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SHOCKAHOLIC by Carrie Fisher

SHOCKAHOLIC

By Carrie Fisher

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7432-6482-2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Actress and screenwriter Fisher (Wishful Drinking, 2008, etc.) assembles “sort of an anecdotal memoir of a potentially more than partial amnesiac.”

The author’s experience as a standup comedian comes through in the humor of the book, but change the names and Hollywood details and her stories have the qualities of those overheard on a bus: gossipy, wisecracking, profane and rambling. The second and last chapters of the book contain the most substantive material. Fisher describes her routine electroconvulsive therapy (shock treatments) for manic depression and its effects on her. While the therapy blocked her near-term memories and lacerated her vocabulary, “[i]t did for me what drugs had done for me. It was like a mute button muffling the noise of my shrieking feelings.” The book ends as Fisher builds a relationship with her declining father before he passed away. In between these two chapters, the material is fluffy and bland. Fisher prattles on about Christmas Eve with Michael Jackson (his last), gaining then losing weight, her flatulent stepfather, verbal sparring with Ted Kennedy and her ex-stepmother Elizabeth Taylor. The book lacks an overall structure, reading instead like a series of outtakes from Wishful Drinking, combined with anecdotes of recent events in her life. When friend Greg Stevens died in Fisher’s bed from a combination of sleep apnea and oxycontin use, she blamed herself, dove back into drugs, lost her daughter and checked into rehab. Fisher shares these struggles in a few sentences with little description or insight.

Not exactly electrifying reading.