STATE OF HYSTERIA

Drugged-up pop tarts, sleazy paparazzi, celebrity stand-ins and psychos of every variety populate the south Florida of Carl Hiaasen’s Star Island. In his latest novel, Hiaasen aims his typically skewed and satirical wit at celebrity culture and the people who make their existence preying on it.

As usual, Hiaasen’s colorful characters — from the washed-up-at-22 starlet Cherry Pye to Bang Abbott, the obsessive paparazzi who tries to kidnap her — are memorable and unique, the action alternately gripping and laugh-out-loud funny, and the plot plenty weird. Longtime fans of Hiaasen’s absurdist mysteries will also be happy to hear that Skink — the one-eyed former Florida governor who lives in the swamps, eating roadkill and tormenting tourists — is back, right in the thick of things. And he’s not the only character making a return performance: One of the author’s most distinctive villains is back for an encore as well, weed-whacker prosthesis intact.

Hiaasen will be at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street, tonight at 7:30 p.m. to read from and sign Star Island. Tickets for the free appearance will be handed out at 6:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served, one-per-person basis. For more information, visit www.tatteredcover.com or call 303-436-1070.
Wed., Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m., 2010

 
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