Book Review: ‘A Star is Bored’ by Byron Lane

The cover of ‘A Star Is Bored’ by Byron Lane (Photo Credit: Byron Lane via Henry Holt & Co.)

Looking for a book to read during the summer of COVID-19.  Look no further than Byron Lane’s debut book, A Star Is Bored. Lane’s freshman novel is loosely based on his time as personal assistant to actress and author, Carrie Fisher.

From the book’s publisher, Henry Holt & Co:


She needs an assistant. 
He needs a hero. 
A hilariously heartfelt novel influenced in part by the author’s time assisting Carrie Fisher.
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.


A Star Is Bored is about Charlie Besson, a writer for a Los Angeles television news station who gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he is hired as a personal assistant to his childhood hero, actress Kathi Kannon.  Kannon played Priestess Talara in the epic science fiction film, Nova Quest.

Once Charlie is hired as Kannon’s assistant, he is blindly trying to navigate being Kannon’s assistant.  At the same time Charlie goes to work for Kannon, he is dealing with a complex and almost antagonistic relationship with his father.  


Over his time as Kannon’s assistant, Charlie brings order to Kannon’s life and Kannon becomes a pseudo-mother figure for Charlie.  Charlie also experiences the lows and highs of being a personal assistant of a celebrity.

As a debut novelist, Lane manages to bring along readers on the rollercoaster ride that is Charlie’s life as Kathi Kannon’s personal assistant. Throughout A Star Is Bored, you cannot help envisioning the late Carrie Fisher in Lane’s narrative of Kathi Kannon.  Many of the adventures that Kannon drags Charlie on are based on the actual trips Lane took with Fisher during his time as her assistant.

Lane’s whirlwind tale of the co-dependency between Charlie and Kannon will have you laughing in some parts and crying in others, and if you are like me, you will not be able to put A Star Is Bored down. 

A Star Is Bored is available in Hardcover, E-book, or Audiobook narrated by Noah Galvin (ABC’S The Real O’Neals and Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen) from Amazon, IndieBound, or at your local bookstore on July 28th.  As an added bonus, you will see Lane’s marriage proposal to his fiancée, author Steven Rowley, in the acknowledgments of A Star Is Bored.



Source: Henry Holt & Co.


Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one contributing writer and may not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors





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