cover image American Star: A Love Story

American Star: A Love Story

Jackie Collins. Simon & Schuster, $22.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-66625-5

The best thing about Collins's latest fictional foray (after Lady Boss ) is that despite its length, it doesn't take long to read: there's precious little in it. Two-dimensional characters, hilariously improbable situations, wooden dialogue and an impossible number of amazing coincidences all ensure that it will win stardom of its own. The story follows three young people from a small Midwestern town who overcome obstacles too numerous to mention on their way to superstardom in three different professions. Nick Angelo, abused son of a shiftless, alcoholic father, becomes Hollywood's most famous male actor. His black half-sister Cyndra finds fame as an international rock star after suffering through rape, incest, an abortion, a disastrous marriage and a murder charge. Poor little rich girl Lauren Roberts, who horrifies her socially ambitious parents by falling in love with the town pariah (Nick, of course), eventually becomes the world's most sought-after model--and she cooks, too. Collins has an effective way of dealing with characters who present obstacles to the minimal plot development; she simply kills them off in a highly dramatic fashion. Any mental effort by the reader is unnecessary and to be discouraged, as it would only prompt irritation with this lamentable effort, which will undoubtedly climb the bestseller lists nonetheless. Major ad/promo; 750,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection; author tour. ( Apr. )