I grew up a massive fan of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. From Star Wars to Halloween Town to The Unsinkable Molly Brown to Singing in the Rain, this mother and daughter duo were a big part of my childhood. And in 2016 when they both died a mere two days apart, I was sad along with most of America. However, outside of their movies, I have never read any of their autobiographies or researched their personal history.
So, when I saw this book coming out, which is written by Todd Fisher—Carrie Fisher’s younger brother and Debbie Reynolds’s son—I read it out of curiosity. I tend to avoid like wildfire most Hollywood biographies—and after reading this one I know why, but we’ll get to that in a moment—but I was curious to know more about these two actresses. So I read it and…oh boy…
Release: June 5, 2018
Synopsis: This is Todd Fisher’s memoir, especially concerning his life growing up in Hollywood as the son of Debbie Reynolds and brother of Carrie Fisher. The story starts from his birth all the way up to the present day, filling the middle with untold stories of this famous Hollywood family.
This book is…interesting. To understand just how messed up Hollywood was and still is makes this book a fascinating read. Sex. Drugs. Corruption. Egotism. This book has got all of it. It makes you realize that those in Hollywood just do not live in reality. A big part of this book talks about the family’s financial troubles, but then Carrie’s credit card spending would be 5,000 dollars a month—this back in the late 70s. Never did anyone have any type of self-reflection. It was all about the quick fix. Marriage. Love. Wealth. It was all a quick fix to cover up terrible unhappiness.
Let me just that, if I went on pure enjoyment of this book, I would have given it one star. However, I gave it three, mostly because the book is well-written. Sometimes the timeline jumped around a little bit and dates were rare to be found, but for the most part the story-telling, pacing, and description were well-incorporated. The book is four hundred pages, and it does feel quite long, but none of the stories felt pointless or didn’t give over-all clarity to the full book.
But I personally really disliked this book. There was no goodness in it. No happiness. Everyone was absolutely miserable, and ninety percent of the time it was through their own actions. It was so depressing to read, and it’s been a long time since I read a book that actually made me feel miserable (thus why I avoid Game of Thrones).
There were a lot of things that shocked me in this book—maybe I was just lucky to have a mostly happy upbringing. When Todd is sixteen, he loses his virginity to a twenty-six-year-old (or twenty-seven, I can’t remember) girl. And you know what his mother Debbie Reynolds does? She always him to move that girl into her house with him…I mean…and when Debbie’s mother is upset about it, Todd Fisher portrays her as being the bad one. Has society sunk so low that that is acceptable behavior for a mother? I don’t know. I know if I found out my son and daughter were doing drugs, having sex, etc. (all when they were still living in my house), I would literally throw everything down and do anything I could to set them on the right path in life.
The entire book almost seems to justify the bad decisions the people made. Debbie Reynolds had three failed marriages, but each time Todd Fisher portrays her to be the victim. But didn’t she pick these horrible men to marry? Isn’t she the one, then, with poor judgement of character?
As you can guess, I didn’t like this book. In fact, I almost quit reading it a hundred pages in, but it was well written and it made me understand how out-of-touch Hollywood really is. Or maybe I’m the one out of touch and there is no cent of morality left in the world…I like to think the former for my own sanity’s sake.
You can probably tell just by reading this review how upset this book made me. But in a way, I’m glad I did read it. It kind of explained why Hollywood is as crazy as it is.
Have you read this book or any Hollywood star’s biography similar to it? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more madness and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,