money isn't everything.
LibraryThing member SamSusan
Ok, there is a decent amount of rambling here, but this is a really funny book. Fisher does go off on some tangents, but I really didn't care that much because I was laughing too hard. I was sad that it was such a short book.
LibraryThing member princesspeaches
A little too light for my tastes. While this thin, airy memoir is entertaining, I feel like Carrie Fisher tries too hard to be airy and entertaining. There are some interesting tidbits and a lot of pictures, but no real substance. Good airplane or travel read...great for the beach.
LibraryThing member NellieMc
This book received great reviews, so I must say I was disappointing. Ok writing and a lot of insight about the author, but very short and not very inciteful about the people she knew. Not worth buying in hard cover.
LibraryThing member reannon
Carrie Fisher is the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. It was an unusual upbringing, to say the least. Her father left when she was two and was not around most of the time. Her mother was an eccentric. Carrie also dealt with being bipolar and addicted to drugs and alcohol, a
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blast of fame at age nineteen thanks to George Lucas and Star Wars, a failed marriage to singer Paul Simon, another failed marriage to an agent who forgot to mention he was gay, and more. She tells it all with warmth, humor, and a high degree of self-analysis. Enjoyable, quick read.
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LibraryThing member qarae
Carrie Fisher is completely witty, sarcastic and raw in her book Wishful Drinking. I had no expectations going into this read, having read none of her previous work, and was very surprised at how often I actually laughed right out loud at her anecdotes. She opens reveals her crazy childhood, her
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zany family, her addiction to alcohol and drugs, her rehab. She briefly touches on her life during Star Wars, and while I AM a Star Wars fan I was glad to read about much more than just that time in her life.
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LibraryThing member endlessforms
I suspect that if one's been to her one-woman show, one's heard this delivered in monologue form. Even the style is pretty clearly spoken rather than written. It's a pleasant enough brain-break, but don't expect too much -- I read it in about three hours flat.
LibraryThing member Ti99er
Ok so I picked this book up based simply on the cover. And for the fact that from the ages of 8 - 21, I was in love with Princess Leia a.k.a Carrie Fisher. She is actually a very funny person. This quote, unquote memoir is written in a conversational style. Kinda of like when you are talking to
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yourself. Ok, none of you talk to yourselves? Ok how about when you are telling a new found friend your life story then, does that work better for you?

So anyway who woulda thunk that my childhood crush was soooooooooooooo screwed up? She is an alcoholic, bipolar, nymphomaniac (she uses the first two term, I added the third descriptor) Princess Leia the nymphomaniac, hmmmm........ Ohh I'm sorry where was I? The book wasn't all that bad and for the crazy and interesting life she lead was a paltry 160 pages long.

Well at least I have my childhood memories of the Princess of Alderaan as simply a slice of Cinnabon wearing delight. May the Force be with me.
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LibraryThing member Kiwiria
Very amusing memoir. As more or less a transcript of her stand-up show it was quickly read and very easily accessible. I enjoyed learning more about Carrie Fisher. I've heard so many rumours about her, that it's nice to be able to separate at least some of the facts from the fiction.

The version I
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found was read by Carrie Fisher herself, with lent a nice touch to it.
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LibraryThing member lkopetsky
I absolutely loved this book, and it made me wish Carrie Fisher was my friend! Open and honest with the dry humor that only Carrie Fisher has, it was a "laugh out loud at the brutal honesty" read.
LibraryThing member dauphine
A quick read that jumps around a bit but I didn't care because I was laughing too hard.
LibraryThing member mhaley
Ms. Fisher's self deprecating humor is gets old quickly. I do admire her courage and tenacity at becoming a productive member of society however. With all the shrinks she went too, she fails to mention that the obvious cause for her depression, the lack of fatherly love. She attempts to seek this
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love from others and never quite finds it. The sins of the father had a lasting affect on her. She doesn't mention much about this but it seems she did break the cycle by having the common courtesy to love her child. One very good quality of this memoir is that it is only 3 hours long.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

176 p.; 5.5 inches


143915371X / 9781439153710

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