Read The Best Awful by Carrie Fisher Online

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This sequel to the bestselling Postcards from the Edge contains Carrie's Fisher's trademark intelligence and wit that brought Postcards to the Hollywood movie screen.When we left Suzanne Vale at the end of Carrie Fisher's bestselling Postcards from the Edge, she had survived drug abuse, rehab, and Hollywood celebrity. The Best Awful takes Suzanne back to the edge with a nThis sequel to the bestselling Postcards from the Edge contains Carrie's Fisher's trademark intelligence and wit that brought Postcards to the Hollywood movie screen.When we left Suzanne Vale at the end of Carrie Fisher's bestselling Postcards from the Edge, she had survived drug abuse, rehab, and Hollywood celebrity. The Best Awful takes Suzanne back to the edge with a new set of troubles--not the least of which is that her studio executive husband turned out to be gay and has left her for a man.Lonely for a man herself, Suzanne decides that her medication is cramping her style, and she goes off her meds--with disastrous results. The "manic" side of the illness convinces her it would be a good idea to get a tattoo, cut off her hair, and head to Mexico with a burly ex-con and a stash of OxyContin. As she wakes up in Tijuana, the "depressive" side kicks in, leading Suzanne through a series of surreal psychotic episodes before landing her in a mental hospital. With the help of her movie star mom, a circle of friends, and even her ex-husband, she begins the long journey back to sanity.The Best Awful is by turns highly comic and darkly tragic, a roller-coaster ride through the dizzying highs and crushing lows of manic depression, delivered with fast and furious wit....

Title : The Best Awful
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743269308
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Best Awful Reviews

  • Matt
    2018-12-27 17:42

    In her follow-up 'novel', Fisher continues this quasi-biographical story about Suzanne Vale. In this piece, Vale seems to have come to the horrible realisation that the man who got her pregnant has since had the sexual epiphany that he is gay. Struggling with this, Vale tries to put it all into perspective while bemoaning the offspring of a dual-celebrity relationship and the issues that are sure to be bestowed on her daughter, Honey. While Vale tries to come to terms with these new realities, she begins a carefree life that sees her trying to better understand this major change. What follows is a series of events that leave the reader with ringside tickets to the slow and constant spiral of an addict still incapable of handling the hard pitches that life seems to throw. Fisher still seems happy to amass a scattering of thoughts in veiled fiction form, with strong parallels to her own life. While a decent wordsmith, Fisher may have wanted to move away from the smarmy life she lived and choose a new avenue.I respect that everyone has their life and that an author ought to write about what they know best. That said, writing quality is a major factor in producing a decent piece of fiction (and one would hope non-fiction as well). This remained more of a train wreck than the first 'novel' in the series and I can only be thankful that there will be no others. The difficulties of a Hollywood star bleed through the pages of this book, though it is as though Fisher wants to excuse the behaviour that comes with the pressure of life under the microscope. I am not prepared to give her a pass, even as she has passed on, and blow rainbows into this review for something that was less than mediocre. Vale proves to be even more vapid than the first story and offers little of insight or entertainment for the reader, save her running off the rails when things get a little difficult. Another story with few characters of interest and where most were lacklustre. Again the search for a plot turns up less than the manner Jabba the Hutt might have shown on a good day. Fisher again tries to tell a monologue of her life, though does not stick with the short memoirs that she has released. This is by no means the best of anything, but it was awful.Shameful, Madam Fisher that you would continue to offer up such fictional drivel. Thank god you know how to write or this would have been the hottest mess I have come across in a long time. Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/

  • Maggie
    2019-01-03 14:33

    I really tried to like this book. I want to like Carrie Fisher's work. She seems like an incredibly kickass person, the sort of aunt you would want on your side when your mother is being completely unreasonable about your choice of boyfriend or when you find yourself alone and crying on a bus.It seems that Fisher writes a novel after surviving incredibly traumatic of difficult periods in her life. Postcards from the Edge, which is excellent, details her first trip into rehab. Surrender the Pink documents her break up with Paul Simon (who becomes an anal and genius playwright instead of an anal and genius songwriter). The Best Awful takes on Carrie's experience not only with her diagnosed bipolar disorder* but also the fact that her husband has left her... for another man.There are flashing moments of brilliance in this work which brings back Suzanne Vale, our heroine from Postcards.... There's Thor, the Serbian and way too young for her boyfriend, her delightfully precocious and witty daughter Honey, and Craig, who gets her out of every jam. Yet the work as a whole somehow falls short. Her musings on being bipolar and her moods (which is touched on in Surrender The Pink as well) are caught between candid honesty and a sugary coating of humor. I can see the necessity of tempering and balancing the pain with fun, but it's not as effective this time around. Fisher almost seems to be trying too hard to get this work out of her, to cover up the autobiographical elements. And, as I reader who is vaguely aware of the world, I find this a bit difficult to take in. I'm left wondering, especially at the end, just what is real and what isn't and really, does that matter at all? I want to find Suzanne/Carrie and sit down and make sure that they're okay, really okay, despite the "happy ending". That feeling bumped the review up an additional star - if you seduce me into worrying about your character, you've got to be doing something right.It's worth a read if you enjoyed Postcards from the Edge, just to see where Vale wound up, or if your a fan of Carrie Fisher. I somehow feel a close connection to this woman and want something more for her, something better than this novel seems to suggest (both in topic and in execution).*If you're British and can order it or American and can find it on YouTube, Fisher was recently featured in Stephen Fry's The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. Both her interview and the work as a whole is informative, moving, and generally amazing.

  • Carolee
    2018-12-22 14:43

    "Like many people when they were manic, she imagined that everything she said was both riveting and worthy of note, and endlessly served up large pieces of her distorted mind. She possessed all the intensity and energy that generally came with intellect, only in her case, those characteristics came hopelessly alone." pg 220. Perhaps THE best insight into Carrie Fisher [Vanity Fair heralded her as "one of our most painfully hilarious correspondents from the edge of sanity"] I suspect this book is even MORE autobiographical than 'Postcards' - she describes manic like a first-class passenger ... Now, I should have typed that last word as passanger as a tribute to her clever writing! Never a dull momentos from her trip ... a soliloquy through sanity. Loved it!

  • Snotchocheez
    2018-12-21 11:20

    (1 star for the first half of the book; 4 stars for the way-too-real account of the downward spiral into the abyss; 1 star for the ridiculous Hollywood Ending = 2 Stars total)Oh, Carrie Fisher, the stories you could tell! (if only you could construct a coherent sentence, or refrain from jokey aphorisms that simply aren't funny or out of context). Of all of Hollywoodland, the one person I've always wanted to meet, who'd seemed the most free of pretention and disaffectedness, who'd be most apt to be down-to-earth and willing to hobnob with the hoi polloi, is Carrie Fisher. Each time I'd seen her on a talk show, recounting her battles with addiction and relating her wacked-out childhood with Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, I'd marvel at her resiliency and her intact sense of humor.Along came "Postcards From the Edge" (whence the publicity talk-show circuit tours) and the acclaim that came with the movie adaptation of it (which I didn't have a chance to see...or read), and Carrie decided that her exercise in catharsis via writing a thinly-veiled fictional account of hers and other Hollywood-babies' lives was not yet complete, so along comes the unfortunately-titled sequel "The Best Awful" (it's a title! it's a ready-made review headline! Woohoo!) which, quite honestly, is pretty damn awful (and i'm not talking about the best kind, either.Her protagonist, Suzanne Vale, who evidently doggone-near lost her marbles in the first book, reprises her role as Hollywood Baby-cum-sometime-starlet, although this time her trigger is her husband turning gay on her a few years after the birth of her daughter. She kinda floats along wafting in a sea of Hollywood Despair, fueled by antidepressants and dinner parties and encroaching menopause. Suzanne is insufferably glib, totally unfunny, and Carrie's account of Ms. Vale's vapid, superficial, whiny nature is all-but-unreadable. (Although in retrospect, maybe that was Carrie's intention). She wafts from dinner party to dinner party, from friend to friend bemoaning her condition as a "fag widow", grousing about her single mother-hood and her dearth of potential replacements for said newly-gay ex. Only when Suzanne decides to stop taking her antidepressants and has a severe manic episode that leads her to the loony bin is when the story finally takes flight (about mid-way through). Evidently Carrie KNOWS what it's like to go off one's meds and go totally nuts, or she wrote this whilst in the middle of a manic episode herself, because she TOTALLY NAiLS the frenetic aimless frenzy Ms. Vale experiences as she slides unknowingly to her psychological demise. It almost makes up for the 150+ pages of vapidity that precedes the manic attack, but a groan-worthy Hollywood Ending undermines Carrie's best intentions. I'm presuming (given what little I know of its better received prequel) you'd be better off reading that and skipping this rather insipid retread.

  • ElphaReads
    2019-01-18 13:45

    When Carrie Fisher tragically passed away at the end of 2016, I, like many, was pretty torn up about it. I loved her in everything she was in, and I loved that we had such a spirited and candid mental health advocate in the spotlight to be honest and open about her struggles. I truly believe that her activism did a lot when it comes to de-stigmatizing mental illness, and while we have a long way to go, Fisher did much good. She is also a whip smart and funny as hell writer, working as both a script doctor (she pretty much wrote THE WEDDING SINGER, guys, how cool) and an author. I decided that I wanted to read one of her books in her memory. I went with THE BEST AWFUL, the sequel to POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE. Because someone I thought a lot about after her death was her daughter, Billie. Susanna Lowe has moved past her time in POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE. She got married to a director named Leland and had a beautiful baby daughter with him, whom they named Honey. But then Leland... came out. And left her for another man. Susanna has been raising Honey alone, trying to keep her life together for the sake of her daughter. But pressures and stress push her to stop taking her medication for bipolar disorder. And then she starts to fall into a manic episode, while those around her look on, somewhat helplessly. Susanna's love for her daughter is what gets her through, in this novel that is 'based on a truant's story'.So while it's a novel, much like POSTCARDS, THE BEST AWFUL clearly takes a lot of inspiration from Fisher's life. Fisher was always open about her struggles with bipolar disorder and what it could lead her to do, and so reading this book, while wickedly funny, was kind of hard. My gosh, if these are things that actually happened to Fisher, she was far braver and stronger than I ever gave her credit for. The best parts for me were the scenes between Susanna and Honey (based on Billie, I'd imagine), Susanna and her mother, and Susanna and her close friend Craig (I'm not certain and it's probably not right, but is he partially based on Mark Hamill? I hope so). This book is also very hard at times, like I said, because Susanna finds herself in dangerous and upsetting situations, be in lost in a manic (and violent) cloud in Tiajuana, or being found unconscious. Damn. I love how Fisher was just so real and honest about this stuff, and I also like that she sees some of her own absurdity and can laugh at herself when she feels like it. This book was melancholy to read, but I'm very glad that I did. I am going to miss Carrie Fisher so much.

  • Wendy Eastman link
    2018-12-31 12:28

    Having experienced bipolar first hand, I saw myself in this book. At one point I had to stop because the way she described being manic, the experience it was almost too realistic. When Carrie Fisher wrote this book I found it to be very close to her own life. I didn't know she had "it". Truth is stranger than fiction. There was a lot of strange truth in these pages. Who else do you know wakes up to find a dead man in their bed? And that ain't all folks. It's a carnival of mental illness, booze, drugs, and a little coming of age thrown in. It's a great read.

  • Ashley
    2019-01-07 14:30

    I listened to this on Audio books, and it was just boring. To me, there really wasn't any type of actual story. Blah blah blah, she's bipolar, she's depressed, she nearly kills herself, she goes into rehab. I have enough depressing things in life to think about. I don't need a book to follow the same lines. This was due back on the 20th, and I didn't even finish the last cd. I never do that. It was just horrible.

  • Jackballoon
    2019-01-06 18:34

    This book is very depressing, revealing what addicts and mentally ill people go through. And i'm guessing many addicts are mentally ill. its very hard to comprehend, but makes me realize that whatever is wrong with my life is not nearly as bad as it could be.

  • Sean Kennedy
    2019-01-15 15:31

    This is a sequel more to the movie of "Postcards From the Edge" than the book. It makes for a disjointed read when the two books are read in conjunction as the two worlds never seem to meld that cohesively. The ending also seems rather tacked on and more like a wish fulfillment than an earned arc.However, the middle section where Suzanne goes off her medication is brilliant - an exceptional piece of writing. We see Suzanne's behaviour become erratic while she is totally oblivious to it. It is subtle and clever as Suzanne becomes an even more unreliable narrator while she remains steadfastly confident in the fucked-up things she is doing.It's a shame the book feels like two stories struggling as one - but maybe that's an apt reflection of Suzanne's journey itself.Even when Fisher's work isn't her best, there is still so much good in it. Her talent is sorely missed.

  • Kate
    2018-12-26 19:28

    My love for Carrie Fisher is well documented, and after reading all four of her novels this year, I would say justified. Completely justified. This book picks up maybe a decade after Postcards from the Edge and like all of Fisher's novels, the lines blur between fiction and her real life experiences. It almost seems as if she's the kind of person writing "I have a friend with a problem, and this friend suffers from addiction and mental disorders," and you're kind of left going, well, Carrie, tell your 'friend'.... So Carrie, tell Suzanne that we love her and we want her to be happy and healthy and that we are all so grateful that you're getting the help you need. It can't be easy, at least, judging from Suzanne's experiences in this book. But we love you and are proud of you.

  • Stacy LeVine
    2018-12-23 12:39

    This is the sequel to Postcards from the Edge. The focus of Postcards is rehab and readjustment post-rehab. The focus of this book is having a daughter with a gay man (which, of course, Carrie does have with probably the most powerful gay man in Hollywood) and on bi-polar episodes. I don't even want to go into all the reasons why this book speaks to me very deeply! I think this one may be even better than Postcards. The ongoing tale of "Suzanne Vale" (read: Carrie Fisher) spun, as always, with ingenious wordplay. Highly recommended!

  • Mary Montgomery
    2019-01-02 13:24

    This woman is the best wordsmith I've ever encountered, and I've read a lot. Sometimes I just had to read phrases over a few times and even out loud to grok the fullness. She is amazing.It was rather hard to read the parts about mental illness, but I think she described it very well. I am now reading everything she ever wrote, and wish I had encountered her earlier.

  • Teesa
    2018-12-22 13:42

    I've been a longtime fan, just getting around to reading her books. I always wanted to write like her painting scenes with words. I enjoy this slice of her life and admire her courage to write about it.

  • Charly
    2019-01-02 13:15

    I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. I think it is a hard read, at least for me. There was too much of my child dancing through the pages. I loved it and I hated it. It is a very real look at bi-polar from the patient's point of view. It enlightened me and it terrified me.

  • Val
    2018-12-24 19:45

    Carrie Fisher is extremely self-aware -- she knows she tries too hard. But she couldn't see that this book is terribly flawed because of this.

  • Ashleigh
    2019-01-18 16:41

    So I love Carrie Fisher. I'm a huge fan of hers but not so much a Star Wars fan (sorry). For a few years now, I have looked up to Carrie. She was an inspiration to all those who have battled with mental health issues or drug addictions, as she managed to battle her own conflicts with humour and frankness. I have suffered with mental health issues for quite a few years now, and Miss Fisher has definitely been a beacon of light in some of those tough times. When I found out that Carrie had unfortunately passed away last year, along with her mother Debbie Reynolds, I was heartbroken. So when I came across this book on Audible, narrated by the woman herself, I had to have it. (Side note: Postcards from the Edge was not available on UK's Audible so I shamefully have not read the first book yet, moving on). Reading the description, I knew this book would be great. And it was, for the most part. I almost considered DNF'ing somewhere in the middle, but the dry humour was enough to keep me listening. Overall, a really funny story.

  • Terri Suda
    2019-01-15 13:32

    Because I can never get enough of Carrie Fisher, her voice, her wit and humor, her honesty. Laugh out loud, yet cringe worthy and a bit heart breaking. Loved audio version via Hoopla, read by the author.

  • Tracy Collier
    2019-01-03 12:38

    Read by the author, I enjoyed it as much or more than I would had I read it. So much of Carrie Fisher's life is between the lines or right out in the open as she details her main character. Well written and tragically funny. I will likely read more of her books.

  • Enchantressdebbicat ☮
    2019-01-19 12:31

    It's 5 stars because Carrie Fisher is gone and I hate that. I started this before Christmas - before she left this world too soon. She is hysterically funny in this continuing story of what happened to Suzanne from Postcards From the Edge. That is all for tonight. I miss her.

  • Martin
    2018-12-20 12:26

    I keep reading Carrie Fisher because she occasionally makes devastating (and funny) observations about herself -- or, I mean, her protagonists. I loved "Postcards from the Edge" and gave numerous copies to friends when they were getting sober in their 20s (none of my friends seem to be getting sober anymore, nor have the sober ones entirely stuck with it). "Surrender the Pink" was the novel I identified most with, although the writing was usually quite flimsy, like it was a treatment for a film that was never made. "The Best Awful" feels like the most completely realized novel of Fisher's, but she has a problem with endings. How to end a conversation, a scene, or an entire novel -- in her otherwise capable hands, these endings are clunky at best, and at worst are platitudes repeated twice with a character's nodding emphasis. I have no way of knowing, but the story appears to be her most thinly veiled (or should I say 'Valed'?) autobiography yet. Sometimes I felt sorry not for Suzanne Vale but for Carrie Fisher for having gone through such a rough break. As the novel begins, I had a difficult time imagining someone other than Carrie Fisher in the lead role. But as soon as Suzanne decides to go off her meds in order to set loose her more lively self (named for Lucretia Borgia) to entice her young lover, I could recognize this as the Suzanne Vale I had known before, either in the book or the film of "Postcards". As underwhelming as the book became once Suzanne gets herself back together, I would love to see a film adaptation with Meryl Streep, who would have such fun with the material. I can't say I'd recommend this novel, but it could possibly make good pool/beach/vacation reading.

  • Summer
    2018-12-21 12:22

    This is the 2nd Carrie Fisher book I've read, and she just blows me away. She has this chilling ability to write exactly what I'm thinking. She is brilliantly sharp, witty, entertaining, and incredibly, incredibly deep. I want to take a highlighter to her books. This book is dark, and moving, and makes me want to give her a hug. She is an extraordinary person, and I highly recommend anything she has ever written, because even a lackluster Carrie Fisher novel (if it even exists), is better than almost anything else. I listened to the audio book, and by the end of it, I felt like she and I were friends, and she had just told me these crazy brave stories from her life. The only downside is that I kept picturing the protagonist as Princess Leia while I listened, which was an odd image, considering the material!

  • Lee Anne
    2019-01-19 15:43

    I waited 12 years for this book to come out in mass market paperback, so that it would match the other Carrie Fisher mass markets I had in my bookcase, and it never did, so I finally bought it in hardcover on the cheap.Fisher, much like fellow addict and Hollywood perennial Robert Downey Jr., is too clever by half, and her writing suffers for it. This roman a clef, a sequel to Postcards From the Edge, is so painfully, forcedly witty that it took me weeks to finish when it should have taken me days.And yet, and yet...it's Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia and Marie from "When Harry Met Sally," so I'll always have a tortured love for her, and read anything she does.Unless you feel the same, you can leave this in the remainder bin.

  • Debra Komar
    2019-01-03 17:16

    I'm all for "writing books as therapy" but Carrie Fisher takes it to a whole new level. "Wishful Drinking" was good - "The Best Awful" is at best ok, at worse unreadable. The problem is a complete absence of plot. The characters are not new. The protagonist is Susanne Vale, star of "Postcards from the Edge." She marries a gay man and has a kid. Things fall apart. That's about it. The rest is just Carrie Fisher's usual word play and endless navel gazing. Sometimes it works, mostly it doesn't. Its hard to care after a while. Many writers have made mental illness fascinating, and I don't mind Fisher's attempts to make it funny, but there needs to be a narrative thread holding it together.

  • Becky
    2018-12-25 12:19

    Just read this over the summer and really got into it. As always (I've read all her books), Carrie Fisher's biting humor and wordplay make for a fun and fast read. There is a section in the middle where the main character's mental health goes awry, and that part became very annoying to me. I understand it was probably supposed to, as the the character was becoming more and more obnoxious, but I'm not very tolerant of people like that. Still, I hung in there and was pleased with where the book ended up taking me. And even though that section was annoying, it gave me an interesting and accurate inside view of manic depression that deepened my understanding of the condition. I totally recommend this book.

  • Kathryn
    2019-01-12 19:28

    From what I recall of Postcards From the Edge, the preceding book, that story seemed more disjointed but it worked. Postcards the book is way different from the movie, there are characters who didn't make it to the screen, and Awful, while it flows faster (manic) sometimes feels like it's trying to hard. Humor becomes more of a defense mechanism, and I get the impression Carrie/Suzanne tries too hard to use it. Everything becomes a pun when it doesn't has to. But there are some great stretches in this one - a spontaneous trip to Tijuana that turns scary, for example.I do like this better than I did Carrie's last two memoirs, though. Surrender the Pink remains my top pick of hers.

  • Kend
    2019-01-10 19:31

    Is this a literary masterpiece? Who cares? I really needed Carrie Fisher to have a happy ending, on her own terms, and this semi-quasi-autobiographical novel gives her one. There's no resenting that. And in terms of style, well, sometimes her wit borders on dark genius, and sometimes it feels like pulling teeth. And if that feels uneven, so too does living on the inside of a mental disorder gone full-on illness. This book evokes the manic well and the depressive lucidly, which strikes me as a touch brilliant and also deeply uncomfortable to someone on the mental disorder spectrum like I am myself. I'm a stern grader, yes, but I'm still grateful this book exists for many reasons.

  • Cathy Kutz
    2019-01-19 17:25

    A sequel to 'Postcards From The Edge' that felt mildly disappointing. Suzanne is now divorced from a guy that became gay and that she has a daughter with. In order to become a more 'fun' parent she begins going back to her old ways of doing drugs. She stops taking her bi-polar meds and winds up spending time in a mental hospital. After getting out she and Leland, the gay guy who left her, end up getting back together. Really? He magically went back to being straight for her? I'm not buying it, as well as how fast she managed to recover and get out of the mental ward.

  • Ladyslott
    2018-12-27 12:25

    I enjoyed Carrie Fisher's Postcards from the Edge, a thinly veiled story of her own struggles with drugs and alcohol. This book continues the story of Suzanne Vale, and her struggle with a diagnosis of manic depression. When Suzanne decides to go off her meds she spirals down into a psychotic episode and ultimately ends up in a mental hospital. Carrie Fisher’s writing is sharp and funny with splashes of brilliant phrasing. Although Suzanne’s descent into madness is scary, the sharp writing made this an enjoyable read. A tale of survival laced with scathing views of Hollywood life.

  • Linda
    2019-01-13 12:18

    It started out funny and a bit silly. It progressed, as did her mental illness, to something serious and frightening. She comes out the other side but this is an interesting tale that delves inside the head of a manic depressive. It is a fast read. It does seem that it is very autobiographical but I don't know all of Carrie Fisher's story to tell fiction from reality. Made it even more fascinating.

  • Kathleen
    2019-01-04 12:32

    A good and funny story, well told. I've seen this illness stomping on a loved one, it's so difficult to deal with because the person feels so almighty wonderful, when up, that they feel that the meds that keep them level are sucking away all their joy in life and selfhood. The downs are so immobilizing and crushing that nothing constructive or creative can be accomplished, and nothing matters anyway.