Tag Archives: rock star

When You Wish Upon a Star

Last Night at Chateau Marmont: A Novel by Lauren Weisberger (Washington Square Press, $15.00, 384 pages)

“You have to be ruthless about your privacy.”

Lights, camera, action!   Lauren Weisberger’s latest novel makes the reader feels like she’s watching a movie.   Devoted wife and nutritionist, Brooke Alter, has supported her talented singer/songwriter husband, Julian, for years as he refines his talents.   Brooke works two jobs and yet still manages to attend most of Julian’s performances at local New York City bars and nightclubs.

All through these formative years, Julian and Brooke manage to keep their relationship healthy and meaningful.   Then, the obvious occurs when Julian’s marginal contract with Sony becomes a ticket to stardom thanks to a photo opportunity with a gorgeous woman.   The story line is foreseeable.   The studious, devoted wife of a dedicated musician must learn to cope with his success and fame all the while trying to keep in tact her own career as a registered dietician.   The paparazzi provide more fodder for Julian’s notoriety with more than a little help from him.   Brooke is thrown into a melee of popping flashbulbs and tabloid lies/half-truths.

Along the way the reader meets the families and the friends of both Julian and Brooke.   Brooke’s BFF, Nola, is a real treasure.   We should be so lucky to have her for a buddy.   A few real-life rock stars and acting celebrities are thrown in to heighten the mood and give a sense of scale to Julian’s newly anointed status as a rock star.

This reviewer had a malingering sense of impending doom for Brooke and Julian’s relationship and Brooke’s career.   Author Weisberger builds enough tension to keep the reader’s attention and foster plenty of sympathy for Brooke’s plight.   No spoiler alert needed.

This is chick lit at its most polished and predictable best.   Why go to the trouble of courting fame and fortune if you can’t enjoy it?

Recommended.

Ruta Arellano

A review copy was provided by the publisher.   Last Night at Chateau Marmont was released in trade paperback form on June 14, 2011.

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Just like Romeo and Juliet

Annie and Duncan are stuck.   They’ve spent the last 15 years in a predictable non-committal “marriage” in a nowhere town near the English seacoast.   Their relationship lacks passion and purpose.   Annie’s also beginning to notice the ticking of her biological clock.   A trip to the U.S. to indulge Duncan’s internet-based obsession with a vanished and long-forgotten rock star (Tucker Crowe) takes them on a pilgrimage of sorts, crisscrossing the states and concluding on the west coast.Juliet, Naked

Annie makes her first move toward independence by remaining in San Francisco to do a bit of sightseeing while Duncan takes the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train to a residential neighborhood in Berkeley where, over twenty years earlier, the rocker Crowe threw rocks at his married lover’s window.   As Annie and Duncan make uncharacteristic choices, the plot rapidly takes off.

You’ll need to read the book to find out how Nick Hornby gently coaxes his ever-increasing cast of characters to reflect on their lives and relationships.   He weaves a charming plot into a quite satisfying read.   This is a tale not to be missed if you’re ever been fascinated by someone or something to near distraction, or if you happen to use the internet.

Recommended.

Riverhead, $25.95, 406 pages

Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.

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