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by Carrie Fisher

Pub Date: April 4th, 1994
ISBN: 0-671-73227-7
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

 Again mining Hollywood humor, actress/novelist/screenwriter Fisher's third novel--following Postcards from the Edge (plus screenplay) and Surrender the Pink--finds her still relying on smart talk over plot. Any reader who has read all three installments of Princess Leia's wars against addiction, tinsel values, and bossy mothers will beg her to focus hereafter less on emotional hairsplitting and more on story. The first two-thirds of Delusions of Grandma are not about Grandma, but about screenwriter Cora Sharpe's affair with Ray Beaudrilleaux, a somewhat younger Hollywood lawyer. She feels ``ill-suited to the mystery of being in a relationship'' and silly when they go out together; she'd rather not go out, but young Ray, so softspoken and compassionate, is a social hippety-hop. Most of the text covers their early romance and then eases into their breaking off--although Cora is pregnant. It's all talk, with enough wacky brilliance thrown in so that a screenplay is salvageable, perhaps with cameos for famous folk and Fisher friends like, say, Meryl Streep. When not doctoring, writing, or rewriting scripts with gay fellow scriptwriter Bud (whose flippance steals his every scene), Cora lives on the phone with her committee of close friends who tolerate her continuous self-analysis. Near the book's end, her mom Viv, a kooky retired costume designer, decides to abduct her aged father from a nursing home--he's suffering from Alzheimer's disease--and take him to his childhood home in Whitewright, Texas. And so pregnant Cora, Bud, and Viv entrain with Grandpa, who's out of it but comes up with some moving moments. The climax fades from the page, and the not very funny letters Cora writes to her unborn child move the story nowhere. Even admirers of Fisher's many skills will find this as vaporous as an HBO movie you wish you'd never watched.