Thursday, August 29, 2013

Delusions of Grandma

1994, undated later edition, from Simon & Schuster
Carrie Fisher
Delusions of Grandma
Original price $22.00, purchase price $4.00
Good condition hardcover with slightly worn dustjacket

This has the most annoying writing style since Gloria Vanderbilt's Once Upon a Time (1985).  Ironically or not, the main character (as in Postcards from the Edge, transparently autobiographical of Fisher) is a screenwriter.  She and nearly everyone in the book is "witty," but it's wit without intelligence or humor.  For instance, she compares conversation to a kiwi (fruit), and it's maybe cute at first but it goes on to be as over-used as "zing" in Hotel Transylvania.  Also, someone apparently told Fisher that puns are the highest form of humor, so heroine Cora makes them compulsively and (she thinks) profoundly, like the leaden play with "birth" and "berth."  The one exception to everyone talking like they're in a James L. Brooks movie is Cora's boyfriend, who's not as good with words, seeing as he's a lawyer.  A Southern lawyer.  Say what???

The boyfriend knocks her up while they're helping her gay friend die with dignity from AIDS.  She realizes that she doesn't want to get married but does want to raise the baby, with his help.  I have to say that Anita Loos did this better-- funnier and more touching-- in A Mouse Is Born back in 1951.  I suppose this book almost works as a follow-up, including the view of Hollywood, car phones and all.  And I think it's the first of my books to mention "E-mail."

The title by the way has to do with Cora's sort-of-based-on-Debbie-Reynolds mother (Ruby-slippers-owner and all) "kidnapping" Cora's grandfather from a nursing home, so wacky yet life-cycley shenanigans can ensue.

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