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The Best Awful Hardcover – 2 Feb 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First UK Edition First Impression edition (2 Feb 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684817365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684817361
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,791,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Carrie Fisher's The Best Awful returns Postcards from the Edge fans to the often hilarious, occasionally tragic, but always captivating world of Suzanne Vale, a bi-polar, celebrity talk show host with a six-year-old daughter, a gay ex-husband, an aging starlet mother, and an unbreakable will to survive. After Suzanne stops taking her medication, Fisher treats us to the wild, hysterical ride that follows Suzanne's manic episodes, including a search for Oxycontin in Tijuana with her tattoo artist and a new house guest in the form of Hoyt, a clinically depressed patient Suzanne picks up at her psychopharmacologist's office. Even after the inevitable psychotic break lands Suzanne at Shady Lanes, where she's the "latest loony to hit the bin" Fisher never deviates from her trademark wit and uncanny ability to find truth in every irony:
You entered the hospital broken, found some other like broken patient people, and once in their company, looked down on the other more pathetic inhabitants of the bin you shared, those flying even lower than you and your low-flung co-conspirators...
An insider's look at the Hollywood most of us only read about in supermarket checkout lines, The Best Awful doesn't strive to be anything other than what it is--a rambunctious, honest, wise-cracking trip to rock bottom and back again. Supporting characters are just that, a backdrop against whom Suzanne hopes to find a plausible sense of self. For readers who can accept this novel for what it is, The Best Awful promises over 250 pages of uninhibited entertainment. --Gisele Toueg,


'Carrie Fisher peels off coruscating one-liners with a hit rate that Groucho Marx would have been proud of' -- INDEPENDENT

'Fisher's best book since Postcards From the Edge… her fondness for criminal wordplay is allowed to run rampant' -- The Scotsman

'Hilarious and original...funny, perceptive, engaging, touching...and honest (though of course it's all entirely fictional)' -- Helen Fielding

'There are so many reasons for adoring Fisher - the camp private life, the irrepressible spirit, those bagels!' -- Observer

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jezmo on 21 July 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is full of witty word play, puns and smart one-liners.
This is a humourous account of Hollywood life, motherhood and most importantly bipolar disorder. There were times when I couldn't put the book down: the story is so manic and funny that at times I felt high.
My favourite part documents our hero's enjoyment of crusing around in her car with the roof down, music blaring, talking wildly to the radio and waving at strangers and passers-by.
I should say no more except read this - for the advice on tongue-percing, haircuts and converting to Judaism; for the clash of responsibilties and irresponsibities; relationships and rehabilitation, friendships and addictions, for that certain "je ne sais Kuala Lumpur" and mainly for the great word-play.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By anibani on 2 Jun 2007
Format: Paperback
The main character is bipolar, with a short attention span when manic. I felt this book was the same way. It is entertaining and with many colourful characters, Suzanne Vale (narrator and protagonist) is very witty and has a fantastic way with words. But the events in this book do not flow naturally, instead there seems to be one disconnected crisis after another, as if a stand-up comic ran out of material but kept going on and on until she filled 270 pages. Even the ending seems an unrealistic, forced resolution. But it does offer insights into bipolar disorder, celebrity life, and the realities of a mental institution. It is hilarious writing and has stretches (the last 100 pages) where excitement built up. But with Ms. Fisher's obvious talent, it could have been so much better.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Faith on 13 July 2006
Format: Paperback
The Best Awful, sequel to Postcards From the Edge... I really liked Postcards cos it was so crazy and different. But this one I didn't really like. It was too carzy and pointless. Plain boring. The ex-Holliwood star is mentallt unslabile again... Only now she has dauther to worry about too. Fisher didn't manage to make it funny this time. At some point I even concidered not finnishing the book...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 42 reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
No bull, no boring roman a clef, just a gem... 7 Jan 2004
By L Goodman-Malamuth - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Arthur Miller, the playwright, once said something along the lines of, "Agony, sure I have agony. But everybody has agony. The difference is that I take mine home and try to make it sing."
From Carrie Fisher, we get an aria, and quite a successful one at that. I was expecting to be entertained by The Best Awful, and I was, yet the novel is far more satisfying than Hollywood fluff. Whatever insights the author has earned through her turbulent/famous/funny life have given her depth and substance as an author. Fisher offers up sharp dialogue (not just a string of one-liners), a vivid but unpreachy view of mental health and its absence, and characters so real that I expected to see them sitting next to me on the sofa.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful 21 Jan 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"The Best Awful" is wonderful, a compelling work whose humor belies a heartrending truth. In dealing with mental illness, Fisher doesn't sanitize insanity, but gives us a hard, unsparing look at what happens when a mind is lost, or rather, when it's found on an out-of-this-world plane. She takes us along a harrowing trip, harnessed to fast, furious, and funny prose. The strange thing is, it's a curl-up-under-the-covers read, a safe haven, where not only do you appreciate your own boring "normalcy," you develop a compassion you never knew you had. While Suzanne Vale's pain is so real, her rantings so over-the-detailed-top, it's her humanity that's still front and center -- an amoral ethicist pontificating on what it means to live a large life made larger by turning small. You have to read it to get that line! A beautifully done job. Fisher is a celebrity who truly deserves to be celebrated. And no, I'm not a friend, and until now, I wasn't a thumbs-up-to-the-sky fan.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A poignant, funny look at bipolar disorder...very readable! 6 Feb 2004
By Invisiboy2001 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have read all four of Carrie Fisher's novels, and this one is my second favorite, after the charming, hilarious "Delusions of Grandma." This novel includes many colorful central and secondary characters, but none as vibrant as Suzanne Vale, the bipolar heroine.
"The Best Awful" takes the reader on a roller-coster ride from the stability of everyday "sane" life through the perils of meltdown...and all the way to the loony bin and out again. Laced with Fisher's winning humor and alarming literacy, this novel is a winner from beginning to end. The ride will keep you laughing and leave you a little sad, but ultimately "The Best Awful" serves as a satifying read.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
confessions of a dangerous mind 2 Mar 2004
By Simon Crowe - Published on
Format: Hardcover
THE BEST AWFUL is Carrie Fisher's autobiographical sequel to POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE. Suzanne Vale, a medium-famous actress and daughter of the indomitable Doris, is a single mother reeling from being left by her husband Leland, who is gay. The book chronicles Suzanne's struggles with manic depression and some fairly bold drug use, told with the sense of humor of someone who realizes how silly the "business of show" is.
Events don't occur so much as coalesce around Suzanne, who narrates in a addled stream of consciousness style. A disatrous drug fueled trip to Tijuana and a stay in a mental hospital are harrowingly sketched and are the main set pieces of the book. I enjoyed seeing Suzanne through to a slightly ambiguous but hopeful ending, in which she forms a slightly different kind of family. Some of the secondary characters are thin and there's nothing new in the sending up of Hollywood life, but THE BEST AWFUL is a survivor's story by someone who has earned the right to tell it.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
It's absolutely brilliant 30 Jan 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you think Carrie Fisher is just an actress turned writer, The Best Awful will convince you she's quite a marvelous novelist. I can't remember a book with a more harrowing and hilarious depiction of the inside of a bipolar mind, and leavened as it is with comic gunfire and celebrity mayhem, it's more affecting in the end than "Girl, Interrupted."
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