The Best Awful by Carrie Fisher
Leading Lady Susanne Vale, a second string celebrity, goes on a whirl wind tour of psychotic behavior. I have to say my reading came with perfect timing. At night I would follow Susanne along the crazy path to Tijuana and during the day it was hard to escape Brittney’s custody battle. Susanne’s break down lands her in a mental hospital/rehab clinic. It’s not quite Clockwork Orange, but a milder version of Nurse Ratchet appears and apparently they’re still using electroshock therapy. Susanne leaves the hospital after her presence is leaked to a tabloid.
The book keeps a pretty good pace for most of Susanne’s adventure into crazy, which is nice considering the few optional endings: rehab or death. Once she’s hospitalized we know that Susanne’s starting out on the road to recovery. Fisher doesn’t wrap up Suzanne’s story with a happy ever, but she gives us enough to believe that Suzanne will be better off this time around. She’s got a few next steps in front of her (getting custody of her daughter and getting back to work) and we believe that she’s some how changed for the better.
Fisher’s wit keep this book a float. She has a strong narrative voice that can get in the way, but pulls the reader through some of the longer stream of conscious passages. I was disappointed with the amount of exposition in the book. Fisher spoon feeds her story to the reader, “ahhh look here’s a plane….vroooom.” When really, she’s got the talent to skip the internal exposition and just let Susanne run amok, leaving the readers to come to their own conclusions. Suzanne’s voice is full and rich, “If my life wasn’t funny, then it’d just be true, and that would be totally unacceptable.” I’d like her to do more of her own talking.
Fisher dishes Hollywood with the best of them, Susanne is just on of those characters we love to hate. Following in the tradition of The Ginger Man, Confederacy of Dunces, and Flava Flav. She is wildly irresponsible and just the right candidate for a reality show. It would be great to see her run around on her own feet.