2 Jan 2013

"Star Island" by Carl Hiaasen

There are books that are written in a way that makes them obvious contenders for a film contract. Like Twilight or Hunger Games. The authors might not have been thinking this when they wrote them (though honestly with the money up for grabs in the movie business, they might have had it in the back of their minds) but the result still is a book that is ready to transition to the big screen. “Star Island” by Carl Hiaasen is one of those books. It is so ready to be made into a film and I’m pretty sure that it would be tagged with words such “Funny movie of the year” or “Action-packed comedy hit”. It has all the elements – it is even set in sunny Florida, mainly on South Beach, and conjures up a sun-shimmering blue ocean, palm tree and babes in bikinis. It is a place for charmed lives and in this place, young actress Ann DeLusia lives a … eh… confusing life. 
Her job might be one of the simultaneously worst and best jobs in the world. On the pro side, it requires little effort and there’s no requirement to be in the office 9 to 5, it also comes with a clothing allowance and business travel. On the con side, she is always on call and it’s not exactly an identity and integrity boosting job… Ann has landed herself the dubious honour of being stand-in for the volatile airhead superstar Cherry Pye. Having managed that difficult transition from the pageant world to international stardom, Cherry is determined to make the most of her fame by doing as many drugs and as many men as possible. She is a skank and most of the time, she is a strung-out, high as a kite skank. Not exactly the perfect employer and Ann's role mostly consists of pretending to be Cherry at parties, where the star herself is too out of it to appear. 
There is a whole industry around Cherrry and another person who makes a living out of her fame is the paparazzo Bang Abbott. In his vision, Cherry is one snort away from a fatal OD and he is planning to be the photographer that captures her final days. Bang Aboott is a pretty pathetic figure and in his quest to get close to Cherry, he ends up kidnapping the innocent Ann instead.
Ann is nothing if not feisty and she takes her kidnapping with a cool head and barbed wit. Throw into the mix a crazy hermit living in the Florida swaps on a quest to save Ann, a greedy property developer, a father of the star with little interest in her life and little conviction of her intelligence, a mother of the star with big ambitions and a manager with no conscience. It is a scenario ready to explode and it is a hilarious read.
Fancy something that'll make you laugh? And make you think of all of the Britneys and Lindsays of this world and wonder if this is what it is really like (disclaimer! You might end up pitying them!)? Then go for a holiday on "Star Island", it's bound to make you laugh. 


  1. I've read a handful of other Carl Hiaasen books and enjoyed them - I'll have to look out for this one too!

  2. yes i think it's his newest - really fun! I just bought his novel Skinny Dip and can't wait to read it.