by Carrie Fisher ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 5, 1987
Yes, that's the Carrie Fisher, Princess Leila of the Star Wars films and daughter of Eddie, and this is her first novel, a maybe autobiographical, definitely ultra-hip, experimental, and dryly comic chronicle of a young actress's bouts with drugs, Hollywood, men. Fisher flashes some wicked talent here, especially in the opening scenes, where she flip-flops two first-person voices to chronicle goings-on at a glitzy drug-rehab center: that of her heroine, young, bright, and Percodaned film star Suzanne Vale; and that of Alex Daniels, a smarmy coke-head and would-be writer who's sharing the detox facilities. Particularly strong are Fisher's acute and hilarious depictions, via Alex's monologues, of a couple of disastrous cocaine binges: ""I'll never do cocaine again. Uh-uh. Maybe a little Ecstasy, a little heroin, but I'll never do cocaine again. . . My teeth feel so soft."" Once Fisher leaves the drug ward, however, dropping Alex and following only Suzanne, she loses her edge as she slips into a meandering, ""poor me"" account of Suzanne's spoiled yet troubled adjustment to post-detox life--a good job and a good man being so hard to find. The increasingly flat narrative is, however, somewhat fizzed up by a Hollywood that rings funny and scorchingly true, especially Fisher's portraits of the ego-heads who rule Tinseltown (one producer announces, ""I envy people meeting me for the first time. . .I want to meet somebody like me""). But reader sympathy for self-pitying Suzanne slips and slips, bottoming out when, to fight off the blues, she wanders into the Bottega Veneta on Rodeo Drive, briefly considers buying a purse in every color, and modestly settles for a $450 ""square black bag."" Poor me, indeed. But not to worry; Suzanne finds love with a hunkish writer just in time to save her scattered life--and Fisher from having to figure out a less dreamy end for her tale. At times, Fisher writes with a delightfully poisoned pen; too bad that she dilutes the acid when it sprays too close to home. Nonetheless, this is an entertaining, often exhilarating portrait of the worst and the dimmest.
Pub Date: Aug. 5, 1987
Page Count: -
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1987
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