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Star Island Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2012
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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.
Top customer reviews
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The story revolves around the pampered life of a young music star of limited skills on stage but great skills in the bedroom and in substance abuse. Her support team spend their lives catering to her every whim and when she is "indisposed", they use a body double to make the public think she is all ok and operating fine.
This way of life is successful until one of the photographers who follows the lives of the rich and famous in the hope of picking up photos of them in awkward situations gets wind of the body double ruse. He then starts scheming for his material gain.
Throw in the mix the bodyguard with a weed whacker for an arm and the demented Skink and you have a story that only Carl Hiaasen could imagine.
The humour is throughout the book and has that ring of realism to it, the characters are fleshed out quite well and I found myself enjoying the book a lot. Chemo the bodyguard is an interesting character, one I wish we could see again.
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.
Like most of Hiaasen's novels, the cast of characters are single-minded and even one dimensional. Everyone is driven by a single desire, typically either lust, greed or revenge. But unlike his previous works, I felt ambivalent to everyone. There were no clear-cut heroes or villains. For instance, for a while we're clearly supposed to feel sympathetic towards Bang Abbott; then he kidnaps someone, so our feelings for him change; and then after his captive is released, we go back to feeling sorry for him.
The inclusion of Skink felt unnecessary. In previous novels he played a central part in the plot; this time around he just causes trouble.
The last thing I'll mention is the kidnapping of Ann de Lucia. Because of Hiaasen's ambivalent attitude towards Abbott, it never felt like Ann was in any real danger -- it seemed like she could just walk away at any point. And the fact she didn't really made it difficult for me to root for her.
Despite these problems, Hiaasen had me laughing out loud many times. I'm sure fans of his will enjoy "Star Island," but also agree it's not his best novel.