Princess Leia Amidala Skywalker Solo strikes again--this time it's all about shock therapy, which Carrie Fisher rather likes. She's made a cottage industry of her addictions--think Wishful Drinking--and has no inhibitions about sharing. After rehabs and the death of a good friend--in her bed while she was in it, but he was gay so there was nothing going on--she was having troubles again and submitted to Electroconvulsive Shock Therapy. Fisher's only complaint about it is that it zaps the memory, although that isn't apparent from this memoir.
The one-liners keep coming and the temptation is to conclude that all this Gemütlichkeit is distancing behavior, but leave that to her army of shrinks and Dr. Feelgoods and just enjoy the ride. The underlying theme of the book is "celebrity." Fisher grew up around stars, with lots of fuss surrounding her parents and, of course, the juicy scandal of papa Eddie Fisher deserting Debbie Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor, Reynolds's best friend. Taylor's late husband, Mike Todd, had been Eddie Fisher's best friend, so it was a cozy swap. Not so much for Fisher, who longed for a relationship with her father, which she finally achieves when he is dying, drug-addicted, addled and asking her to bring him a prostitute. This is not a pretty picture and the author spares us nothing.
She chronicles her friendship with Michael Jackson, who asks her for pictures of her little girl, which she doesn't find alarming, despite accusations and lawsuits regarding pedophilia. She can forgive him anything because he was always a "celebrity," performing when he was six, pushed by a cruel father. She is less forgiving of Teddy Kennedy, with whom she has dinner when she is on a date with another senator, Chris Dodd. Kennedy asks her personal questions starting with: "Will you be having sex with Chris tonight?" She parries and thrusts, which apparently no one ever did with Kennedy and is applauded years later by the other couple at the table, neighbors of Ethel Kennedy.
Included in her reminiscences is a really funny encounter with Liz Taylor, which started with Fisher insulting her at an AIDS benefit and ending with Taylor inviting Fisher to a party at her home and pushing her in the pool. That somehow pulls down the wall between them; Fisher's resentment of Taylor for "stealing" her all-too-willing father dissipates. Eddie Fisher, as portrayed by his daughter, is a charming, handsome rake and had his own take on life: "The world was his shower and he used women for soap."
F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote: "The rich are different from you and me," to which Ernest Hemingway famously commented: "Yes, they have more money." According to Carrie, that's not all. --Valerie Ryan
Shelf Talker: Carrie Fisher visits, once again, her addictions, shock therapy, friendships with celebrities and good moments with her father.