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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sunshine satire... eerily accurate, 1 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Star Island (Hardcover)
There's not much to like about most of the characters in Star Island, in which Hiaasen - with his usual wicked flourish - lampoons the world of celebrity and big business in Florida. An unwashed fatso paparazzi photographer, a disgraced former Pulitzer winner (who faked his prize winning pictures), becomes obsessed with Cherry Pye, a talentless chart-topping pop singer with a penchant for pills and sleeping with bodyguards to get her way. As he seeks his big picture, his world begins to unravel as editors discover that he's been selling shots of Cherry's body-double, Ann, the only 'normal' figure in the book, who is kidnapped by him in order to act as a ransom to get to Cherry. Meanwhile, a former governor of Florida, who wears hair braids weaved with old shotgun cartridges and who has gone feral living in a crocodile-infested swamp, decides to take justice into his own hands -- reminiscent of many of Hiaasen's other comic crime novels. He finds himself coming up against a mad bodyguard with one arm that consists of a mechanic strimmer machine... all hell, as you might expect, is set loose. This book is a wonderful vignette that pokes a sharp stick into the side of pop and media culture. There are laugh out loud lines, and there are moments when you can't help thinking that the text is inspired by the life of the likes of Amy Winehouse: there's an eerie fascination with Cherry Pye, as Winehouse died after this book came to publication. When I picked up Star Island, I thought it could be 'more of the same' from Hiaasen, but the subject matter provides a fresh area to prod, with lots of great stuff on the "preening grotesques and needy narcissists" of Miami's South Beach.
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