In her newest memoir, Carrie Fisher pierces through the façade and zeroes in on the main issues about life, love, celebrity, and mental illness. And she does it with that famous humor that certainly speaks to the healthy benefits of laughter.

From her drug-imbibing days to her recent journey into ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy), Fisher manages to make everything about what might be considered a disastrous kind of life, with all the side-effects of fame, parental abandonment, and well, mental illness, and turn it into a joyous celebration of the nuggets of wisdom one can gain while traveling the dark side.

She shares thoughts, memories, and laughs about the dearth of her short-term memory after her ECT; and just when you start to feel a little sad for her, she segues into the wonders of her relationship with her father, at long last. During his dying years, and when she actually parented him, she discovered that giving him what she wished he’d given her led to a rich and wonderfully blessed reunion. I like how she phrases it in this excerpt:

“To parent my parent was the pathway to my relationship with Eddie Fisher, my old Pa-pa. Enough of a relationship to where I miss him now. A lot. And I miss him in a very different way than how I missed him throughout my childhood.

“Then I missed the idea of him. Now I miss the man—my dad.”

Shockaholic is a wonderful foray into Fisher’s interior world, for which I’m giving five stars.

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