My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After reading Carrie Fisher’s Shockaholic, I’m amazed the world had her for as long as it did. I’ve read most of Carrie Fisher’s books, and although I’m always impressed with her turn of phrase, I’ve found her books never lived up to the sum of their parts. To my surprise, Shockaholic is probably one of my favourite books by her.
The first chapter confronts her mental illness head on as the title promises. However, the subsequent chapters are the most contemplative and soul-searchy of her oeuvre. She ruminates on the phenomena that was Michael Jackson and confronts her relationship with Elizabeth Taylor. Her description of her step-father is laugh-out-loud hilarious. The sections about Eddie Fisher are touching and heartbreaking.
The real surprise here, is how she contemplates her own mortality. Shocokaholic was published in 2011, but you get the sense that she knew was on borrowed time.
It’s sad that anyone who has felt like a “fuck up” in the eyes of their friends and families will no longer have Carrie Fisher to relate to anymore, however we can comfort ourselves knowing she learned to forgive herself and move on. Something we can all learn to do regardless of our mental health.