A Star Is Bored
A hilariously heartfelt novel about living life at full force, and discovering family when you least expect it, influenced in part by the author’s time as Carrie Fisher’s beloved assistant.Charlie Besson is about to have an insane job interview. His car is idling, like his life, outside the Hollywood mansion of Kathi Kannon. THE Kathi Kannon, star of stage and screen and People magazine’s worst dressed list. She needs an assistant. He needs a hero.Kathi is an icon, bestselling author, and an award winning actress, most known for her role as Priestess Talara in the iconic blockbuster sci-fi film. She’s also known for another role: crazy Hollywood royalty. Admittedly so. Famously so. Fabulously so.Charlie gets the job, and embarks on an odyssey filled with late night shopping sprees, last minute trips to see the aurora borealis, and an initiation to that most sacred of Hollywood tribes: the personal assistant. But Kathi becomes much more than a boss, and as their friendship grows, Charlie must make a choice. Will he always be on the sidelines of life, assisting the great forces that be, or can he step into his own leading role?Laugh-out-loud funny, and searingly poignant, Byron Lane's A Star is Bored is a novel that, like the star at its center, is enchanting and joyous, heartbreaking and hopeful.

A Star Is Bored Details

TitleA Star Is Bored
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 28th, 2020
PublisherHenry Holt and Co.
ISBN-139781250266484
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Humor

A Star Is Bored Review

  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    Byron Lane's debut novel, A Star is Bored , is a funny and poignant look into the life of a celebrity’s personal assistant.Charlie hates his life. He hates his job as a news writer working the graveyard shift, he hates his father, he even hates the men he’s been having unsafe sex with. He’s entertained suicide but he lacks concrete plans and follow-through.But his life changes with the zaniest job interview of his life, to be the personal assistant to Kathi Kannon, iconic star of a classic sc Byron Lane's debut novel, A Star is Bored , is a funny and poignant look into the life of a celebrity’s personal assistant.Charlie hates his life. He hates his job as a news writer working the graveyard shift, he hates his father, he even hates the men he’s been having unsafe sex with. He’s entertained suicide but he lacks concrete plans and follow-through.But his life changes with the zaniest job interview of his life, to be the personal assistant to Kathi Kannon, iconic star of a classic sci-fi movie, best-selling author, and member of Hollywood royalty—her mother, famed actress Gracie Gold, lives on her estate. Kathi is also a (sometimes recovering) drug addict who has manic episodes.The job becomes all-consuming for Charlie, a stressful yet immensely satisfying adventure once he gets the hang of it. Kathi is needy and demanding and erratic and is, at times, a danger to herself and her reputation, but she truly cares about Charlie and helps him find his self-esteem.Between spontaneous trips to go see the aurora borealis and rescuing her from embarrassing faux pas with other celebs, Charlie gets immersed in the world of the celebrity assistant, learning the summits and pitfalls that his compatriots have experienced.When you spend your whole life propping someone up and being at their beck and call, when do you live? Are your needs ever front and center? Charlie has to decide what path he should take in order to find real satisfaction.This is a zany, wild, heartfelt book. Byron Lane was Carrie Fisher’s assistant so you know he knows of what he writes—and you can’t help but wonder just how much of Kathi’s behavior was inspired by true events. (I adored Carrie Fisher so I was hooked.)After a while, Kathi’s manic nature gets a little hard to take, but that’s when the heart of the book kicked in. This was a fun read if you’re a fan of the crazy lives of celebrities.NetGalley and Henry Holt & Company provided an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!The book publishes July 28.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
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  • Taylor Reid
    January 1, 1970
    Byron Lane was once Carrie Fisher’s personal assistant and he has now written a fictionalized story about the complicated relationship between a personal assistant and a movie star. It is a remarkable debut and it also does something I thought impossible: it captures both the joy and the edge of Carrie Fisher.
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  • Terry
    January 1, 1970
    **NOW AVAILABLE**Written by the man who was once Carrie Fisher's personal assistant, this novel is supposedly fiction. There definitely seems to be some inspiration from personal experience and real events, however. Regardless of whether this is fiction or pseudo-memoir, it is a well-written and entertaining novel.A Star is Bored follows Charlie, aka Cockring *cringe*, during the time surrounding his employment as Kathi Kannon's personal assistant. Kathi Kannon starred as Princess Telara in a **NOW AVAILABLE**Written by the man who was once Carrie Fisher's personal assistant, this novel is supposedly fiction. There definitely seems to be some inspiration from personal experience and real events, however. Regardless of whether this is fiction or pseudo-memoir, it is a well-written and entertaining novel.A Star is Bored follows Charlie, aka Cockring *cringe*, during the time surrounding his employment as Kathi Kannon's personal assistant. Kathi Kannon starred as Princess Telara in a famous sci-fi flick, and he idolized her when he was growing up. When he first starts for her he has been struggling as a TV news writer working the graveyard shift for years. He has no personal life because of this; he's always sleeping when everyone else is living. Charlie is anxiety-ridden and clearly battling low self-esteem from his brutal childhood. His time with Kathi, oddly enough, for she's a real piece of work herself, helps him to begin healing and growing as an individual. They become friends.Charlie and Kathi are both three-dimensional, with many flaws and virtues. Their relationship is quirky, at times hilarious, at times tender, at times frustrating. Many of the other characters, although not all, lack depth. Not a huge deal in itself, but enough to take away a star/nerd-face from my rating.I loved the emotions I felt while reading this heartfelt book. I laughed out loud on several occasions, but there were also dark moments. Moments that make one look deeper. There were wonders. There were horrors. There was the asinine. There was the mundane. There was romance. It was never boring. I love the title, having seen the movie A Star is Born. And yes, Bradley Cooper makes an appearance here as well.Definitely recommend.I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange from an honest review.SEE ON BLOG: https://ispeakbooknerd.com/2020/07/11...
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  • Mackenzi
    January 1, 1970
    Well this was effing great.
  • Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Macmillan Audio for the free audio copy in exchange for an honest review I read this book in my most recent booktube video which you can click here to watch or skip to 0:54 to here my thoughts on this specific book.| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram Many thanks to Macmillan Audio for the free audio copy in exchange for an honest review I read this book in my most recent booktube video which you can click here to watch or skip to 0:54 to here my thoughts on this specific book.| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this sweet, fictionalized story by Carrie Fisher’s former assistant about....a personal assistant to an actress famous for playing a space princess. (Who could THAT be?)Although the publisher’s note makes sure to tell us it is all a work of fiction, I clearly heard Carrie Fisher’s unique and wacky voice in every bit of Kathi’s dialogue. The book shows, with humor and sentiment and some sadness, what it is like to be almost a family member to a very effervescent, very talented and very dr I loved this sweet, fictionalized story by Carrie Fisher’s former assistant about....a personal assistant to an actress famous for playing a space princess. (Who could THAT be?)Although the publisher’s note makes sure to tell us it is all a work of fiction, I clearly heard Carrie Fisher’s unique and wacky voice in every bit of Kathi’s dialogue. The book shows, with humor and sentiment and some sadness, what it is like to be almost a family member to a very effervescent, very talented and very drug-addicted celebrity. The assistant Charlie (nicknamed “Cockring” by Carrie, I mean Kathi) clearly loves Kathi and tried to save her life. It’s a sweet and tough journey to read about Charlie’s struggles - as her personal assistant, at some point ultimately he became responsible for keeping her afloat in almost her every waking moment. This book hurts the heart a little extra when you read all of Charlie’s efforts to save “Kathi” from dying of drug addiction, when we now know Carrie Fisher died that way. This begins as a light and humorous memoir but evolves into something deeper with a lot of heart. Very much recommend.Thanks very much to NetGalley, Henry Holt, and Cockr....uh, Byron Lane for the ARC of this entertaining, alternately heartwarming and heartbreaking read in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Melissa Borsey
    January 1, 1970
    As a wholeI enjoyed this book. I didn't find it riotously funny and there were parts when the famous Kathi Kannon said "I'm bored.", I had to concur. It, is eye opening. I thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.
  • Mel Anne
    January 1, 1970
    rarely laugh out loud when I am reading a book but this was a rare story that had me laughing starting from the beginning. *Charlie’s life is anything but perfect. His mom passed away years ago, his dad has a kidney tumor, he is semi-suicidal and his night shift job of writing for a news show sucks! Between one night stands and feeling disconnected with the world, Charlie has been contemplating suicide for some time. That is until we gets a new “lifestyle” (job) working for the world famous actr rarely laugh out loud when I am reading a book but this was a rare story that had me laughing starting from the beginning. *Charlie’s life is anything but perfect. His mom passed away years ago, his dad has a kidney tumor, he is semi-suicidal and his night shift job of writing for a news show sucks! Between one night stands and feeling disconnected with the world, Charlie has been contemplating suicide for some time. That is until we gets a new “lifestyle” (job) working for the world famous actress Kathi Kannon, known for her role as the princess on the iconic sci-fi film (an obvious connection to Byron’s own history of being the personal assistant to the one and only Carrie Fisher). Kathi completely changes Charlie’s outlook on life and opportunity. Kathi’s antics are cringe worthy at times but had me laughing and shaking my head throughout this read!! *I felt totally immersed in the lives of Charlie and Kathi, and found their growing relationship heartwarming and hilarious. It’s cool to wonder how much of this book is based on Lane’s experience being Fisher’s assistant and how much is completely fictional! *This book seems like the perfect anthem to Carrie Fisher’s life and a nice shout out to a life long friend. *While at times this book had me cringing at some of Kathi’s ridiculous behavior (calling Charlie “cockring”) I couldn’t help but fall in love with this story. *Tap tap tap fizz fizz crackle.Naming furniture after ancient Chinese emperorsLiving room as opposed to dying room. * thank you @netgalley and @henryholtbooks for this ARC!! *
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  • James
    January 1, 1970
    "...I’m pleased to say there is much joy to be found in A Star Is Born. On the surface, it follows the madcap japes of a woman who truly lives in a universe of her own making, and the effect coming into that world has on an outsider is incredibly hilarious to read. Underneath that hilarious veneer is a novel about acceptance; acceptance of oneself, and acceptance of one’s circumstances, and one’s own power to change them..."Read my review in full at whatjamesread.comFollow @whatjamesread on Inst "...I’m pleased to say there is much joy to be found in A Star Is Born. On the surface, it follows the madcap japes of a woman who truly lives in a universe of her own making, and the effect coming into that world has on an outsider is incredibly hilarious to read. Underneath that hilarious veneer is a novel about acceptance; acceptance of oneself, and acceptance of one’s circumstances, and one’s own power to change them..."Read my review in full at whatjamesread.comFollow @whatjamesread on Instagram.
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  • Yvonne Olson
    January 1, 1970
    Wow!I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I started this book. I had a general idea of what it was about, but I didn't really dive that far into it. A Star is Bored had such an interesting plot to me. I loved following a character whose life got flipped for the better, but still had lingering struggles throughout. The character arcs are phenomenal, every character growing into something better and healthier all around. I will definitely recommend this to friends, and I can already think of a f Wow!I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I started this book. I had a general idea of what it was about, but I didn't really dive that far into it. A Star is Bored had such an interesting plot to me. I loved following a character whose life got flipped for the better, but still had lingering struggles throughout. The character arcs are phenomenal, every character growing into something better and healthier all around. I will definitely recommend this to friends, and I can already think of a few who would love it.
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  • Stacy
    January 1, 1970
    As an executive/personal assistant I was very interested in this book. I've worked as a personal assistant to very wealthy families in the DC area and was always interested in my colleagues on the West Coast, who work for celebrities. This book was a trip on the wild side for sure. I did feel that the humor was a bit over-exaggerated, which I didn't find particularly funny, but it was interesting for sure. The glibness about suicide in the beginning bothered me a bit, but that was just the chara As an executive/personal assistant I was very interested in this book. I've worked as a personal assistant to very wealthy families in the DC area and was always interested in my colleagues on the West Coast, who work for celebrities. This book was a trip on the wild side for sure. I did feel that the humor was a bit over-exaggerated, which I didn't find particularly funny, but it was interesting for sure. The glibness about suicide in the beginning bothered me a bit, but that was just the character. Kathy was very hard to like. I found Charlie very witty and likable and enjoyed the progress of his career and personal development.
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  • Nicole Meier
    January 1, 1970
    It's been a long while since a book has broken my heart and made me laugh out loud right through to the very last page. Thanks to Byron Lane's witty debut A Star is Bored, I can now claim both. Never mind that Lane was once the personal assistant to Carrie Fisher and it's difficult not to speculate how much of this story represents real life. Never mind the lure of being allowed a glimpse into the secret lives of the Hollywood elite. This story goes well beyond all of that and delivers an emotio It's been a long while since a book has broken my heart and made me laugh out loud right through to the very last page. Thanks to Byron Lane's witty debut A Star is Bored, I can now claim both. Never mind that Lane was once the personal assistant to Carrie Fisher and it's difficult not to speculate how much of this story represents real life. Never mind the lure of being allowed a glimpse into the secret lives of the Hollywood elite. This story goes well beyond all of that and delivers an emotional gut punch. A Star is Bored is a bittersweet story of love and loyalty between friends. It's a story of self-discovery and growth. And, in my personal opinion, it's a love letter to Carrie Fisher. I hope Lane writes more books soon. I highly recommend!
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    A Star is Bored is the story of a celebrity personal assistant written by a former celebrity personal assistant. As a pop culture junkie, I couldn't wait to read this book!There are a lot of parallels you can draw between the novel and real life. Charlie, the book’s protagonist, gets a job working for film star Kathi Kannon. She’s Hollywood royalty (her mother is a beloved star as well) and best known for playing an iconic sci-fi character who also writes books and is a recovering drug addict. B A Star is Bored is the story of a celebrity personal assistant written by a former celebrity personal assistant. As a pop culture junkie, I couldn't wait to read this book!There are a lot of parallels you can draw between the novel and real life. Charlie, the book’s protagonist, gets a job working for film star Kathi Kannon. She’s Hollywood royalty (her mother is a beloved star as well) and best known for playing an iconic sci-fi character who also writes books and is a recovering drug addict. Byron Lane, the author, worked for Carrie Fisher, a film star who was Hollywood royalty, best known for playing an iconic sci-fi character who also wrote books and was a recovering drug addict. It’s hard not to read A Star is Bored wondering what actually happened versus what’s pure fiction and while that’s what makes it entertaining, more often than not, it made me sad too. I think my biggest issue with the book is Charlie himself. He’s such a sad sack throughout and it’s difficult to root for him. There’s a subplot about his disapproving father that gives him a little more depth but it’s hard to get past his constant whining and anxiety. Also, some of Lane’s writing choices - like using a “Hey Siri” refrain - are odd and took me out of the story. Kathi, on the other hand, is vividly painted. She comes across as brilliant and complicated, someone who sees the world through a unique lens the rest of us can only hope to get the chance to glimpse. But she’s also depicted as someone who squanders her talent and privilege and who basically obliterates anything good in her life. Sometimes it seems these episodes and tantrums are meant to be humorous but I had a hard time reading them that way knowing how Carrie Fisher’s life ended. Even if Kathi’s story is completely fictional, it’s almost impossible not to project elements of it onto the star we all know when there are so many similarities between Lane’s real boss and the one he put in his book.Thank you to NetGalley, Henry Holt & Company and the author for an ebook to review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    'Life is new adventure every day, sometimes wonderful and usually a disaster.'A Star Is Bored has a very unique feel to it. It actually felt more a memoir than fiction, even though it was all made up. And it also had a more conversational and casual feel to it. It was refreshing in between the thrillers and romances that I have read lately. It was full of truths, introspection, and lots of zingers and one liners. You are thrown in to the absurd universe of Kathi Kannon from the start as she talk 'Life is new adventure every day, sometimes wonderful and usually a disaster.'A Star Is Bored has a very unique feel to it. It actually felt more a memoir than fiction, even though it was all made up. And it also had a more conversational and casual feel to it. It was refreshing in between the thrillers and romances that I have read lately. It was full of truths, introspection, and lots of zingers and one liners. You are thrown in to the absurd universe of Kathi Kannon from the start as she talks in riddles (which I enjoyed decoding along with Charlie every time!) and is proud of all her eccentricities. She appears to be strong and to give no f****s. But I really enjoyed watching her relationship with Charlie grow and transform, and her softer and more vulnerable side to emerge, as much as she tried to bury it. Kathi was truly an interesting character. At times she entertained, she irritated, she confused, but by the end she had really grown on me. I am sure that a lot of the crazy things she did, there are many celebrities and rich socialites out here that have actually done all of it and much worse. Her randomness really did keep me giggling. Charlie's character had so much depth and vulnerability too. My heart ached for him when he recalled his memories of his father and the way he treated him after his mother died. I was cheering him on as he blundered thru through multiple bad relationships and finally tackled his his issues with his dad. I listened to the Audiobook for part of this one too. Noah Galvin did an exceptional job in portraying all the characters. Thank you to the publisher and MacMillian Audio for advance copies in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Angelica
    January 1, 1970
    What would it be like to be the personal assistant for your ideal? A Star is Bored is the alternate universe to The Devil Wears. Lane takes us through two lives that intermingle and the journey they take together. Charlie is the fan geek in all of us, trying to forge an authentic relationship with a celebrity they do not understand. Lane gives an intense depiction of Charlie's upbringing and how these experiences lead him to latch into Kathi Kannon, his leading lady. Kathi's life is also reveale What would it be like to be the personal assistant for your ideal? A Star is Bored is the alternate universe to The Devil Wears. Lane takes us through two lives that intermingle and the journey they take together. Charlie is the fan geek in all of us, trying to forge an authentic relationship with a celebrity they do not understand. Lane gives an intense depiction of Charlie's upbringing and how these experiences lead him to latch into Kathi Kannon, his leading lady. Kathi's life is also revealed slowly through the eyes of Charlie and his many duties as a personal assistant. The pace is fast and witty with intense personal insight sprinkled in. Yet, the story seemed at times too forced and made it seem as if it was being thrown at the reader. While the reader gets an unforgiving look into Charlie's life, Kathi is left mostly as a shell of a person. Almost a charcuterie instead of an authentic fleshed out character.
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  • Becky Hansen
    January 1, 1970
    Funny and witty and utterly relatable even if your life is nothing like Hollywood. This is also a book that makes you think, my brain was spinning trying to figure out what was really happening here and what was going on under the surface and how does this person feel and that person and what would I do it it was me. Its definitely not my usual kind of a book but it was a happy foray into a different style.
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  • Nate
    January 1, 1970
    Byron Lane has created a character with Kathi Kannon who can only be described as a modern day Auntie Mame with bi-polar disorder. I loved so much about this novel, I loved the humor, I loved the heart and I loved the passion that floated off the page. From page 1 you are on Charlie’s side and you want to learn and go along with him, he is captivating! There is terrific heart in this book and at times I was laughing while I was crying. Not a reading session went by that didn’t end with my fiancé Byron Lane has created a character with Kathi Kannon who can only be described as a modern day Auntie Mame with bi-polar disorder. I loved so much about this novel, I loved the humor, I loved the heart and I loved the passion that floated off the page. From page 1 you are on Charlie’s side and you want to learn and go along with him, he is captivating! There is terrific heart in this book and at times I was laughing while I was crying. Not a reading session went by that didn’t end with my fiancé saying “was it really that funny.” Yes it was! Byron Lane is a witty and original voice and the book is a breath of fresh air! I look forward to his other novels!
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  • Matthew Allard
    January 1, 1970
    It shouldn't be a surprise because I've seen him do it before (his hilarious stage play "Tilda Swinton Answers An Ad On Craigslist," for example) but Byron Lane has a rare gift for spinning the zaniest of situations into something deeper, more heartfelt. "A Star Is Bored" has him doing it again. For me, his work is most alive in all the little details, the strange oddities he mines from life. It's a privilege to call him a friend, and I'm so excited for the success of this book!
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  • Peter Lyon
    January 1, 1970
    A tender, funny, heartbreaking glimpse into a world at once exclusive and yet familiar. Charlie, a newly minted celebrity personal assistant, discovers and navigates his responsibilities as he looks after movie star Kathi Kannon most known for her role as Priestess Talara in the hit Sci-Fi movie Nova Quest. As this new world of wealth, fame, and power unfolds around him, Charlie faces the very real and omnipresent dangers that not even the rich and famous can escape from. Undoubtedly drawn from A tender, funny, heartbreaking glimpse into a world at once exclusive and yet familiar. Charlie, a newly minted celebrity personal assistant, discovers and navigates his responsibilities as he looks after movie star Kathi Kannon most known for her role as Priestess Talara in the hit Sci-Fi movie Nova Quest. As this new world of wealth, fame, and power unfolds around him, Charlie faces the very real and omnipresent dangers that not even the rich and famous can escape from. Undoubtedly drawn from his time and experience as Carrie Fisher's assistant, author Byron Lane writes earnestly and deftly about the colorful life of this fictional member of Hollywood royalty. A departure from the ordinary but a reminder of what we all encounter, A Star is Bored is glorious.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    This was not my cup of tea but it’s very well written and snappy in wit and pace. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
  • R Hrizuk
    January 1, 1970
    A Star is Bored is about Charlie who has a job he dislikes and does not like his life. In response Charlie takes a job as a personal assistant to Kathi Kannon, a movie star out of control. These two unlikely characters form a friendship that changes them both.I did not find this book laugh out loud funny, but it does have humor. It was an enjoyable read. It also leads us to believe that we can change our lives at any time.I received this book from #GoodReads to review.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    So, the author was a personal assistant to Carrie Fisher and this a times feels too much like memoir and less like fiction. I'm sure a lot of this is fiction, but it still feels too close at times. There are funny bits as well as touching moments and I was initially more entertained by the writing but as it went on, it started to grate on me. Some things are supposed to be funny, but just aren't and keep being repeated. The main character's nickname... just annoying. The vulgarity wasn't necessa So, the author was a personal assistant to Carrie Fisher and this a times feels too much like memoir and less like fiction. I'm sure a lot of this is fiction, but it still feels too close at times. There are funny bits as well as touching moments and I was initially more entertained by the writing but as it went on, it started to grate on me. Some things are supposed to be funny, but just aren't and keep being repeated. The main character's nickname... just annoying. The vulgarity wasn't necessary. Maybe I'm just too mature for this author's writing style. I think this is directed at a young audience.Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Simone
    January 1, 1970
    I‘m giving this book a 4,5/5 star rating! Proper review to come at The Nerd Daily.
  • Jess Playin
    January 1, 1970
    While Byron Lane mentions several times this is simply influenced by his time as Carrie Fisher's personal assistant there are very clear parallels that beg the question how much of this is simply autobiographical? It's definitely clear that Byron has experienced a lot of what he's talking about and the rich detail is "A Star is Bored" is one of the things I liked about it. I wouldn't say it's riotously funny or incredibly witty, but it has a very low key charming quality throughout. I loved the While Byron Lane mentions several times this is simply influenced by his time as Carrie Fisher's personal assistant there are very clear parallels that beg the question how much of this is simply autobiographical? It's definitely clear that Byron has experienced a lot of what he's talking about and the rich detail is "A Star is Bored" is one of the things I liked about it. I wouldn't say it's riotously funny or incredibly witty, but it has a very low key charming quality throughout. I loved the character of Charlie Besson and I was rooting throughout for his growth and for him to overcome his childhood trauma. Some of the banter in the book involving his character is also top notch. So you may be wondering why I'm giving it a three stars if my review is so glowing? Well I really disliked Kathi Kannon. Kathi is a spoiled rich celebrity and some of her behavior in the book is simply awful to Charlie and others. So I couldn't really understand the magnetism or "shine" that keeps drawing people into her orbit. Charlie is a very codependent personality type so you can understand why he is attracted to this, but are the rest simply doing it for money? Celebrities can get away with a lot so I'm sure this is a realistic depiction but it just felt tedious and far fetched at times. Overall though it's a fast paced and fairly enjoyable read with some rather poignant moments. Thanks to NetGalley and Henry Holt and Co for the advanced readers copy!
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  • Lisa Leone-campbell
    January 1, 1970
    The author of A Star is Bored, Byron Lane was Carrie Fisher's personal assistant for three years.  He continually has stated that this book is a work of fiction...but I truly hope that he did take some liberties from his time with Ms. Fisher!This is the funniest, laugh out loud book I have read in a very long time! The banter between the characters is incredible and witty and even though I am not suppose to I can't help but hear Fisher's voice in my head as I read the story, which made it even m The author of A Star is Bored, Byron Lane was Carrie Fisher's personal assistant for three years.  He continually has stated that this book is a work of fiction...but I truly hope that he did take some liberties from his time with Ms. Fisher!This is the funniest, laugh out loud book I have read in a very long time! The banter between the characters is incredible and witty and even though I am not suppose to I can't help but hear Fisher's voice in my head as I read the story, which made it even more comical.Charlie works as an overnight writer for a boring publication.  He want to leave and dreams of having a more exciting job.  Well, be careful what you wish for!  On a tip, he applies for the job as the personal assistant to ultra celebrity Kathi Kannon.  Kannon, who just happens to be a very famous princess from a sci-fi movie lives on a property she shares with her very famous eccentric mother.  During the job interview (audition?) Charlie is extremely confused as to what Ms. Kannon is looking for in an assistant and leaves unsure of whether he even got the job.The phone rings and Charlie gets his first inking that he got the job but still unsure of what the job entails.  As he soon finds out being Kannon's personal assistant is a trip, both literally and figuratively.  Between doling out her pills in the morning (see bottom draw in bedroom), to taking her on hilarious vacations (see Japan), to being not only her caretaker but her protector, Charlie finds the chaos disturbingly exciting. And the perks are not so bad either.As Charlie tries to put Kannon's life in some sort of order, she on the other hand fights to have the continued mayhem.  There is a housekeeper who has a brain tumor who seems to do nothing but sleep at the kitchen table on a daily basis and a gardener who seems to hold hedge clippers in his hand daily, but never seems to clip anything. Added to the disorganization is Kannon's mother who is constantly handing Charlie bags of money to make sure her daughter eats her "vegetables". There are almost daily trips to what Kannon calls "Vegas" which Charlie assumes are shopping jaunts. They are not. There is one extremely comical episode in which Kannon runs naked (with a bed sheet) into traffic outside her house and Charlie literally tries to reel her in. Then cleans up the public relations mess.Entwined in the story is Charlie's own personal dysfunctional history with a mother who died very young and an overbearing father with anger issues who screams a lot, so much so Charlie can't get his voice out of his head. He also highlights the difficulty of trying to have any kind of personal relationship when you are on call 24/7 at the whim of a superstar. His own dating chronicles are just as funny as his personal assistant shenanigans. But through all the craziness, Charlie and Kathi develop a relationship which cannot really be defined.  Part respect, part sibling, part parent/child but most of all devotion to each other and a mutual love.I want to say I truly hope some of this is based in truth because in my head I want to believe Kathi Kannon and Carrie Fisher really did have these absolutely incredible you could not make this stuff up adventures.So relax, sit back and go along for the most enjoyable ride! This would surely be a great beach read. Thank you #NetGalley #HenryHoltandCo #ByronLane #AStarIsBored for the advanced copy.  The book will be published on July 28.
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  • Lisa Leone-campbell
    January 1, 1970
    The author of A Star is Bored, Byron Lane was Carrie Fisher's personal assistant for three years.  He continually has stated that this book is a work of fiction...but I truly hope that he did take some liberties from his time with Ms. Fisher!This is the funniest, laugh out loud book I have read in a very long time! The banter between the characters is incredible and witty and even though I am not suppose to I can't help but hear Fisher's voice in my head as I read the story, which made it even m The author of A Star is Bored, Byron Lane was Carrie Fisher's personal assistant for three years.  He continually has stated that this book is a work of fiction...but I truly hope that he did take some liberties from his time with Ms. Fisher!This is the funniest, laugh out loud book I have read in a very long time! The banter between the characters is incredible and witty and even though I am not suppose to I can't help but hear Fisher's voice in my head as I read the story, which made it even more comical.Charlie works as an overnight writer for a boring publication.  He want to leave and dreams of having a more exciting job.  Well, be careful what you wish for!  On a tip, he applies for the job as the personal assistant to ultra celebrity Kathi Kannon.  Kannon, who just happens to be a very famous princess from a sci-fi movie lives on a property she shares with her very famous eccentric mother.  During the job interview (audition?) Charlie is extremely confused as to what Ms. Kannon is looking for in an assistant and leaves unsure of whether he even got the job.The phone rings and Charlie gets his first inking that he got the job but still unsure of what the job entails.  As he soon finds out being Kannon's personal assistant is a trip, both literally and figuratively.  Between doling out her pills in the morning (see bottom draw in bedroom), to taking her on hilarious vacations (see Japan), to being not only her caretaker but her protector, Charlie finds the chaos disturbingly exciting. And the perks are not so bad either.As Charlie tries to put Kannon's life in some sort of order, she on the other hand fights to have the continued mayhem.  There is a housekeeper who has a brain tumor who seems to do nothing but sleep at the kitchen table on a daily basis and a gardener who seems to hold hedge clippers in his hand daily, but never seems to clip anything. Added to the disorganization is Kannon's mother who is constantly handing Charlie bags of money to make sure her daughter eats her "vegetables". There are almost daily trips to what Kannon calls "Vegas" which Charlie assumes are shopping jaunts. They are not. There is one extremely comical episode in which Kannon runs naked (with a bed sheet) into traffic outside her house and Charlie literally tries to reel her in. Then cleans up the public relations mess.Entwined in the story is Charlie's own personal dysfunctional history with a mother who died very young and an overbearing father with anger issues who screams a lot, so much so Charlie can't get his voice out of his head. He also highlights the difficulty of trying to have any kind of personal relationship when you are on call 24/7 at the whim of a superstar. His own dating chronicles are just as funny as his personal assistant shenanigans. But through all the craziness, Charlie and Kathi develop a relationship which cannot really be defined.  Part respect, part sibling, part parent/child but most of all devotion to each other and a mutual love.I want to say I truly hope some of this is based in truth because in my head I want to believe Kathi Kannon and Carrie Fisher really did have these absolutely incredible you could not make this stuff up adventures.So relax, sit back and go along for the most enjoyable ride! This would surely be a great beach read. Thank you #NetGalley #HenryHoltandCo #ByronLane #AStarIsBored for the advanced copy.  The book will be published on July 28.
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    Charlie Besson is tired. He works as an overnight news writer, and he’s tired of it. And he’s tired. And he’s tired of watching other people have lives while he sleeps all day and works all night. He wants something a little more . . . normal. So when an acquaintance mentions a job opening for a personal assistant to a celebrity, he jumps at the chance. Especially since it’s Kathi Kannon, actor, writer, daughter of Hollywood icons, and sci-fi icon Priestess Talara from NovaQuest. Charlie loved h Charlie Besson is tired. He works as an overnight news writer, and he’s tired of it. And he’s tired. And he’s tired of watching other people have lives while he sleeps all day and works all night. He wants something a little more . . . normal. So when an acquaintance mentions a job opening for a personal assistant to a celebrity, he jumps at the chance. Especially since it’s Kathi Kannon, actor, writer, daughter of Hollywood icons, and sci-fi icon Priestess Talara from NovaQuest. Charlie loved his Priestess Talara action figure as a kid, taking it with him everywhere, until his father got fed up and took it away from him. But now Charlie has the chance to make it all right again, by helping the woman herself with—what exactly does a personal assistant do, anyway? And then he goes to her house to meet her. There are irreverent signs on her front gate, unorthodox sculptures in her yard, fires burning in the fireplaces in summer, a cook in her ‘80s who has a brain tumor, a groundskeeper who barely works and may live in her shed, rooms full of color and art and collectibles and photos. It’s chaos everywhere. Charlie looks at all this, meets the bipolar, wisecracking, recovering addict herself, and he can’t help but beg the universe for the chance to be a part of it all. What follows is a crazy ride as Kathi’s assistant. There were texts and calls from celebrities, and errands like fetching her phone from the bathroom at Barney’s. Charlie organized her medications and her socks, picked up the jewelry she left on the floor, and collected the weekly “vegetable money” from her mother Miss Gracie. He took her to doctor’s appointments, got her shoes fixed, and reassured her that yes, she does like cilantro. But most of all, he saw her. He saw her at her best and at her worst, and he loved her still. The worlds of celebrity and celebrity assistants come together in A Star Is Bored. The curtain is pulled back on it all, and the show is so much better when you get this kind of access. Author Byron Lane knows what he’s writing about. As a former assistant to Carrie Fisher, Lane writes this with confidence and specificity, so you have to wonder how much is truth and how much is fiction. If you’re worried about it turning into a tawdry tell-all about one of Hollywood’s favorite famous families, rest easy. This is nothing less than a love letter to our beloved Princess Leia and her star power, her charisma, her intelligence, her humor, and her spirit. I expected to be entertained by this book (and I was!). I didn’t expect to be so incredibly moved by it (but I was!). A Star Is Bored is a powerful look inside Hollywood, inside mental illness, and inside the kind of friendship that just doesn’t come along every day. Very highly recommended! Egalleys for A Star Is Bored were provided by Henry Holt & Company through NetGalley, with many thanks.
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  • Kevin
    January 1, 1970
    Carrie Fisher wrote four published novels and three memoirs and, while perhaps better known as an actress, to me, she was always writer Carrier Fisher rather than actress Carrie Fisher. I always wish I had told her that when she used to pop into a business I ran years ago but I come from the school of never fawning over celebrity for fear you'll make them uncomfortable. Nonetheless, it was always difficult not to quietly say, "Just in case it matters, I love your books" because, with her 1987 de Carrie Fisher wrote four published novels and three memoirs and, while perhaps better known as an actress, to me, she was always writer Carrier Fisher rather than actress Carrie Fisher. I always wish I had told her that when she used to pop into a business I ran years ago but I come from the school of never fawning over celebrity for fear you'll make them uncomfortable. Nonetheless, it was always difficult not to quietly say, "Just in case it matters, I love your books" because, with her 1987 debut, "Postcards from the Edge", and then as writer of the 1990 screenplay adaptation--which required she reimagine her own story-- she became a literary icon to me, an icon who managed to eclipse even Princess Leia, her iconic Star Wars character who had been my first slice of unshakable Carrie love. Before Fisher died in 2016, it felt like she still had a novel or two left in her system; after 2004's "Postcards" sequel, "The Best Awful" (one of my favorite novels of all), Fisher seemingly abandoned fiction to focus on hyper-comic memoirs. While I still hold out hope that maybe--just maybe--there's an unpublished (but publishable) novel somewhere in her papers, Byron Lane's "A Star Is Bored" fits right in as a sort of unofficial conclusion to the "Postcards/Best Awful" duo. Swapping Fishers' Suzanne Vale for Lane's Kathi Kannon and swapping the POV from Postcard's multiple narrators and "The Best Awful"'s omniscient one to "Star"'s depressed young man who becomes a writer-slash-movie star's personal assistant, Lane's book feels like the concluding chapter for those two books and does something stunningly impressive: he matches the wit and poignancy found in Fisher's own writings, which is no easy feat. From brilliant wordplay to mood-shifting prose that takes the reader from hilarity to heartbreak, Lane's story is both wholly original and comparably brilliant. Drawing on his own years as Fisher's assistant, Lane crafts a story that is both personal and relatable; anyone who has mistaken a career for life will surely feel a pang in their own hearts as Lane's Charlie vanishes further and further into Kannon's world and finds himself in the role of caretaker/friend while perhaps just being viewed on the other side of the relationship as a mere employee. To say more is to say too much but the final chapters of the book--which is filled with hilarious moments involving an impromptu ride on a dog sled, an increasingly hilarious multi-course dinner of absolutely disgusting culinary delights, and sharp quips that will make an attentive reader laugh loudly--are heartbreaking in their encroaching sadness. In short, read it. It hits bookstore shelves Tuesday.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Partner NetGalley for the digital ARC of Byron Lane's A Star Is Bored in exchange for an honest review. The book will be published on Tuesday, July 28.Byron Lane’s fictional A Star Is Bored details the relationship between fabulous film star Kathi Kannon, daughter of Hollywood royalty, and her assistant, Charlie Besson (our protagonist). I pictured Carrie Fisher in every scene between Kathi and Charlie. But ultimately, that mental casting doesn't matter because the book, at its heart, Thanks to Partner NetGalley for the digital ARC of Byron Lane's A Star Is Bored in exchange for an honest review. The book will be published on Tuesday, July 28.Byron Lane’s fictional A Star Is Bored details the relationship between fabulous film star Kathi Kannon, daughter of Hollywood royalty, and her assistant, Charlie Besson (our protagonist). I pictured Carrie Fisher in every scene between Kathi and Charlie. But ultimately, that mental casting doesn't matter because the book, at its heart, is about Charlie. (I will admit that, the minute I finished the book, I headed to Google to see: was author Byron Lane really Carrie Fisher's assistant? And the answer is yes. It doesn't *truly* matter because the world he created, and the people within it, are real enough to stand on their own. But I also wanted to know.) Charlie is depressed and adrift, anchorless after the death of his mother when he was 12 and his father's constant verbal abuse. Charlie's memory is haunted by attacks from his father's attempts to shame and scream Charlie into denying his homosexuality. Miserable in a job writing nightly news updates, Charlie jumps at the chance to interview with Kathi Kannon, who is looking for a new assistant.From the moment Charlie enters through the gate of her mansion, he is swept into a world where he is running slightly behind, off kilter in the face of Kathi's bizarre requests, brilliant and playful and crass language (she calls him Cockring through the entire book), and expectation that HE should know what to do. I felt a sense of dread in those early moments of their relationship because it's so clear that Charlie has no idea what he should be doing and is ill prepared for the force that is Kathi's will. But Charlie soon resolves to be a good assistant, to figure out what he needs to do, to carve out the best way to take care of Kathi.Ever-present through the novel is Charlie's awareness of Kathi's drug addiction and the disapproving, yet supportive enabling of Kathi's famous mother, Miss Gracie, who lives on the same estate. In Miss Gracie's assistant, Roger, Charlie sees a potential future, one in which he is inseparable from Kathi, both elevated and doomed by his willingness to sacrifice his autonomy to her glamour and charisma, her Shine, as she calls it. The book is funny and sad and hopeful and beautiful. There are times that it's almost painful to read--there's some secondhand embarrassment, but there's also a sense of fear when we as readers can see Kathi's path, while Charlie is in denial. I enjoyed the entire book, but the last third, which is so, so tender, made A Star Is Bored a triumph for me.
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  • Pop Bop
    January 1, 1970
    Mostly Very Funny, But Sometimes Very TediousThe problem with a roman a clef is that if you like parts and are annoyed by parts you don't know whether to praise/blame the real people it's based on or the author or the author's "fictional" characters. The author, Byron Lane, was Carrie Fisher's personal assistant. That relationship is basically what the book is about, or is built around. The book is told in the first person by Kathi Kannon's personal assistant, Charlie; Kannon is obviously modele Mostly Very Funny, But Sometimes Very TediousThe problem with a roman a clef is that if you like parts and are annoyed by parts you don't know whether to praise/blame the real people it's based on or the author or the author's "fictional" characters. The author, Byron Lane, was Carrie Fisher's personal assistant. That relationship is basically what the book is about, or is built around. The book is told in the first person by Kathi Kannon's personal assistant, Charlie; Kannon is obviously modeled on Fisher. So far so good. One assumes that the narrator, Charlie, is modeled to some degree on Lane. Not so good.The character Kathy Kannon is smart, funny, lonely, unpredictable, eccentric in the extreme, perceptive, good hearted, irreverent, complex, and pretty much everything you would want in a fictional heroine, and everything you suspect or hope the delightful and complex Carrie Fisher was. Whenever she is on the page the book lights up. The Charlie character may or may not be closely based on the author Byron Lane. I don't know Byron Lane from Adam, although his bio and credits suggest he's an accomplished writer/actor/playwright. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Charlie, Lane's avatar/fictional roman a clef self, spends most of the book as a whinging, overly dramatic, self-obsessed, sad sack. When he is on the page we get neurosis, childhood pain, and an almost perversely prideful celebration of his own lameness. So, what do you do with that? On the one hand almost everything the Kannon character does and says is gold. Set pieces about L.A., the "business", being a personal assistant, celebrity lifestyle, and so on, is edgy and sharp. But pretty much everything about Charlie is tedious. If Lane can write Kannon as well as he did then Lane wrote Charlie the way he did on purpose. Why? I don't know. I guess you could insert some generational stereotyping and trash talk here, but what's the point. For what it's worth I ended up just reading all of the Kannon parts, read everything with secondary characters, skimmed Charlie's mopey tales of woe, and generally enjoyed myself. Maybe that's enough. Because Kannon is a marvelous character.(Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
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