Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher (author), Carrie Fisher (narrator), Billie Lourd (narrator)

Penguin Audio, November 2016

This is Carrie Fisher's account of becoming Princess Leia, being Princess Leia, and how that affected her life, then and later. I had it marked down for reading or listening at some point, but it was quite recent, and I had other things on my list...

Who knew she would be gone from us so soon?

All that said, I think in this case, the audiobook is definitely the way to go. We get Carrie Fisher's story, not just in her own words, but in her own voice. Selections from the journal she kept during the months of filming Star Wars are also included, read by Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd, whose voice, at 24, is perhaps closer to Fisher's at the time she wrote them.

Carrie Fisher was just nineteen years old when she landed the role of Princess Leia in a low-budget space fantasy. It can be hard to remember either of those facts now--either that she was nineteen, or that it was a low-budget movie no one expected to be a hit. Certainly no one expected the kind of hit it became! When she was just barely an adult, and in some ways not very mature for her age, she was suddenly on an international stage. She talks honestly and insightfully about where she was then, how unprepared and uneducated she was (she had dropped out of high school in the eleventh grade), and how it affected her. She's honest about her mistakes, though she has also reached the point in life where you know it's pointless to be too hard on yourself.

She also talks about the later years, not in great detail overall, but about learning to be such a public person, and her interactions with the fans. She's wry and funny and ultimately kind there, too.

It's not a long book, just a bit over five hours in the audio version, but it's fun, and moving, and enlightening. I found a lot to connect with, here, and I treasure the fact that it is Carrie Fisher's own voice. With a very sweet, loving, devoted small dog of my own, I'd have loved to hear her talk more about her French bulldog, Gary, but that would have been way, way off topic for the focus of this book.

Highly recommended.

I bought this book.