Thursday, February 26, 2015

Star Island

Take Britney Spears's career profile and Lindsey Lohan's stage mother, remove all talent, and add an unwise mix of vodka, Red Bull, hydrocodone, birdseed, and stool softener.  That's how Carl Hiaasen introduces Cherry Pye, and her stunt double, Ann DeLusia.  As Cherry's mother sneaks the drug-addled starlet out through a service entrance, a particularly disreputable paparazzo snaps a photo of Ann being loaded into an ambulance - and discovers that the thrashing girl has brown, not green eyes.  Bang Abbot isn't your everyday sleazy photographer-for-hire, though - he's the recipient of a tainted Pulitzer Prize - so he's not going to settle for a photo of Cherry's double.  No, he's going to kidnap her and take enough pictures for a coffee table book to be published after Cherry's inevitable early death.

Except he kidnaps Ann, who a few days earlier was rescued from the wreck of her rental car by Skink (the former governor of Florida) so she can help him quash a shady real estate deal.  Oh, and Cherry's new bodyguard is a 6'10 ex-con with a weed-whacker where his left hand should be and who want to return to his previous job, shady real estate deals.  Star Island is classic Hiaasen - con men, an ineptly executed crime, improbable events (trust me, do not read how Bang Abbot won his Pulitzer in public unless you want to scare those around you), and weirdness that goes so far beyond the suspension of disbelief it's saved only by Hiaasen's whacked-out creativity.  Only Carl Hiaasen can surround a tight plot with the insanity of Cherry's mixers or Skink's idea of appropriate punishment and somehow make them fit.

No comments:

Post a Comment