Monday, 10 April 2017

Reading Challenge: An Audiobook

I listened to this mainly on walks to and from work, borrowed from my local library through their free digital download service. Every now and then I would let out a snort of laughter or find myself grinning like an idiot at a particularly entertaining turn of phrase.

Being autobiographical, this book doesn’t have a story arc as such. It felt like two parts to me. The first related to Carrie’s time filming the first Star Wars film, specifically around her relationship with Harrison Ford. The second part is more about Carrie’s later life and how playing the role of Princess Leia continued to have an impact through the decades. Most of the book is written from the viewpoint of the age at which she composed the book, observations coloured by the experience of life. About halfway through there is a section read by a different reader, a young woman, as sections of Carrie Fisher’s Star Wars diary are read out.

I would not recommend this book to those who love the minutiae of SW and would expect Carrie’s diary to be full of titbits about the director, the other actors, the special effects etc. The diary is focussed on Carrie’s affair with Harrison and the emotional turmoil that this threw up. I’ll be honest, I found this part of the audiobook the dullest. Constant circles going round and round. I much preferred old Carrie with her amusing and cynical take on things than the earnest and self-absorbed voice from the diary.

This book also does not go into salacious details about the intimate side of the affair so if you were hoping for something juicy look elsewhere. Her focus is more on an analysis of herself at that time and how she responded to and was influenced by this relationship going on at this particular time in her life. One of the images that struck me was the one where she says that when they kissed, he was kissing all the potential Carries that she carried, all the roles she had yet to take on; and she was kissing all the potential Harrisons. I have not lifted that word for word – the author put it far more eloquently than me!

The second part of the book flits here and there. She talks about how she considers signing at conventions as ‘lap-dancing’ – pleasing the crowd for her income. She repeats conversations she has had with fans, which can often take a turn for the surreal very quickly. There is gratitude for the role she had the opportunity to play – and there is sadness for the listener/reader when she talks of being involved in Star Wars films to come when we know that won’t be happening now. This is a woman who has learnt a lot of lessons during her time on Earth and I found The Princess Diarist to be an amusing and hopeful audiobook I would recommend to people.

The audiobook is somewhere between 5-6 hours, which makes it easy to slot in here and there - or polish off on your walk home in a couple of weeks.

7 out of 10 Star Wars hairpieces

Are you undertaking the #popsugarreadingchallenge?

Other books I'd recommend under the audiobook category:

Pretty much listed here, under a previous post on my favourite audiobooks.

Are you mixing reading with listening to audiobooks to make sure you get the 40/52 books done in a year? These are other categories in the Reading Challenge this audiobook could apply to:

A book about an interesting woman
A book written by someone you admire

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