Friday, January 27, 2006

Crazy For Carrie!

Here's the part of Carrie Fisher's latest novel, The Best Awful, when she had me hook line and sinker; Suzanne Vale the semi-autobiographical lead character of the book (whom readers met in Fisher's Postcards From the Edge) is having a heated argument with her ex husband, Leland, over the telephone. Leland left Suzanne when he discovered that he was, in fact, gay, however he is putting the blame on Suzanne's drug use...and it goes like this:

After Leland had left - right after, when feelings were still high, with winds of hurt and pain storming out of her Cape Fear - he'd mentioned to Suzanne late one evening in a particularly blistering phone call that she might have turned him gay "By taking all that codeine again!" to which Suzanne replied tearfully, "Oh I'm sorry I hadn't read that part of the warning on the label! I thought it said heavy machinery not homosexuality! Here I could have been driving those big farmyard tractors all along!"...

...and off we go, from that point, on a crazed, manic joy ride with Suzanne as she takes a little holiday from mental stability by going off her prescribed medications so that she can rediscover her real self. And what a ride it is! Sexual escapades with a studio head as well as a Norwegian stud, being the life of the party (or so Suzanne thinks) at a swanky Hollywood soiree, becoming a gourmet chef, smashing her patio apart at two in the morning because she wants to change the look of it, and finally, an ill-fated trip south of the border with a nefarious tattoo artist to score some Oxycontin -- all told in a breathless, double and triple entendre laden narrative that makes the reader scramble through the pages, laughing at everything in spite of the mess Suzanne is making of her life.

I especially loved the fact that Suzanne has a name for her unmedicated, wild self. She calls her, "Lucrezia".

Even after the mania ends and Suzanne is institutionalized and she discovers that she is mentally ill, the tale is still a hoot. Fisher knows this subject matter as her reality and by fictionalizing it she uses her talent as a word-smith to every advantage. Never has going mad seemed like such a witty and fun-filled adventure as when it is described by Carrie Fisher!

I so enjoyed this trip down the rabbit hole with Princess Leia, that I hated to see it end (and it does end with a very surprising, yet somewhat happy ending).

The real fun of this book is to Google some information on Ms Fisher and her life and discover who Leland really is (you can do it!) as well as some of the book's other characters.

After I finished this novel, I thought, now why in the hell isn't Oprah raving over this book? It's a true story, fictionalized just enough to protect the innocent (and guilty I suppose) and is probably a hell of a lot more entertaining than that piece of crap James Frey wrote!

No comments: