Archive for category Comedy

Star Island – Carl Hiaasen

Fun splashing, but same old ocean.

Stars: Three of five.

Review format: Comment plus links.
Summary:   Meet twenty-two-year-old Cherry Pye (née Cheryl Bunterman), a pop star since she was fourteen—and about to attempt a comeback from her latest drug-and-alcohol disaster. 
Now meet Cherry again: in the person of her “undercover stunt double,” Ann DeLusia. Ann portrays Cherry whenever the singer is too “indisposed”—meaning wasted—to go out in public. And it is Ann-mistaken-for-Cherry who is kidnapped from a South Beach hotel by obsessed paparazzo Bang Abbott.Now the challenge for Cherry’s handlers (über–stage mother; horndog record producer; nipped, tucked, and Botoxed twin publicists; weed whacker–wielding bodyguard) is to rescue Ann while keeping her existence a secret from Cherry’s public—and from Cherry herself.

The situation is more complicated than they know. Ann has had a bewitching encounter with Skink—the unhinged former governor of Florida living wild in a mangrove swamp—and now he’s heading for Miami to find her . . .

Will Bang Abbott achieve his fantasy of a lucrative private photo session with Cherry Pye? Will Cherry sober up in time to lip-synch her way through her concert tour? Will Skink track down Ann DeLusia before Cherry’s motley posse does?

All will be revealed in this hilarious spin on life in the celebrity fast lane. (from goodreads)

Provenance: My bookshelf, family purchase… 
Date Read: June 2012 

I needed something new to read, and lookit: a new-to-me Carl Hiassen book sitting in the basement.  It delivers what I have come to expect – protagonists of spunky run-down investigative male and feisty and hot female on a mission; Skink, calls to conserve not pave-over the environment, grotesque bad guys, grisly ends for some bad guys.  A little bit forgettable, but perhaps that’s because I feel like it’s a Hiassen formula.

Many of the supporting characters are standouts from previous books – notably Skink and the bad-guy with the weed-whacker hand.  It’s nice to see them return, but it’s also a short-cut instead of introducing amazing new characters.  The botoxed-scultped-identical fraternal twin sister publicists: they were new and funny.  Cherry’s parents? Reminded me a little too much of Elizabeth Bennett’s parents in Pride and Prejudice, though Pa Bunterman is not quite as cool as Mr. Bennett.

In summary:

  • If you’ve liked other Hiaasen books, then expect some enjoyable but very-slightly-stale more of the same.
  • If you’ve disliked other Hiaasen books, then this is not the book to convince you otherwise.
  • I think Double Whammy is my favourite of his books. Not that I’ll go re-read it right now, but it was more zingy and edgy.

Links and others’ reviews

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The Men who Stare at Goats – Jon Ronson

The Men who Stare at Goats is the book which inspired the movie with Ian McEwan and George Clooney.

If you thought the movie was disjointed, you’ll want to give the book a pass.

Well, I enjoyed the movie, more or less, so I decided to give this book a try.  It is chronologically all OVER the place. I could not keep track of who, why, or when. Did he drop his index cards down the stairs, and then just arrange the chapters as he found them?

The individual stories are amusing, but I put it down before finishing with a strong sense of ‘so what’?

I don’t know whether this is really meant to be non-fiction, or if it’s a mockumentary.  So, I can’t even recommend it as a conversation piece.

See the movie instead.



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No way to treat a first lady – Christopher Buckley

Welcome to the time-capsule of No way to treat a first lady.

The philandering President of the USA keels over dead… whose fault is it?  The First Lady is put on trial for murder, because of the little matter of having conked him on the head with a silver spittoon that night.

Political satire on the late eighties or early nineties – the love child of John Grisham and Christopher Moore?  Well, anyhow, it was funny, better than his Little Green Men.  Oh, rats, I thought this had been written before Bill Clinton, that would have been an awesome prediction.  Sadly, this followed all that in 2002.

I enjoyed it especially because of the memory-lane aspects of revisiting the eighties or early nineties.  If you don’t bring that to the book, it may not work nearly as well for you.

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Practical Demonkeeping – Christopher Moore

Practical Demonkeeping… it has its funny moments but nothing as revelatory as some of the other Moore books.

Demon, and djinn, Pine Cove… ho-hum.  If you want Moore about Pine Cove, read the Lust Lizard.

Or see what else I’ve reviewed in the meantime: tagged with Christopher Moore

Ah ha – it’s been pointed out that this was Moore’s first book.  Thanks, GuildedEarlobe.


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