Customer Reviews for

Star Island

Average Rating 3.5
( 567 )
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(144)

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(64)

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(45)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

Hiaasen is almost back!

Carl Hiaasen's "Star Island" is a return to his core novels (Skin Tight, Tourist Season, et al), that put him in my library.

For the past few years, he has written Young Adult novels plus one about his experience attempting golf. Entertaining, but not the reason I re...
Carl Hiaasen's "Star Island" is a return to his core novels (Skin Tight, Tourist Season, et al), that put him in my library.

For the past few years, he has written Young Adult novels plus one about his experience attempting golf. Entertaining, but not the reason I read Hiaasen.

Skink, the one-eyed former Governor, and Chemo w/weed-whacker as prosthesis return in "Star Island"

But, Hiaasen is out of practice after the other novels. Star Island is a good read but a bit stale for Hiaasen. Let's hope that he returns to his wacky glory days of the early novels.

posted by Gybe on August 5, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

Starless

If I were an author, I would hope that my fans would do me proud with a review that honored me rather than embarrassed both the reviewer and me.
But, I am not an author, nor a fan of Carl Hiaasen. This is the first, and now the last, book of his that I will read. It is...
If I were an author, I would hope that my fans would do me proud with a review that honored me rather than embarrassed both the reviewer and me.
But, I am not an author, nor a fan of Carl Hiaasen. This is the first, and now the last, book of his that I will read. It is not an easy read, cluttered as it is with pointless happenings of no interest whatsoever. And it is not funny, which I had been led to believe it was. What it is is awful, truly one of the worst books I have read this year. Save yourself the time and trouble and read the Enquirer instead. It may not be funny either, but at least it might be interesting.

posted by KenCady on August 1, 2010

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  • Posted August 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Hiaasen is almost back!

    Carl Hiaasen's "Star Island" is a return to his core novels (Skin Tight, Tourist Season, et al), that put him in my library.

    For the past few years, he has written Young Adult novels plus one about his experience attempting golf. Entertaining, but not the reason I read Hiaasen.

    Skink, the one-eyed former Governor, and Chemo w/weed-whacker as prosthesis return in "Star Island"

    But, Hiaasen is out of practice after the other novels. Star Island is a good read but a bit stale for Hiaasen. Let's hope that he returns to his wacky glory days of the early novels.

    13 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    OUTRAGEOUS...OVER THE TOP...HILARIOUS

    You know what they say confession is good for...so here I go: I'm a huge fan of Carl Hiaasen, hence this probably will not be an unbiased review. He always makes me smile, and I'm constantly amazed by his imagination, his productivity. After all, this is an author who not only pens bestsellers, but popular children's books, and writes a weekly column for The Miami Herald. If he has a vitamin regime - hope he'll share it.

    Second, there is another admission: I'm about to become a fan of Stephen Hoye's. He delivers an apt, easy listening narration of STAR ISLAND. Would imagine that Hiaasen's works are not the easiest to read - one must have the proper inflections for all the zingers delivered and a trained voice that can easily move from character to character without missing a beat - another challenging task because as has been shown this author's characters are really outre. Hoye succeeds in all areas.

    With STAR ISLAND Hiaasen takes on the celebrity life - to be precise the rollicking, ruinous life of over-the-hill alcohol and drug prone pop star Cherry Pie. Quite obviously, Cherry can be a bit of a handful for her producer who still marvels at her success when she has no discernible talent. Nonetheless, it will do her sagging career no good when she's too spaced out to make a public appearance. What's her stage mom supposed to do? Solution? Hire an actress to impersonate Cherry when she's "unavailable."

    Of course, it takes more than a producer and mom to keep the randy, reeling Cherry in line - there are twin publicists (well,, not actually twins but plastic surgery does wonders); a big, ugly bodyguard called Chemo; a determined paparazzo; and Clinton Tyree (former governor of Florida now hiding out in a swamp).

    The plot is driven by a multitude of hilarious, impossible situations. Hiaasen, it seems, can make even the most outrageous funny, and he does it once again with gusto in STAR ISLAND.

    Enjoy!

    - Gail Cooke

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Carl Hiaasen returns to form by switching up. Star Island gives

    Carl Hiaasen returns to form by switching up. Star Island gives the author's despoliation-of-Florida theme a rest by providing him with another target for his considerable store of outrage: pop celebrity.

    The chief offender is Cheryl "Cherry Pye" Bunterman, a teenage Britney manque with a singing voice "like a sack of starving kittens" and a dysfunctional entourage that enables (and covers up) her many assaults on common sense. Her perfect foil is overweight, self-deluded paparazzo Bing Abbott. Together, they'll make you fear for the future of the species.

    Hiaasen has plowed this turf before (ten years ago, in Basket Case), but here he lets out the stops. He doesn't need to condemn Cherry, her clueless parents, conniving twin PR gurus, or the "maggot mob" of paparazzi; he simply gets out of their way and through pitch-perfect portraits lets them hang themselves with their own words and actions. A few stock Hiaasen characters show up -- the grotesque sociopathic thug, the venal real-estate developer -- but at least there's no obvious stand-in for the author, which relieves the plot of some of the fantasy wish-fulfillment tropes that have marred some of his more recent works.

    Star Island is crazy, profane, nasty fun. If you've had your fill of reality-TV "personalities" and marginally talented "entertainers", you should enjoy watching them get skewered in this book. If you're already a Hiaasen fan, you'll enjoy seeing him break out of his formula and regain his satirical mojo. Either way, enjoy the ride. 

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    Weird & Wonderful

    I first read Hiaasen when I read Bad Monkey. It was so wild and funny, that I've started reading his other books and will continue until I read them all. Fun, wacky, fast-paced reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

    The monkeywrench gang meets self-absorbed fame

    Another jumble of over the top, manic characters. Delightfully mixed together and shaken, as only Hiassen can. Skink is reminiscent of the eco-terrorist Hayduke of the Monkey Wrench Gang, who meets up with any steretypical modern celebrity of the reality TV era. Funny and twisted jab at self-centeredness and self-absorption across the modern generation gaps. Great fun.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    Quick read

    Funny and quick read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    Great summer reading

    This is a lighthearted story set in Florida(I can relate to it) that tells the behind the scenes story of a starlett and those inflicted by her stupidity and along for the ride. Loved it.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    fun story as usual

    As with all of his books, it was fun to read. Not his best, but far from bad. Worth reading.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    just as good as the others

    always good books. still a few too many characters though

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  • Posted August 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting premise!

    Heard about the book when NPR interviewed the author who was really funny in an off-beat, tongue-in-cheek kind of way! I was not disappointed in the plot and his observations of the media-sharks and their prey, but I found the characters a little too out-there to develop any sense of relating or empathizing with any of them. It WAS a fun read - a little too graphic in parts for my taste, though - and the plot was not as far-fetched as it might seem. The "double" was plucky and seemed like the only "normal" character in the stor y but stretched my limits of imagination by the calm way she handled some of the dramatic spots. Are we sure she wasn't on drugs also?!? On the whole, filled with kooky characters and plausible dialogue and events. Something I might share but not keep on a bookshelf as a classic.

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Gotta love Skink

    Living in South Florida, I think I have a prejudice for Mr. Hiaasen's books (and columns) He puts his characters square in the middle of the crazy place that we call South Florida and scarily enough, he hits it on the head most of the time. This is not my favorite Hiassen book, but it is just what i needed at the time, a little fun. Hiassen should team up with Chelsea handler and make fun of the Lohan-hilton crowd, but then that would take him out of the Everglades and we don't want that.

    PS, Carl, please tell us, is Skink Lawton Chiles? that is who I think of every single time I read your books.

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Carl Hiaasen does it again

    With some of his classic characters on full display, Hiaasen writes a fun, kinky, whimsical little novel that is enjoyable throughout. Although he hits many of the same notes as in his other books, (ecological destruction, evil land developers), he doesn't grind them into your face, but takes them as a given. The new characters are all well-drawn and interesting in their own lights. Enjoy!

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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    Skink is back!

    Another excellent Hiaasen book. This is another in a long line of fun reads from Hiaasen. I love the way he mixes satire with comedy and writes in an entertaining manner. I love Skink.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2010

    great fun, very entertaining

    It's amazing to me how these quickly drawn, shallow characters can provide many laughs and can't put it down reading.

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    Posted April 22, 2011

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    Posted July 27, 2010

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    Posted June 16, 2011

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    Posted June 13, 2011

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