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Thursday, January 26, 2017

THE PRINCESS DIARIST (audiobook) by Carrie Fisher

A Review of the Audiobook

Published in November of 2016 by Penguin Audio
Read by Carrie Fisher and Billie Lourd
Duration: 5 hours, 10 minutes

Published just a few weeks before her death, Carrie Fisher's The Princess Diarist continues in her well-known tradition of tell-all books. This is my first Carrie Fisher book. If you have not read a book of hers before, be prepared for a frank and open discussion of just about anything that pops into her head. Every family has that older relative who means well but makes comments in front of the children that you just know will necessitate a subsequent discussion ("Why did Uncle Bob say...?). Carrie Fisher served that role in the world of Hollywood for many years.

The first half of the book is mostly devoted to the making of the original Star Wars movie, now known as Episode IV. There were a lot of factoids I had already heard or read before, but it was enjoyable listening to Carrie Fisher literally tell them again as she read her audiobook. She is frank about her family's struggles as she grew up and as I listened I was amazed.

A large part of the book is devoted to her on-set romance with the then-married Harrison Ford. She is kind to him and puts a lot of blame on herself being "the other woman" when her own childhood home was torn apart by a similar "other woman" scenario. 

She describes how this was her first real physical relationship and she took it much more seriously than Ford. Then, for reasons that I do not understand, she re-tells this story with an extensive series of poetry readings from her diaries that she wrote while onset 40 years ago. The poems aren't bad and you can easily follow along with her allusions because she had already so clearly described the relationship in prose just a few minutes earlier. But, I quickly lost interest in the poems because I had just listened to Fisher herself explain everything without all of the rhymes. In the audiobook version these poems are read by Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd.

The last section of the book is the most touching, especially considering Fisher's recent death. It is a tribute to all of the fans that come to see her at all of the conventions. She discusses how she really didn't want to do the conventions at first and then she moves on to talk about the fans. It starts out as commentary about some of the rather unique people you meet at conventions and moves on to becomes a long tribute to the importance of this film series to its fans. It is sad, warm and often very funny with lots of great accents. It is Carrie Fisher at her very best.

I rate this audiobook 4 stars out of 5.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: The Princess Diarist.

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