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Star Island Paperback – June 21, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
The career of singer Cheryl Bunterman (aka Cherry Pye), who debuted with Jailbait Records at age 15, is foundering due to her lack of talent and indiscriminate appetite for drugs, booze, and sex in this outrageous, offbeat novel from Hiaasen (Nature Girl). Among those struggling to keep Cherry's career afloat are her mother, Janet Bunterman; producer Maury Lykes; and "undercover stunt double" Ann DeLusia, who will, say, mislead the press into thinking Cherry is out and about when she's really in rehab. Hiaasen has easy targets in misbehaving celebrity sightings, tabloid stalkings, and spin control experts, and he makes the most of them. Crooked real estate developer Jackie Sebago and paparazzo Bang Abbott, who plans to hitch his wagon to Cherry's star, add to the madcap fun. Mayhem follows after Bang kidnaps Ann instead of Cherry by mistake, and ex-Florida governor and eco-vigilante Clinton "Skink" Tyree, who was smitten with Ann after a chance encounter, rushes to her rescue. The torrent of pop culture barbs are bound to please Hiaasen's ardent fans. 500,000 first printing; 12-city author tour.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
There is precious little innocence in Carl Hiaasen's moral universe, muses the Washington Post, "only gradients of venality." Longtime admirers of Hiaasen's fiction will relish the wicked wit, fast-moving plot, and delightfully odious cast of characters in this satirical send-up of celebrity culture. However, some critics found Hiaasen's subject matter passé in the wake of the latest entertainment industry scandals, and one objected to contrived characters and plot developments. Despite their complaints, reviewers generally enjoyed Star Island, and readers will also laugh at Hiaasen's "latest celebration of the grotesques and morally ambiguous citizens of his native Florida" (San Francisco Chronicle), even if the novel doesn't rate as one of his best. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
But back to the book: a pop singer who goes by Cherry Pye (really Cheryl Bunterman) had made her debut with Jailbait Records at age 15, but she's coming to nothing due to her complete lack of talent and her voracious appetite for booze, drugs, and sex. Sound familiar? Her mother, Janet Bunterman and others are misleading the media into believing that Cherry is busy with her life when she's actually in rehab. She has a double, Ann DeLusia. Loser and paparazzo Bang Abbott mistakenly kidnaps Ann instead of Cherry. "Skink" Tyree, who was infatuated with Ann after a random encounter, rushes to her rescue.
Sounds like a good plot, and it might have been, but somehow the author instead paints flat cardboard caricatures out of what could have been some hilarious three dimensional characters. For this reader, this book had some funny parts and interesting dialogue in places, but it falls flat in comparison to the author's preceding novels.
If you want to encounter Skink in better settings, try Carl Hiaasen's previous books, such as Double Whammy,Stormy Weather or Skinny Dip. But Star Island left me with a 3-star feeling.
All of these people together lead to some very interesting situations. The main setting is South Beach, with a few excursions farther afield. There is a saying about the best laid plans of mice and men. In this novel, many things go awry.
but otherwise, to state it was a great "romp" (from another reviewer) is accurate, in my opinion. a good smile, and sometimes outright laughing.