The Best Awful
By: Carrie Fisher
Paige’s Rating: (2) of 5 Stars
Recommended for: “Fiction” Readers
Suzanne Vale, the Hollywood actress has a problem: She’s had a child with someone who forgot to tell her he was gay. He forgot to tell her, and she forgot to notice. What’s worse, Suzanne’s not sure she has what it takes to be the best mother to her daughter, Honey. She can’t seem to shake the blues from losing Honey’s father, Leland, to Nick — the man who got the man who got away.
I got this book from a teacher friend of mine, who was actually Carrie’s assistant in Hollywood. In fact, the book I was reading was autographed by Carrie Fisher. So that’s cool and that is about where the coolness of this book ends.
The fact that Carrie Fisher tries to pull this off as a piece of fiction is hilarious. According to my friend, what she writes in this book is a description of her own life during the time he was working for her. The real plot of the book is not only how she adapts to life after her husband leaves her (for another man), but how she struggles with her bi-polar/manic depression disease and what results when she decides to go off her meds, knowing full well the repercussions. The plot is “creative” in the sense that no one could ever really come up with the situations she does, offering more proof that reality is stranger than fiction.
But what doesn’t work is the overall writing and mood of the book. Fisher is clearly sharp and sarcastic which I almost always enjoy and did enjoy in the first couple chapters of the book. But then her words and writing get really weighty. It’s like eating rich chocolate. A couple pieces are fantastic but then too much just makes you sick and vomit! The puns, one-liners and extended metaphors are used so often that one page can literally be only that and you find yourself drowning in muck, forgetting what the hell her original thought was.
Finally, the mood is accurately bi-polar and manic depressive: yes there is a good combination for you. It’s insightful but it also takes a toll mentally while you read. In addition, her depression sometimes comes off as whiny and unfounded. And her reactions seem childish, especially when you consider she has a child. “She doesn’t know what it takes to be a good mother to Honey.” Yeah, she doesn’t know because she is too self-absorbed to think about her child until she really messes up.
Overall, this was one of the Worst-Awful books I have read in awhile, next to The Road. So I recommend people skip it!