Saturday, March 31, 2012

Two Too Funny Memoirs

Thirty-two hours of any audiobook, much less one that includes "once-in-a-lifetime romantic passion and graphically depicted torture sessions" - as Kirkus Reviews described the two extremes of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander - would have been enough for me to seek out Wishful Drinking as my next choice of audiobook. Fortunately Carrie Fisher's laugh-out-loud memoir is also very short. Possibly because she had electroshock therapy that wiped out a lot of her memory. Seriously.

Wishful Drinking is based on the one-woman show of the same name, so it is more like theater than a book, especially if you listen to the audiobook. Carrie Fisher (a.k.a. the actress who played Princess Leia in Star Wars and the author of Postcards from the Edge) tells funny anecdotes about her mother Debbie Reynolds, her own "in-bred Hollywood" upbringing and her bouts with bipolar disorder and substance abuse. The chapter on Star Wars is truly hilarious.

Wishful Drinking is the kind of book David Sedaris fans would like. If you're not in that camp, try I Love You, Miss Huddleston: and Other Inappropriate Longings From My Indiana Childhood by Philip Gulley instead. The son of a bug spray salesman who also sells its byproduct aftershave, Gulley writes about growing up in a small town whose main export was mice. I was reminded, in a good way, of Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid - also a memoir of childhood - and In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd - a novel, but set in small town Indiana like ILYMH.


Anne said...

Ellen, thanks for the recommendations; I'll put them on my 'to-read'list. I love funny memoirs. Several of Bill Bryson's books are memoirs. 'Notes from a Small Island' is about his time in the UK and is laugh-out-loud funny too.

Anne said...
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