During the last year, a new source of guilt has entered my life, in the form of pre-publication books. Publishers and authors have figured out that a lot of book readers read our site. So every week or two a new book arrives, sent by a publisher in hopes that we will review it on this site and stimulate sales. Sometimes that happens. More often, though, the book is added to the ever-growing stack in my library. I think the last book I actually managed to review here was Karl Zinsmeister’s comic book about the Iraq war.
Most of the books we are asked to review involve politics, economics, history and so on. But a couple of weeks ago, we got an email that was out of the ordinary. It asked whether we would review Pamela Anderson’s new book, Star Struck. I replied in a rather jocular tone that I would be happy to review the book if they would send me a copy inscribed by Pam herself.
A few days later a package arrived, which I opened–somewhat regrettably–in Mrs. R’s presence. Sure enough, it was Star Struck, featuring a photo of the author spread over the front and back covers; click on the image if you want to buy it from Amazon:
I didn’t start Star Struck immediately, since–don’t tell the publishers who are awaiting reviews of their political books–I’ve been reading Vanity Fair, a wonderful book which I missed in earlier years. But a few days ago, I dipped into Star Struck for a change of pace.
I’d assumed, of course, that the book was ghost-written, and that Miss Anderson had little to do with it beyond the cover photo. After reading a few pages, I decided I’d been wrong. Pamela may indeed have written it herself:
Stretching, Star reached up to push back her hair as she tried to get her bearings and she struck herself on the forehead with the chrome handle of the Colt .45 she was holding in her right hand. She screamed and fell off the dresser on which she’d been perched. The gun went off, taking out a glass table top that shattered into four-carat chunks of safety glass.
Star stared at the revolver in her hand. She’d never even touched a gun before, but here she was, naked except for a pair of Gucci boots, a strange diamond ring, and a gun welded to her hand.
What the hell was going on?
I never found out, actually, because I only made it through 20 or 30 pages. One reason why I think Anderson might really have written Star Struck is that it reflects a knowledge of her relationship with Tommy Lee (“Jimi Deed” in the book) much more intimate than is possessed by the 100 or 200 million people who have seen the videotape–which, by the way, has a place in the novel.
I confess to a certain admiration for Miss Anderson. She is sort of a female Keith Richards, and, after all she has been through, she probably should look like Richards. But instead, she looks like a million bucks. Sure, it probably cost her a million bucks to do it–but, still.
Nevertheless, however much I may admire Anderson’s irrepressible vitality, I cannot recommend her as an author. Star Struck is quite pornographic, but it didn’t take long before I was yearning for the guilty pleasures of Vanity Fair. With all due respect to Miss Anderson, Ecstasy-soaked orgies are no match for the wicked allure of Becky Sharp. So, it’s farewell to Star Struck, with a parting tribute to its putative author:
Oh, I almost forgot–you may be wondering whether Pam inscribed my copy of Star Struck, as I requested. Sadly, she did not. The publisher apparently wasn’t that desperate for a favorable review.