Carrie Fisher’s memoir is based on her live stage show, and it’s not hard to tell. Her often funny tale of growing up in Hollywood and become a pop icon at nineteen has the rhythm of a stand-up routine, and it probably works better on stage than on page. That’s not to say it absolutely doesn’t work as a book, just that you can easily imagine it as a live performance and the main effect you’ll probably be left with is wishing you could have seen Fisher’s schtick live.
Carrie Fisher really has had an amazing and troubling life, and the material is certainly here for a thoughtful, reflective memoir, but this isn’t it. Pretty much everything is played for laughs, and the development is very non-linear, hopping from punchline to punchline. Still, it’s entertaining in a fluffy way (though sometimes it feels wrong to laugh at such tragic material, and this is one way in which I think being in Fisher’s actual presence, seeing her perform this live, would work better). You’ll read this quickly, so whether you like it or not, at least you won’t feel too much time has been wasted on it. If you want to get some real insight into the troubled and troubling celebrity lifestyle from someone who’s lived it, though, you might want to wait for a different book.