Monday 22 November 2010

Fallen Star

A rare book review - something I read on authonomy a while back and have championed ever since. Fallen Star by Ian Barker and recently published by Rebel e Publishers, although fortunately there's a dead-tree version as well for those of us who haven't yet embraced the e-reader revolution. I bought this recently from Amazon and I wasn't disappointed. Fallen Star is the story of ex-rock-star Karl and ordinary Irish cafe-worker Lizzie. He's famous; she's a nobody. He's used to getting what he wants; she won't play second fiddle to anyone. And he's the son of a war hero while she's the daughter of a terrorist. Can they ever find any common ground?

But this is more than a love story - it's a bird's-eye view of the "cult of the celebrity" that pervades our lives these days. From auditions for porn films to chat shows to reality tv shows, this book covers what it means to be "famous" in the 21st century. And it does it so well, it's scary.

Barker has a real wit. There are some fabulous one-liners in here that made me laugh out loud (and I committed the ultimate sin of turning page corners so I could find them again). "He turned on the smile again and her resistance caved in so far it would have needed an army of potholers to rescue it."  Fabulous! The audition for the blue movie seemed so realistic I'm wondering how Barker did his research. And when Karl and Lizzie get caught in flagrante delicto by a posse of Girl Guides, I practically wet myself laughing.

The ending was predictable but with a nice twist that I didn't see coming. I did feel that the story stopped quite abruptly and I'd have liked to have known more, but that's probably because I was so caught up in these peoples' lives that I didn't want to stop reading. And without spoilers - I think Barker should patent his idea for a reality tv show before anyone else gets hold of it!

This is indie publishing at its best. Buy it. Buy it NOW.