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Cheaper by the Dozen
Frank B. Gilbreth Jr., Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

Wishful Drinking

Wishful Drinking - Carrie Fisher I really, really wanted to enjoy this book. I wanted to laugh until tears were coming down my face. I wanted to, but I didn't. I chuckled a few times, laughed out loud once or twice.

I saw some clips of Carrie Fisher's one woman show (from which this book is drawn), and found it laugh-out-loud funny. So I had high hopes for the book.

It could have been really, really funny. She's a very witty person, and she had some great material (just her parents' story alone is enough for a pretty funny book), but she squandered it in this book.

Basically, my impression of the book is that it's more or less a transcript of the show. There wasn't much care or effort put into transforming the material into something book-like. And that's a crying shame because, with a little more care and a little more work, the stories could have been fleshed out into a truly funny, sometimes sad, sometimes crazy book.

I'm imagining what a wordsmith like David Sedaris would do with this book, at least the Sedaris of 13 years ago. His ability to craft sentences and paragraphs draws the hilarious and the poignant into close proximity, which is what a book like Fisher's needs.

She's talking about her strange Hollywood family, Star Wars, her bipolar disorder, her broken relationships, her addictions: poignant mixed with hilarious is exactly what is called for.

Instead, we get a few really good one-liners, which are obviously from Fisher's live show. My favorite was: "I don't have a problem with drugs so much as a I have a problem with sobriety." Good stuff.

I wish it could have been carried throughout the book.