“A Star Is Bored” is hilarious and heartfelt

book cover of "A Star Is Bored" by Byron Lane
Cover of "A Star Is Bored" by Byron Lane

Byron Lane’s novel is influenced in part by the author’s time assisting Carrie Fisher

We are living in a world that is as unpredictable as the vicissitudes of an international diva. Against this backdrop, the perfect antidote for these times is Byron Lane‘s brilliant book A Star Is Bored, available for your quarantine delectation. Byron’s protagonist is Charlie, a guy stuck in a dead-end job writing news (if it bleeds, it leads). He wants to change his path.

I read this book during a time when I needed diversion and ended up wiping a tear now and then

A cocktail friend lets him know about a job as an assistant to a Hollywood celebrity—but not just ANY diva. This is Kathi Kannon, who starred in his favorite childhood movie and left an indelible impression on his heart as Priestess Talara in Nova Quest. And now, he is her Man Friday, dogsbody, executive assistant, and ultimately dear friend. And Charlie’s own personal quest shows the beauty and growth that happens when annealing fire removes everything from you that is inessential to the person you will become.

Lane worked as a personal assistant to Carrie Fisher. When you read this book, you can be sure that this is a work of fiction, although some aspects may be based on the armature of his relationship with his former boss and Hollywood legend. Kathi Kannon’s mother lives on the premises, and you can see Debbie Reynolds limned here and there, but the wee details that are similar only anchor the fiction that draws you into its wild heart to leave you thrilled, burning, raw and hopeful.

I read this book during a time when I needed diversion and ended up wiping a tear now and then at how closely others’ relationships can echo this in one’s own life.

This book is a rich compendium of amalgamated experiences woven with the wonder of an artist with words. After all, Lane won Emmy Awards for his news writing, and among his death-defying personal experiences with cancer and his descriptions of “happy” hours (kvetching hours?) and the hazards of online dating, his pen is as fecund as his imagination.

I felt his words echo in my heart, and when I read the final pages, I felt the loss of Kathi Kannon as keenly as I felt the loss of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds in such rapid succession.

Thank you, Byron Lane, for a book that rings with the humanity that is so clearly missing in our present times. It is good to know that there are people in the world who lead with love and share the love they lead.

A Star Is Bored by Byron Lane, Hardcover $20.49, Macmillan, ISBN 978-1-250-26649-1