Carl Hiaasen—award-winning journalist, columnist for the Miami Herald, and bestselling novelist—has won international acclaim for the relentless skewering of his beloved Florida and its attendant eccentricities. His fiction has been likened to that of a modern-day Mark Twain, while his columns for the Herald are hailed by citizens and fellow journalists (he was just awarded the 2010 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists). In his columns and novels, he’s taken on telemarketers, tourists, land developers, politicians, and a litany of others in his quest to expose the underbelly of society and politics. Now, with STAR ISLAND, we can add pop stars and paparazzi to that list.
Meet 22-year-old pop star Cherry Pye, attempting a comeback from her latest drug-and-alcohol disaster. Now meet Cherry again: in the person of her “undercover stunt double,” Ann DeLusia, who portrays Cherry whenever the singer is too intoxicated to be in public. When Ann-as-Cherry is kidnapped from a South Beach hotel by an obsessed paparazzo, Cherry’s handlers must rescue Ann while keeping her existence a secret from Cherry’s public—and from Cherry herself. But complications abound in cameos that Hiaasen fans will love—from Ann’s biggest admirer and would-be rescuer, Skink, the crazed former governor of Florida to Cherry’s particularly ill-tempered new bodyguard, Chemo, a former hitman equipped with a weed-whacker on his prothestic arm that he isn’t afraid to use.
Visit his website for more information: carlhiaasen.com
Carolyn Kellogg, a Los Angeles Times staff writer, writes Jacket Copy, the paper’s book blog. She is on the board of the National Book Critics Circle, has an MFA in fiction, teaches at UCLA Extension and has been heard on NPR. Few people know that she was born in Tallahassee, Florida.
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