I never thought I'd be unable to praise a Carl Hiaasen novel. Before now I've always found his novels to be a blast ("Sick Puppy" is my favourite), but in "Star Island" I feel he's hit the buffers. I don't know whether or not he's mined the Florida comedy-thriller as much as he can, but "Star" was bloated, tedious and meandering. There are the usual collection of larger-than-life characters - the self-obsessed pop star, the guttersnipe photojournalist, Skink (who has appeared in other Hiaasen books, but who never really came off the page for me) - but the story never really engaged or took off. I felt he had a slender idea which was unable to carry the weight of a full-length novel, and so he tried to pad it out by over-dwelling on the antics of the characters, a device which didn't serve its purpose. I took it on hols, expecting a great read, but actually discontinued it in favour of something that I'd read before ("Dracula" - which I'd wanted to re-read for a long time anyway, so here was the perfect opportunity), I was so bored by it. I finished it eventually, but with an effort (my partner's reading it at the moment, and she's as bored with it as I was). It has the occasional funny moment, but these are few and far between, and don't compensate for the awful longuers that make up the bulk of the book. Hopefully, this is an aberration - we all have off-days, and, in literary terms, "Star" might be construed as such. I sincerely hope so. If you've never read a Hiaasen before, for God's sake don't start with this one.