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Summary

"Narrator Saskia Maarleveld's enthusiasm makes Weller's exhaustive research as engaging as fiction." (AudioFile magazine)

A remarkably candid biography of the remarkably candid - and brilliant - Carrie Fisher

In her 2008 best seller, Girls Like Us, Sheila Weller - with heart and a profound feeling for the times - gave us a surprisingly intimate portrait of three icons: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. Now, she turns her focus to one of the most loved, brilliant, and iconoclastic women of our time: the actress, writer, daughter, and mother Carrie Fisher.

Weller traces Fisher’s life from her Hollywood royalty roots to her untimely and shattering death after Christmas 2016. Her mother was the spunky and adorable Debbie Reynolds; her father, the heartthrob crooner Eddie Fisher. When Eddie ran off with Elizabeth Taylor, the scandal thrust little Carrie Frances into a bizarre spotlight, gifting her with an irony and an aplomb that would resonate throughout her life.

We follow Fisher’s acting career, from her debut in Shampoo, the hit movie that defined mid-1970s Hollywood, to her seizing of the plum female role in Star Wars, which catapulted her to instant fame. We explore her long, complex relationship with Paul Simon and her relatively peaceful years with the talent agent Bryan Lourd. We witness her startling leap - on the heels of a near-fatal overdose - from actress to highly praised, best-selling author, the Dorothy Parker of her place and time.

Weller sympathetically reveals the conditions that Fisher lived with: serious bipolar disorder and an inherited drug addiction. Still, despite crises and overdoses, her life’s work - as an actor, a novelist and memoirist, a script doctor, a hostess, and a friend - was prodigious and unique. As one of her best friends said, "I almost wish the expression 'one of a kind' didn’t exist, because it applies to Carrie in a deeper way than it applies to others."

Sourced by friends, colleagues, and witnesses to all stages of Fisher’s life, Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge is an empathic and even-handed portrayal of a woman who - as Princess Leia, but mostly as herself - was a feminist heroine, one who died at a time when we need her blazing, healing honesty more than ever.

©2019 Sheila Weller (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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  • Brad
  • 24-12-19

Need a different narrator or director?

It’s like nails on a chalk board to hear so many famous names mispronounced! FAIRer for Ferrer? LolabriGODa for Lollobrigida? What the heck? Embarrassing. The book is good but have directors who know how names are pronounced or so the research. This isn’t the first title I’ve heard this with.
(Edited)I’ve now listened more and it’s all over the place. Mispronunciations of Warren Beatty, Richard Dreyfus, EST, Glenn Frey and so many others. I had to add more as she just prounounced Eurythmics as “youth-a-rhythmics”. Seriously. Get a director. Or if you’re reading a celebrity memoir someone who can pronounce pop culture names. The book is enjoyable but that’s an embarrassment.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Linda
  • 16-01-20

Great book

Another terrific book by Sheila Weller. Well written and researched.. My only complaint is about all the name and word mispronunciations by the narrator who is probably too young to know who the people are that are in the book. The best one which really made me laugh was how she pronounced Gina Lollobrigida's last name. It's too bad the producers don't provide phonetic guidelines to help the narrators.

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  • Pennypie
  • 23-11-19

Fantastic ... but

... the narrator has a lovely voice that seems right for the story but the constant mispronunciations were aggravating. Why would that have happened?!

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  • Shaun
  • 31-12-19

Terrific and flawed, just like Carrie.

The narrator’s odd pronunciations are distracting, as mentioned in other reviews. However, power through it. This was an incredibly honest look at a deeply flawed hero and I loved it.

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  • Michelle Westbrook
  • 22-04-20

god bless Carrie Fisher

was a fantastic book, I couldn't stop listening. I grew up watching Carrie Fisher and loved her, was very saddened when she passed.

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  • Helen Behar
  • 14-08-21

Carrie Fisher would turn in her grave.

The book is fine- the narrator can’t pronounce anything properly at all. She clearly has no knowledge of her subject- not names or any cultural references. It’s really cringe making to listen to her. Did anyone direct or edit this piece before it was released? Embarrassing.

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  • Bird Miller
  • 29-04-21

I learned so much

about the woman I kew as Leia. I grew up in the 60s so I had movie magazine photos of her parents and many other stars taped to my bedroom walls. This book is so relevant, kind, revealing and compassionate. I am so glad I listened.