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REVIEW: Star Island by Carl Hiaasen


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.

About the Author

Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of eleven previous novels, including the best-selling Nature Girl, Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy, and Lucky You, and three best-selling children’s books, Hoot, Flush, and Scat. His most recent work of nonfiction is The Downhill Lie: A Hacker’s Return to a Ruinous Sport. He also writes a weekly column for The Miami Herald.


  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (July 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307272583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307272584


This one is pure Carl Hiaasen wackiness.  It brings back Skink (the ex governator) and Chemo (the weed wacking heavy) to save Cherry Pye (Britney, Linday, anyone?) and her double Ann DeLuisa from a paparazzi trying to hit is big with some unique pictures.  There are so many characters in this book that are taken directly from the headlines -- well, it is funny.  I love the fact that Hiaasen always brings back his recurring characters like Skink and Chemo.  I mean who else could possibly write about a hit man/heavy that has a weed wacker attached to his arm as a prosthetic? 

Bang Abbott, the photographer turned paparazzi is misunderstood and like all bad guys in Hiaasen's books isn't completely bad, but inept.  I think he was truly meant for Cherry.  Cherry is ripped directly from the tabloids, a lip-syncing teen (now past her prime) that is hooked on anything chemical and could easily win the next Death List.   Ann is the only sane one of the bunch and that isn't saying much.  Overall, this is a good light mystery with lots of fun things happening.


  1. I read a review of this one somewhere and promptly requested it from the library. My copy should be in soon, and I can't wait to find out if I like it or not! This will be the first book that I read by Carl Hiaasen. Thanks for the review!

  2. It's always nice to have something to count on being exactly as wacky as you expect.

  3. I was spying this one at the book store for a while, but now I'm definitely going to pick it up. Well done.


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