Sometimes the cow patties in a book are like weeds in the sidewalk cracks. It’s hard to keep a few from springing up. Best not criticize, unless your own sidewalk is weed-free.
But when Carl Hiaasen wrote Star Island, I’m pretty sure he hauled along a bag of weed seeds and poured them in the sidewalk cracks on purpose.
That said, he wrote a pretty funny story.
The tale centers on Cherry Pye, a young singer who can’t sing. In fact she can barely lip-sync along with the voice they dub over hers.
Oh, but Cherry can make the headlines. She’s never met a drug she doesn’t like. Of course, the pills and the alcohol interfere a little bit with the career. How does a girl keep up with her concerts and her club-hopping when she’s always being shipped off to rehab?
Cherry’s team comes up with the perfect solution: hire a double.
And no, Cherry doesn’t know about this other blonde.
All the fun starts when a tubby photographer who smells like “a prison laundry bag” catches on to the deception.
Cherry’s team includes a stage mother who insists the girl’s drunken vomiting is “gastritis”; a manager who gobbles down scallops that taste “like a broiled tumor” while he worries about money, unreliable starlets, money, nosy photographers and money; and a bodyguard defaced by a botched electrolysis procedure.
Throw in a former Florida governor who walked out of his office for good to camp out in the swamps.
Hiaasen piles on the hijinks in all his books. I laughed often throughout Star Island. I scratched my head when all the plot lines tangled together. And, of course, I cringed through the grossness. There was no need for it. No need at all.
Cherry should give up the drugs and find herself a good square meal or two. I can point her to a few restaurants where she can fill up quick on some excellent stuff:
. . . which in my hungry desperation, I nearly devoured before I remembered to get out the camera.
And, to top it all off: