Knopf, Jul 27 2010, $26.95
Singer Cheryl Bunterman alias Cherry Pye began her career as a fifteen year old at Jailbait Records. Besides her lack of any talent, Cherry cannot stop her addictions for sex, drugs, and booze. Her singing career seems tanked.
However, several people have a deep interest in Cherry’s career remaining afloat. Her mother Janet Bunterman, her producer Maury Lykes and her double Ann DeLusia like the money. That is why Ann is seen about the town while Cherry is in rehab. Also interested in Cherry are developer Jackie Sebago and paparazzo Bang Abbott, as each sees money to be made from the crooner who cannot sing. Bang kidnaps Ann thinking she is Cherry by mistake while the former Florida governor Clinton "Skink" Tyree, who fell in love at first sight with Ann or is Ann as Cherry plans to rescue his darling.
This is a superb satire that lampoons the celebrity frenzy that grips Americans. The story line rips the media for how easily they are suckered by spin doctors, and the tabloid reporters for stalking the famous even placing people in danger doing so while claming their First Amendment rights, and their readers for supporting the stalking. Also gutted is the celeb retinue and hanger-ons who are there when the money and fame are there, but vanish when the star novas. This is a winner as Carl Hiaasen leaves no prisoners in his version of “Fame”.