Chris Ramos Ramos từ Glenavy, New Zealand
(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.