Meet 22-year-old Cherry Pye (nee Cheryl Bunterman), a pop star since she was 14 - 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 (backstage 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.
©2010 Carl Hiaasen (P)2010 Random House
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I just loved this book. As always, Hiaasen is such a fun listen/read. This story is a terrific satire on our obsession with fame and the famous. The main character and her entourage are appropriately obnoxious and annoying, so much so that I found myself laughing out loud ...more than once embarrassing myself in public.
The story has elements of mystery, romance (sorta), sex, drugs, and lots of bad music.
Chemo and Skink, my favorites, are major characters in this book.
I thought that the narrator was fine, although I have listened to many of Hiaasen's books, I am not so attached to the other narrators as some reviewers seem to be.
Have fun listening.
I listened to this straight through and enjoyed it immensely. Generally, his books have more of an ecological theme and a discussion of the hazards of overbuilding the Florida coast but this book is just a fun discussion of the gossip rage that surrounds us now.
This book had me laughing practically every minute of listening. Hiassen's characters, as usual, are over the top. A roadkill-eating ex-governor, a hitman/mortgage broker with a weed whacker for a prothesis, and a Lindsay Lohan style airhead who lip syncs her hit records, just to name a few. I found the interaction between Chemo and Cherry Pye to be especially funny: he jolts her with a cattle prod whenever she uses any words he finds annoying, such as "totally" and "awesome." Stephen Hoye, the reader, does an excellent job with the various voices, especially Janet Bunterman, the airhead's enabling mother. Yes, he does mispronounce some of the place names (Mo-have rather than Mo-havee), but I completely disagree with those critics who complain about Hoye's narration.
Although the book itself is classic Hiaasen, I was disappointed by the narrator. Stephen Hoye did Skinny Dip as well. Chemo sounds just like Tool, and Skink without George Wilson is just not Skink! If the characters are reoccurring please make sure the narrators are as well!
I love CH and the few of his books I have read/listened to. This one fell below the level of acceptable stupidity in characters and plot. It bordered between YA and hard-core adult (sex/drugs/sex and more drugs). The ending was implausible enough, without the epiloguing of events that followed. They were equally silly and most horrific of all-- boring! A few characters stood out for their stereotypical behavior. Claude was a twist on a skank and Skink was his usual best. Annie was decent enough and even Chemo was consistent, unique and interesting but they all fell into the pot of plot morass that could have been a long short story and done without a lot of the useless plot points. Very disappointed in the whole matter. Because it was CH, I had hoped for some laughs or consciousness-raising ... didn't give a HOOT about any of it -- least of all about the characters. Sorry.
I was a little out of sorts with Hoye's narration in the early pages. I love Hiaasen's sense of Southern voice and always enjoy his rare personal appearances. So to hear this stoic, vocally trained rendering of his words was distracting and unsettling; however, as I got into it I really appreciated Hoye's renderings of the various characters' accents and colloquialisms, especially his Janet Bunterman.
Love Carl H so much. Please keep churning them out.
The usually (indeed, always) reliable Carl Hiaasen seems to have run out of gas halfway through this amusing tale of Life in the Passing Lane. The first third of the book is diverting. The middle third loses its way. The final third is just filler. And the epilogue gave me a headache. Good concept -- but not much follow-through. And I grow weary of the runaway Governor...
No matter how outlandish the characters, Carl Hiaasen manages to create them in such a way that I see someone I know in every one.
My one complaint with the narrator is that he did not research the pronounciation of the location names. Islamorada is pronounce like island not izzland.
The story seems good, and I'm a huge Hiaasen fan, but Stephen Hoye is such an inappropriate narrator for Hiaasen, I don't think I'm going to make it through the whole audiobook. It just doesn't work for me. I wish I'd listened to the preview before I bought it.
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