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Fallen Star [Paperback]

Ian Barker
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Nov 2010
FAMOUS: Celebrated. Acclaimed. Legendary. Illustrious. Popular. Notorious. Recognised. Renowned. Successful. Eminent. Prominent. Excellent. Having kudos. Being a star. The Fallen Boys were at their zenith when Zac's luck ran out. How does the shock of being dumped from dazzling and conspicuous success into relative obscurity affect his fellow boy band members Karl, Ritchie and Leon? Accustomed to adulation, wall-to-wall glamour, sex and all the illusions of fame, the Boys find themselves in strange territory. No longer courted, with zero prospect of resurrecting the group, they find themselves facing harsh realities. Karl is driven to appear on chat shows and accept pantomime roles: all the P.R. exercises he previously spurned. Desperate for work he even auditions for a blue movie. Reluctantly, he participates in a TV reality series soon after he meets Lizzie Keating, daughter of an IRA bomber. Hormones and adrenalin surge as the challenges to their relationship surface: Karl's father, ex-Army and implacable in his hatred for the Irish; Karl's wandering eye; Lizzie's refusal to play second fiddle to anyone. With gusto, humour and insight, Ian Barker entertains with this intertwined tale of discovering what is truly valuable in life.

Product details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Rebel ePublishers LLC (1 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0986973181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986973185
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 20 x 12.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,599,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, Ian grew up in north-east England and gained a business degree from Teesside Polytechnic in the early '80s. He spent over twenty years working in information technology before discovering that writing about computers was easier than fixing them. He is a former editor of PC Utilities magazine, currently lives in Greater Manchester and doesn't own a dishwasher.

Over the years Ian has produced lots of comic verse, for things like office Christmas cards. In the mid '90s he made regular contributions to Martin Kelner for a late night show on BBC radio in northern England. Moving to the north-west in 1996, he continued to contribute items to Martin's Manchester based Jazz FM breakfast show.

His first cash-in-the-bank publishing credit was a Laughter the Best Medicine gag for Reader's Digest in 1998. Since then he has gone on to write topical comedy sketches for BBC Radio's The News Huddlines, and has had short stories published in Evergreen magazine, and in the WritersNet Anthology. He has had stories published online in the e-zines Starving Arts and Crime Scene Scotland plus a co-written story on Admit Two.

Ian's first début novel Fallen Star was published in 2010. His second One Hot Summer launched in late 2012.

Genres: Lad lit, Humour, New Adult

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Fallen Star should be rising fast! 26 Nov 2010
By Debbie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is something I read on HarperCollins authonomy website a while back and have championed ever since. Fallen Star is the story of ex-rock-star Karl and ordinary Irish cafe-worker Lizzie. He's famous; she's a nobody. He's used to getting what he wants; she won't play second fiddle to anyone. And he's the son of a war hero while she's the daughter of a terrorist. Can they ever find any common ground?

But this is more than a love story - it's a bird's-eye view of the "cult of the celebrity" that pervades our lives these days. From auditions for porn films to chat shows to reality tv shows, this book covers what it means to be "famous" in the 21st century. And it does it so well, it's scary.

Barker has a real wit. There are some fabulous one-liners in here that made me laugh out loud (and I committed the ultimate sin of turning page corners so I could find them again). "He turned on the smile again and her resistance caved in so far it would have needed an army of potholers to rescue it." Fabulous! The audition for the blue movie seemed so realistic I'm wondering how Barker did his research. And when Karl and Lizzie get caught in flagrante delicto by a posse of Girl Guides, I practically wet myself laughing.

The ending was predictable but with a nice twist that I didn't see coming. I did feel that the story stopped quite abruptly and I'd have liked to have known more, but that's probably because I was so caught up in these peoples' lives that I didn't want to stop reading. And without spoilers - I think Barker should patent his idea for a reality tv show before anyone else gets hold of it!

This is indie publishing at its best. Buy it. Buy it NOW.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, funny, poignant debut 12 Aug 2011
FALLEN STAR marks the debut of an author to watch. With a keen wit and a sharp eye on social commentary, Ian Barker brings us the story of boy-band heart-throb Karl Weston. When the lead singer of the Fallen Boys dies of a drug overdose, the band disintegrates and leaves Karl and the other Fallen Boys floundering in their own fame. Reality thrusts a mirror in Karl's face when a mix of dodgy management and pop-culture theatrics send Karl looking for gigs in all the wrong places. His life heats up again when he meets Irish firebrand Lizzie Keating and joins the cast of a reality TV show called Celebrity Boarding School. Smooth writing and superb insights into family pride, cultural identity, and the nature of love make FALLEN STAR a quick and satisfying story for today and one that will live in your heart for many years to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun lad's eye view of fame and romance 26 April 2011
By TopCat
Karl Weston left school to join band The Fallen Boys at the age of 16. Since then he has had fame and adulation, women throwing themselves at him and the lifestyle that apparently goes with being a young pop star. It all comes to an abrupt end when the lead singer dies of a drug overdose.

All but dropped by the band's management company Karl is forced to make a quick re-assessment of his life, and has to lower himself to considering roles in panto and the like to keep himself afloat. His disapproving dad seems quick to get the digs in so when he meets the lovely Lizzie in a cafe she's a welcome distraction. Considering her father was an IRA member who blew himself up arming a bomb and his dad lost both legs serving as a soldier in Northern Ireland the chances for the two of them long term don't look great though. Their relationship is tested when he appears on a reality TV show and has to decide what is really important.

This book is a really good read, it was sweet and funny (very funny in places) and is an interesting portrait of fame and celebrity. I'm almost surprised we haven't seen the author's reality show on our screens yet. It was an easy read that I whipped through, helped by the quality of the writing and editing. The romance between Karl and Lizzie is one of the main threads, but I thought the development of the relationship between Karl and his dad was just as compelling. I did find the ending a little bit abrupt but may be that's because I warmed to the characters and wanted to see what would happen in the longer term. Karl never comes across as the big I am despite his stardom and Lizzie is worried about whether an ordinary girl, let alone one with her family history, will ever be enough for him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice little novel 20 April 2011
Although some of it was predictable and occasionally cringeworthy, the majority of the storyline was well written and kept me interested. The writing style was similar to Leslie Thomas and I got that same warm feeling as I read this that I get from reading a Thomas novel. It's all about the journey - the way you slip into the pockets of the characters and sit there comfortably living their lives. Not that this is a staid or boring book! The storyline was in places raunchy and was generally well constructed.
The main interest in this novel is the relationship between Karl and Lizzie. The warmth with which this portrayed is a credit to the author. As with the aforementioned Thomas there are no belly laughs, but I read this with a smile on my face.
Overall this is a good read and a fantastic effort for a first novel. I commend it to you.
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