Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How Many Wookiees Does It Take To Screw In A Light Bulb?

I'm kind of writing this post out of a sense of duty, I guess. I mean, I'm reading Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking, which is a memoir-type book that's actually based on her one woman show. So it's almost like reading a script, but not quite.

It's hard to judge this as a book. It's quite clearly a transcription of something spoken, and like a lot of things like this, it loses something in the translation. It's amazing how much a live performance can carry things you don't expect it to. Not just things like humor, though of course punch lines are funnier delivered out loud. But transitions--God, the transitions! Many parts of this just seem to be a string of almost entirely unrelated anecdotes. I really think those parts would play better in person, too--as though each one called the others to mind. You don't really need to understand the connection, if you see the actor making the connection.

What it comes down to, though, is that I don't think it's as funny as it's meant to be. Again, I think watching the performance would have been much better. But I feel like a tragicomedy has to be really comic to let me laugh through the tragedy. And, even though Carrie Fisher's life isn't actually that tragic, the right balance of comedy just isn't there.

I will say, though, that I'm totally going to read Postcards from the Edge now. So she's done at least something right.

1 comment:

JMLC said...

Ok, so I loved Postcards but it really felt like more of a novel with a bit of an autobio feel than anything else. And I actually got to see CF perform Whishful Drinking last year and she was fantastic- she looked great and it was so funny I cried due to laughing. That said, I'm not sure I'd be able to read it- even watching her perform it was clear that while the stories were related, it wasn't clear how, except maybe in her mind. If you get the chance, def. see it.