Monday, June 19, 2017

A Review of 'The Princess Diarist' by Carrie Fisher

Image result for the princess diarist"The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher's intimate, hilarious and revealing collection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved-- plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naivete, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized.  Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher's intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time-- and what developed behind the scenes.  And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty.  Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience."

One of my favorite memories growing up was watching Star Wars with my dad.  That's just something we did together because he loved it and so I fell in love with it too.  And of course, I fell in love with spunky Princess Leia.  This was a book I was excited for, and when my library said there was a digital copy available, I jumped at the chance to read it.

I thought it was really neat to read about behind the scenes happenings on the set of Star Wars.  It was weird to think that this was just a "small" film when it started, but I suppose even the biggest movie franchises start out as virtually unknown before they hit the big leagues.

I loved reading about Carrie when she was younger (around 19) and how she navigated such an atypical young adulthood.  It seems like she handled it with as much grace as a teenager can be expected to have.  But entering a world that's so filled with experienced adults is so much pressure and you're almost forced to become something you're not even though you know it's not authentic to who you are... I guess that's a familiar feeling to me at this point in my life.  On some level, I relate.

But my love for this book was sadly limited.  I thought too much time was devoted to the part of her life where she fell head over heels for Harrison Ford.  It started as juicy gossip, which was enjoyable at first, but... something felt like it was missing.  It felt lovesick because I think that's what the relationship ended up being.  The relationship felt very one-sided and physical.  So reading about this part of Carrie Fisher's life feeling like it should be a powerful and beautiful thing, however brief, fell flat for me.

What this book did accomplish for me was tempting me into reading other parts of Carrie Fisher's work.  Her prose was smart, funny, and easy to read while still remaining insightful.  So while I won't be buying a copy of this book for my own shelf (it's fine, I've got way too many books laying around my house anyway), I do look forward to reading more Carrie Fisher.

I give 'The Princess Diarist':

Thanks for Reading!


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