Audiobook Review Bites
Okay, I know that rating is kind of a middling rating considering that this is Carrie Fisher we’re talking about here, and she was only one of the most charming people in the world. But hear me out. Listening to this audiobook did a wonderful job of allowing listeners to see (hear) Carrie’s personality, and I did appreciate the sections of the book where her daughter (Billie Lourd) read directly from her diaries. Carrie narrates her own story with a humorous, sometimes self deprecating, honesty that Carrie was known for, and I loved the book for that. It was like having an intimate conversation with a friend about their life.
At the same time, I realize in retrospect, that I probably should’ve read/listened to some of her earlier memoirs before taking a plunge with this one. At the same time, though, the blurb for this book is a little misleading, making it seem like this might be an okay book to jump into before reading her other memoirs, which wasn’t the case for me. The blurb says this would be about things happening behind the scenes during the making of Star Wars, and while that is technically true this is more of a confessional about an affair she had during that time more than anything else.
In the end, I enjoyed this, but felt like this was missing something due to the nature of this book. I do have her other memoirs on hand that I’ll listen to soon for comparison.
Narrator: Carrie Fisher, Billie Lourd | Length: 5 hours and 12 mins | Audiobook Publisher: Penguin Audio (November 22, 2016) | Whispersync Ready: No
The World According to Star Wars is one fan’s analysis of the phenomena that is Star Wars and how it has impacted popular culture since the dawn of A New Hope‘s release in 1977. He examines how Star Wars has managed to have a cult following while being massively popular, and what he means by this that is, while there are many people who enjoy Star Wars, there is only a small percentage of the fanbase that are fanatical about it in a way that reminds you of the love that many lovers of cult classic books/games/movies/etc have. You know the ones who consume any and all media related to Star Wars and never tire of discussing the universe.
This book brought about quite a few mixed feelings in me. On one hand, I enjoyed listening to the many ways that the movies have been analyzed and the different theories that fans have about the movies and the universe that range from frivolous to deeply thoughtful. Sunstein even introduced me to some fan theories and ideas that I hadn’t considered before this book. On the other hand, sometimes this book can seem rather pompous and judgmental toward ideas that don’t seem to line up with the author’s own feelings about Star Wars. He seems to downplay the importance of the roles of some characters in favor of getting to the meat of his own opinion which could make parts of this book seem shallow.
In the end, this book reminded me of the type of fervent discussion you’d read on Tumblr. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve been part of some very good discussions on the site and often enjoy the thoughtful posts that people make regarding their fandoms on the site. However, they’re not the type of posts that I would necessarily say belong in a book.
Narrator: Kaleo Griffith | Length: 5 hours 44 mins | Audiobook Publisher: HarperAudio (May 31, 2016) | Whispersync Ready: Yes