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Shockaholic [Hardcover]

Carrie Fisher
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars As Funny as a Train Wreck Jan. 1 2012
By Carol Read TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Carrie Fisher is very funny and writes well, in snappy sentences that go down like potato chips. And the effect is about as healthy. I got tired of the one-liners about her show-business upbringing. In case you haven't heard, her mom was Debbie Reynolds and her dad was Eddie Fischer, a couple she calls the "Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt" of their generation. But hey, in this case, you can judge this book by its cover: Carrie's still working her Princess Leia/Star Wars schtick over three decades after the fact. So far, so great, if you're a fan. I'd give the book three stars if not for one problem: she advocates electroshock therapy. Hah, hah, she's had so many treatments she forgets her way to the dressing room while on set. Well, if you're not a famous writer/actress/Hollywood princess, I'd suggest you read "Doctors of Deception" if you're considering following Carrie down that path. There's nothing funny about electroshock, which causes a closed head injury that releases masses of endorphins (hence the temporary feelings of euphoria), damages short-term memory, and lasts only as long as the worst of its effects do, about six months. Oh, except that cognitive impairment and memory loss can be permanent. Seems to me that if someone's abused their brain chemistry with illegal drugs and alcohol, psychiatric drugs and electrocution are a big no. It's okay of readers think I'm a judgmental you-know-what for saying this. And no, I haven't had electroshock myself. It's just that I've known people who have been subjected to electroshock, and because they're not celebrities with photographers and book contracts and editors to make them look good, their stories of horror and loss aren't often heard.
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Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  58 reviews
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Michael Jackson, shock therapy, Jenny Craig mixed with humor.....who could resist? Nov. 3 2011
By K. Corn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review is based on the Kindle edition.

Reading a Carrie Fisher book is a wild trip indeed, full of stream of consciousness writing mixed with a strong dose of humor. The result? Revelations and opinions that are totally refreshing compared to so much tepid writing and so-called "confessions" out there.

Fisher can definitely NOT be described as tepid. Given the day and time she could be described as depressed or hyper, a loyal friend or a shopaholic. She fights to keep weight off and recently shed weight with the aid of (as Fisher puts it).." "my unexpected ship...the S.S. Jenny Craig." Yep, she used the Jenny Craig program in spite of the fact that she'd have to reveal her hefty body to the public before taking off the weight. Not an easy task.

But for me it is her unique humor that make her books, including Shockaholic, stand out from the crowd. Who else would write: "One could argue that by having regular ECT treatments, I'm paying two- that's right, two electric bills. One for the house and one for the head."

In between the humor are serious messages. Electroshock therapy may help when other depression treatments fail. Like so many others, Fisher was terrified to try it but it helped her immensely. With so many ashamed to admit that they struggle to remain semi-balanced and functioning, Shockaholic could take away some of the stigma.

Not that the book focuses only on electroshock treatments. Fisher doesn't avoid making fun of herself while sharing her views on a variety of topics. Michael Jackson. Elizabeth Taylor. The details of a wildly surreal conversation with Senator Kennedy. Memories of visiting Michael Jackson's Neverland estate.

In light of recent events (as of the book's publication), I found Fisher's info about Arnie Klein (Jackson's dermatologist) to be particularly intriguing. There is, in fact, a complete chapter on Michael Jackson and his super celebrity status as well as Fisher's experiences with Klein.

You never know what you'll find between the covers of a book written by Carrie Fisher. I always feel inspired as well as entertained by her writing. By her own admission, writing is therapeutic for her....and readers are the lucky recipients of some of that writing.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carrie Fisher wows me yet again Nov. 4 2011
By Annie B - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I absolutely love Carrie Fisher's books, so I was thrilled to find she had a new one out. She is one of the funniest, bravest women ever. Not just anyone would open up on the subject of "shock" therapy (ECT) and I don't think anyone else could make it funny. Fisher manages to do so though, while at the same time being informative and shining a new light on the whole ECT process.

There's a lot more to this book, though. She dishes on Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor, just to mention a few things. I felt I understood a lot of things much better. I also came to a much better understanding of just what a monster celebrity can be, especially when it robs people of their childhoods. Fisher's unflinching look into the world of fame, including her parents, is very enlightening.

And did I mention that she is funny?? She's hilarious! Fisher writes about really horrible issues and still manages to make them funny. She sure calls things as she sees them. Her humor may be off-putting to some readers, but I love her.

Overall, wonderful new memoir by a woman who has battled demons her whole life but has overcome them. A great, entertaining, informative read. I highly recommend it!!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars short but sweet Nov. 17 2011
By Nick Brett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Carrie Fisher, she of famous parents and Star Wars fame, has produced another short but engaging lump of memoirs. And by short I mean this is in the region of 160 pages and the print isn't small either. So you need to question the value for the price, but as to the content..

Ms Fisher has her daemons, but she remains articulate and witty with a sharp observational sense. She covers a number of different aspects in this, her shock therapy, Michael Jackson, Liz Taylor and her parents in the main, her style is self-depreciating and humorous and she doesn't hold back. She comes over very well as a warm, caring and aware person whose addiction and depression problems are not hidden and are put into context. You kind of think that time in her company would be a real pleasure (although she has memory problems relating to the on-going shock therapy and she may not remember it!).

So short but entertaining, the insight to Jackson (and his dentist!) was probably the most interesting along with her tale of a dinner with a very famous senator! A combined volume of all her biographical writing would probably be fascinating, but the short chunk approach leaves you wanting more and feeling slightly short-changed.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Small Treasure Nov. 8 2011
By joseph - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I really liked this book. I've read all but one of Carrie Fisher's books and I find her to be uproariously funny, terrifically smart, and adorably self-deprecating.
This book, told in her singular voice, is slight but packed with surprising emotion and feeling. Ranging from such disparate subjects as ECT (or "shock treatment"-hence the title), to Michael Jackson, to her complicated relationship with her father, Shockaholic is a quick, but greatly satisfying, read.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love her humor! Nov. 13 2011
By ThatGuy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
After watching her HBO special I really started to appreciate her sense of humor. I also love the fact that she makes fun of so many things that happened to her that would have make other people crawl into hole. Very funny with her usual darkness.
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