"A Star is Bored is an absolute knockout. Riotously funny and wickedly tender."
— Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones and the Six
"Wildly funny and irreverent... Lane’s writing lifts the novel far above its gossamer Hollywood setting, suffusing [the novel] with a complex sensitivity."
- The New York Times Book Review
A hilariously heartfelt novel influenced in part by the author’s time assisting Carrie Fisher.
People Magazine Best Book of Summer 2020 - Named a Must-Read Summer book by Town & Country - Named One of the 14 Best Books of Summer 2020 by Harper's Bazaar - One of Library Journal's 2020 "Titles to Watch" - One of the 30 Best Beach Reads According to Parade Magazine
She needs an assistant.
He needs a hero.
Charlie Besson is tense and sweating as he prepares for a wild job interview. His car is idling, like his life, outside the Hollywood mansion of Kathi Kannon, star of stage and screen and People magazine’s Worst Dressed list. She's an actress in need of assistance, and he's adrift and in need of a lifeline.
Kathi is an icon, bestselling author, and award-winning movie star, most known for her role as Priestess Talara in a blockbuster sci-fi film. She’s also known in another role: Outrageous Hollywood royalty. Admittedly so. Famously so. Chaotically so, as Charlie quickly discovers.
Charlie gets the job, and his three-year odyssey is 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 life's 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.
Lane debuts with a fizzy roman clef about a celebrity assistant, playfully alluding to his experience working for the late actor Carrie Fisher. Lane begins with Charlie Besson's job interview, "panicked and parked outside the estate of Hollywood royalty." The job is an assistant to Kathi Kannon, famous for playing the beloved Priestess Talara in the science fiction epic Nova Quest (a thinly veiled Star Wars). Charlie, who left behind a dull career as a local TV news writer to work for Kathi, narrates his process of learning the ropes of being an assistant, while attempting to heal from a pattern of self-destructive drinking and unprotected sex. Charlie travels with Kathi, helps her cope with addiction, and develops a bond with his boss, earning endearing nicknames like Cockring and Stepson. Lane brings wit and tenderness to Kathi's mostly acerbic personality, and her attachment to Charlie is potent and palpable. As Charlie grapples with finding his passion and place in the world, Kathi tells him, "I'm giving you the best shit to write about this will all be funny one day," and he latches on to Kathi as his "superpower," to the frustration and bemusement of the men he dates. If any of this were true (a note from Lane's attorney says otherwise), Lane's affecting tale would show how the real Charlie found his own superpower as a novelist.