A Star Is Bored

Holt. Jul. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781250266491. $26.99. F
DEBUT Thinly veiled stories of the rich and famous have always been popular; Lane’s new roman à clef about his time as actress/writer Carrie Fisher’s personal assistant is sure to make a splash. Struggling writer Charlie Besson gets a job working for Hollywood icon Kathi Kannon, who immediately christens him “Cockring.” Things get even crazier from there. Charlie lost his mother as a child, he’s gay, and his relationship with his abusive father is fraught. Kathi is a bipolar drug addict who needs to be closely monitored, and she’s lonely. Kathi and Charlie develop a strong bond. He makes sure she takes her meds, takes her wherever she wants to go, and listens to her. She becomes almost a mother figure to Charlie. It is not always clear who is helping whom more, but things are not as idyllic as Charlie wants to believe. Told with empathy, charm, and a lot of humor, Lane’s look at celebrity life is surprisingly relatable—he may soon find himself in need of a personal assistant.
VERDICT A peek inside the wacky life of beloved Hollywood royalty, this debut novel should have wide appeal. Read-alikes include Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada and Joyce Carol Oates’s Blonde.
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