It’s a shame, really, that Carrie Fisher decided to follow up her wildly successful memoir Wishful Drinking (which I have read, adored, and reviewed) with this book. It was like following up a Rembrandt retrospective with finger-paintings from the local kindergarten. Sure, the parents are proud, but everyone else is immensely disappointed at the mediocrity.
(I wonder, though, if Debbie Reynolds could even be proud of this book…)
I mentioned in my review of Wishful Drinking that Fisher had undergone electroshock therapy (ECT), which helped with her severe bipolar disorder, but also left her with rather gaping holes in her memory. Shockaholic was her attempt to document some of the moments in her life that have already been whittled away by the ECT in spits and spurts, before the memories are completely eradicated.
To be honest, a lot of the memories she decided to write about aren’t really ones worth salvaging…or at least not worth putting down in a book you intend to sell people. It’s a lot of “Hey, here’s another half-remembered moment that shows how awesome I think I am” or “Here’s a snippet of memory about some of the cool people I’ve interacted with” or “Hey, I remember spending time with Michael Jackson, so I’m going to exploit that memory while it’s still here.”
Not only was this a painful exercise in self-aggrandizement, but it also completely lacked the glorious humor and wit that I have so often loved about Fisher’s writings and performances. If these are further victims of her ongoing ECT sessions, it’s a sad, sad day, indeed.
Final Verdict: The only reasons I finished this book were: A) The font was massive, so it was a really quick read; and B) I kept hoping, hoping, hoping that it would get better (instead, it got worse…SPOILERS!). Back to the library. No chance of adding this to my personal collection.