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Extended Audio Sample Dead Stars Audiobook, by Bruce Wagner Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (91 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bruce Wagner Narrator: Bruce Wagner Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9781464049040
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Dead Stars is Bruce Wagner’s most lavish and remarkable translation yet of the national zeitgeist: post-privacy porn culture, a Kardashian world of rapid-cycling, disposable narrative where reality-show triumph is the new American narcotic.

At age thirteen, Telma is famous as the world’s youngest breast cancer survivor until threatened with obscurity by a four-year-old Canadian who’s just undergone a mastectomy. Reeyonna believes that auditioning for pregnant-teen porn online will help fulfill her dream of befriending Jennifer Lawrence and Kanye West. Biggie, the neurologically impaired adolescent son of a billionaire, spends his days Google Map searching for his mother, who abandoned home and family for a new love. Jacquie, a photographer once celebrated for taking arty nudes of her young daughter, is broke and working at Sears Family Portrait Boutique. Tom-Tom, a singer/drug dealer thrown off the third season of American Idol for concocting a hard-luck story, is hell-bent on creating her own television series in the Hollywood Hills, peopled by other reality-show losers. Jerzy, her sometime lover, is a speed-freak paparazzo who “specializes” in capturing images of dying movie and television stars. And Oscar-winning Michael Douglas searches for meaning in his time of remission. While his wife, Catherine, guest stars on Glee, the actor plans a bold, artistic, go-for-broke move: to star in and direct a remake of Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz.

There is nothing quite like a Bruce Wagner novel. His prose is captivating and exuberant and surprises with profound truths on spirituality, human nature, and redemption. Dead Stars moves forward with the inexorable force of a tsunami, sweeping everyone in its fateful path. With its mix of imaginary and real-life characters, it is certain to be the most challenging, knowing, and controversial book of the year.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wagner’s prose reads like the lovechild of Hunter S. Thompson and David Foster Wallace…The most enjoyable riffs in Dead Stars display Wagner’s up-to-the-nanosecond insider’s knowledge of the LA scene…He also writes some clean, mean, glittery dialogue.”

    Washington Post

  • “Not just the best novel about Americans and fame of the past dozen years but the best since Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “There are few writers capable of escorting us more convincingly into a character’s tender, gnarled mind. Dead Stars, easily Wagner’s best and most ambitious novel yet, is a huge, riveting book…every page contains something statically electric enough to scorch the hair from your arms.”


  • “Written in hyper-hilarious, brilliant prose, [Dead Stars] renders an obsessive pop-culture nightmare of surprising realism and light, illuminating the meanest corners of its characters’—and our culture’s—desperation.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robert | 12/26/2013

    " I do like Bruce Wagner's past work, but this just didn't do it for me... it made its point well within 100 pages in - the rest is pretty much flogging a dead horse. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Drew | 12/22/2013

    " Couldn't do it. Quit at page 60. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris Colton | 11/26/2013

    " four chapters in - I had to put it down - just didn't understand what was going on - maybe you have to be a tweeter to understand "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Harley Jordan | 10/23/2013

    " Prose burns at times like the best. Interesting book that will make you blush at times, with some unique logic threads and many characters you will not warm yourself to. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily Horowitz | 10/14/2013

    " Brilliant critique of celebrity and youth-obsessed culture, without being moralistic or boring...and one of the funniest novels I've ever read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 9/7/2013

    " this book was bonkers. 2.5 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason Mock | 6/16/2013

    " An over-long examination of contemporary American celebrity-based culture. At times razor sharp and laugh-out-loud funny, the characters, situations, and writing are not compelling or interesting enough to sustain the 600+ pages. Could have been more effective at half the length. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lety | 5/5/2013

    " This is the Internet/pop culture wrote a book, this would be it. It was stomach churning & amazing. I was equally disgusted, yet curious. I couldn't stop reading it.This exactly what pop culture in 2012 is. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carrie Garner | 4/16/2013

    " Couldn't finish it. It was awful "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arthur Marblestone | 3/28/2013

    " Brilliant, quirky, and complex novel centering on the request for celebrity. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Randy Briggs | 1/11/2013

    " Too much stream of conscienceness, and too vulgar. Not my thing at all. "

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