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24 Reviews
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A NEW novel from Bruce Wagner!
I'm surprised to say that this book shocked even my jaded palate. It is pornographic and repellant. It's also gorgeously put together with the right amount of redemption after pathos- like salt, sparing.
Please note that Amazon suggests this book for 18 years and older. It is extremely graphic.
Once you get into the book's rhythm, it becomes addictive and...
Published 23 months ago by Christopher Enzi

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A tsunami of clever witty hip
Interesting and fun for a while and then increasingly overwhelming with paragraphs with no punctuation, emoticons, breathless references to celebs, porn stars, twitter, and endless vocab from the Urban Dictionary. There may be a plot and characters in there somewhere but I ceased to care about 100 pages in. I credit the author for doing something unique and showing me...
Published 16 months ago by J. Patt


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A NEW novel from Bruce Wagner!, August 3, 2012
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This review is from: Dead Stars (Hardcover)
I'm surprised to say that this book shocked even my jaded palate. It is pornographic and repellant. It's also gorgeously put together with the right amount of redemption after pathos- like salt, sparing.
Please note that Amazon suggests this book for 18 years and older. It is extremely graphic.
Once you get into the book's rhythm, it becomes addictive and engaging, propulsive, even.
Anyone else would've been satisfied to have written the longest, filthiest shaggy dog story imaginable. Bruce Wagner, of course, goes further and makes his grotesques believable characters who, even laying in the gutter (as the celebrity photographer does) feel that they are living the dream, building a bridge to the stars.
It might not be for you but I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunner, September 12, 2012
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D. Noto (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Stars (Hardcover)
I really loved this book, with the understanding that this will so clearly not be everyone's cup of tea. It's audacious, *rude*, over the top and crazy. It is so au courant that it felt like the book was writing itself in real time. (This sense is best experienced in the Kindle version.) I imagined a satellite literally beaming down the text as I flipped the page. Dead Stars is a universe of internet and media noise -- every bit of nonsensical detritus you have ever picked up absorbing what passes for popular culture. As an LA native, I have a particular fetish for Hollywood dystopia, the sense of coming from an industry town where everyone and everything is somehow related to a star. My dad did weekend jobs for lunatic stars, my mom did some studio work, my grandmother did domestic work for an actor in Viva Las Vegas. I saw Rose Marie and Vincent Price in an unemployment line. Everything mythic and large is irreducibly small and pathetic. What seemed private to us locals is now grossly public. The bloom is off the rose, and the rose was wilted to begin with. Dead Stars is that world, in all its seamy, sordid splendor. Best of all is the writing, the creation of words and smashups to capture the mess. Hat's off to Bruce Wagner for this bravura performance! He's a star, heaven help him.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Hilarious, August 10, 2012
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This review is from: Dead Stars (Hardcover)
The best - and funniest - critique of celebrity culture and our collective fixation on youth/money/porn/fame I've ever read, without any heavy-handed or moralistic overtones. This is truly an important and EXTRAORDINARILY fun and entertaining book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A tsunami of clever witty hip, February 20, 2013
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This review is from: Dead Stars (Hardcover)
Interesting and fun for a while and then increasingly overwhelming with paragraphs with no punctuation, emoticons, breathless references to celebs, porn stars, twitter, and endless vocab from the Urban Dictionary. There may be a plot and characters in there somewhere but I ceased to care about 100 pages in. I credit the author for doing something unique and showing me that <3 can be either a heart or a ball sack and that sometimes there is no difference between the two.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big fan of Bruce Wagner's. A good, tough book, September 10, 2012
This review is from: Dead Stars (Hardcover)
This book is pretty hard core and it's no wonder some reviewers are repulsed. But I find Wagner's writing dizzying and uncompromising. This novel is pure wild, original energy. I'll take that over milquetoast any day. Recommend.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dizzying, dark and dirty hot mess; my favorite novel of 2012, November 8, 2012
This review is from: Dead Stars (Hardcover)
I've read most of Bruce Wagner's novels and I almost gave up on this one early on because I wasn't sure I wanted to invest my time in 650+ pages of textspeak and Kardashian kulture. But around the 100-page mark, I started to really get into the groove of what Wagner is doing here. I have a high tolerance for and interest in dark-sided trash and pop culture, and even I was shocked, countless times, by Dead Stars. The book is innovative, audacious, pornographic, disgusting, addictive and, deep down, under all the layers of filth, quite profound if not even a little bit sentimental. Wagner is a very intelligent, erudite and (I believe) deeply sensitive author, a born entertainer who has really held the cracked and dirty mirror up to our culture with this one. I cackled out loud countless times while reading this very dark, very nasty book. But I would never, EVER recommend this book to certain friends or family. People like to say something is "not for everyone," and Dead Stars is the epitome of that. You've been warned. And I'm reading it again.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wagner's Slime Tale, September 6, 2012
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Have the remains of our once cherished Hollywood stars oozed to the surface in Bruce Wagner's new book "Dead Stars"? I always look forward to a new Wagner book. Living in Los Angeles I always find his stories compelling and a good read in just a few sittings. I have to commend his style of text speak and clearly defined characters. But I can only take a little at a time and feel like taking a shower after every reading. These people are all revolting or pathetic or drug addled or totally not in touch with reality. Which pretty much defines Hollywood today, doesn't it? If you can appreciate this style of writing go for it. But don't expect to like any of these characters.

Please note I am 60% through this book so maybe there will be some redemptive endings for the slimy characters. Expect to feel filthy for time you spend with this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dirty Business, July 12, 2013
By 
Michael McMahon (Tallahassee, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dead Stars (Hardcover)
Celebrity worship has spread like a cultural cancer. In Dead Stars it metastasizes into the culture of cancer--the celeberity fueled fund-raising business, that is. Wagner's supersharp ear and perfect pitch dialogue guides the reader on a Dantean journey thru concentric rings of Hollywood hell, from the A list of money and power to the Z list of nothing and nowhere. Surprise surprise! Not much separates the gaseous rings but the big break that may never come. Junkie papparazzi stalking pantie shots, art moms trading on their daughter's pudenda, horny adolescents treading water on of heavy drugs while surfing a toxic sea of every sort of porn imaginable--from a writer with less verve the whole disaster of the moment would be intolerable. Wagner pulls it off with pacing and pyrotechnics to create an updated Day of the Locusts even the locusts would flee!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wagner's latest ambitious but difficult to stomach, April 20, 2013
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This review is from: Dead Stars (Hardcover)
Wish I could be more positive but this is a major work by a writer I deeply admire that is very unpleasant. The chapters are noted as explicit or "clean". The reference is to Dante's Inferno but perhaps a better reference point is Suetonius. The stream of drug addled explicit passages are hard to take, and I am far from a prude.
Mr. Wagner takes on the celebrity worship and references many such, with Micael Douglas portrayed positively, but many others not. Some of the obscure passages are connected to the author's long standing feud with Scientology. I learned some new (to me at least) sexual and drug kinks. It was a treat to revisit his hapless screenwriter, Bud Wiggins, who was the anti hero of Force Majuere. I think Wagner is a major writer, and wish I could be more enthusiastic about Dead Stars.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Slog...., July 7, 2014
This review is from: Dead Stars (Hardcover)
It may be zeitgeist genius but who cares. A slog of celeb gossip to wade through. Life is too short to spend time reading this...
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Dead Stars
Dead Stars by Bruce Wagner (Hardcover - August 2, 2012)
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