Yes wild, wisecracking, ever-addicted, never-quite-made-it-as-a-silver-screen-siren Suzanne Vale is back in The Best Awful (Simon ∧ Schuster Audio, $26, 5 hours abridged, cassette, ISBN 0671885383), Carrie Fisher's latest insider take on the underside of life in the Hollywood fishbowl. Last heard from in Postcards from the Edge, Suzanne has since acquired and lost a suave, successful, caring husband (who forgot to tell her he was gay) with whom she had Honey, a bright, beautiful daughter, now six years old. Honey, the apple of her eye, should keep Suzanne on the straight and narrow, or at least on her meds, but those bipolar ice caps on her screwed-up psyche keep slipping and sliding, finally sending her over the edge. Funny, frank, a poignant punch line to a life that should be more than a joke, this isn't exactly an anatomy of mental illness, but Fisher does make Suzanne's manic mood swings imaginable and moving. The author reads, giving her dialogue the zing it deserves.

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