Book Review: The Princess Diarist

July 21st, 2019

Details from Audible:

The Princess Diarist

Narrated by: Carrie FisherBillie Lourd
Length: 5 hrs and 10 mins
 4.5 out of 5  (6,375 ratings)

Publisher's Summary

2018 GRAMMY® Award for Best Spoken Word Album 

The Princess Diarist is Carrie Fisher's intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.

PEOPLE magazine Best Book of Fall 2016

New York Times Best-seller  

Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi, featuring Carrie Fisher, is scheduled for release on December 15, 2017. Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds debuted on HBO in January 2017. 

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved - plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a teenager with an all-consuming crush on her costar, Harrison Ford. 

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher's intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time - and what developed behind the scenes. Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience. 

©2016 Carrie Fisher (P)2016 Penguin Audio

Initial Thoughts:

I have loved Star Wars since I was very little (as young as I can remember at least) and like all straight male geeks, had at one time or another fantasized about Princess Leia. That's no shock to most of the people reading this I'm sure but you might be surprised that this is the first book I listened to by Carrie Fisher. I know I'm late to the game but this was downloaded and this summer I got a chance to listen to it.

Main Points:

Carrie Fisher will always hold a special place in my heart for being Princess Leia. She was an excellent actress, has a great voice and does an amazing job narrating this book (with the help of her daughter Billie Lourd for one chapter). I enjoy lots of parts, I laughed a few times and am always intrigued by Star Wars trivia I didn't know, especially when it comes right from a person who was there. It's always a nice connection when you get to listen to a book about the author, read by the author. Billie Lourd has a lovely speaking voice and also does an excellent job on her chapter.

As often I won't get into details of the book, this one certainly focuses on Carrie's early days as Princess Leia, her thoughts on fandom, her feeling about show biz and ultimately her relationship with Princess Leia and her feelings on rejoining the Star Wars franchise in 2015.

I'll have to be honest, I know this puts me far in the minority but there were several times in this book where I was bored. I even considered not even finishing it but ultimately did keep going. Shocking I know! I think the big issue was there just wasn't a lot of material for this book (and I know there could have been much more, which is odd). What's here feels padded and stretched out. Carrie just dwells on moments for too long and has a tendency to over-explain lots of things.

Final Thoughts:

I did still enjoy this book but as I stated above there were parts where I really didn't. It does have a nice ending and leaves you with a nice feeling about Carrie, I think she was a great person and is a good writer, it's just how this was put together was the main problem. I certainly may give another one of Carrie's books a listen, just not for a while. I can only give this a 6 out of 10 and would only recommend to die-hard Star Wars/Carrie Fisher fans. It's certainly not long and you could easily get though it in a day. Lots of adult themes here (and a good helping of swearing), so ages 16+.