Tobin Among The Stars - click for a bigger version

  • Number Of Editions

 Presumably a Hardback edition on WH Allen exists (never seen one) and paperback on Star as per all the other Tobin installments since "Hard Up"

  • Marks out of 10 for Cover
  •  At this point the Tobin novels (and the plethora of other Morgan titles on Star) were starting to re-establish a consistent design as during the Mayflower years, however this cover along with "Russ Tobin In Hollywood" are the ONLY Tobin jackets to feature full frontal nudity - a sign of the more liberated times or an attempt to sell more copies? You decide! The flame-haired lady (also the only other non-blonde/brunette along with Randy Comfort Rise Again?) is making no attempt to cover her ample bosom and only a stars 'n' stripes telephone obscures her ginger dignity! The gold metallic boots make her look like a partially dressed extra from Doctor Who! Who knows how much further they could have gone had the series not ended after this book, 10/10!

    • Cover Notes

     Tobin is in Hollywood, longing for a chance to show the world his unique star quality. Somehow, the movie moguls are unmoved.

    Then Matt, who's affable, rich and well-connected, invites Tobin to an incredible weekend party in his luxurious mansion on Santa Catalina Island - and Russ begins to make a few connections of his own. It turns out to be the most demanding forty-eight hours of Tobin's life so far.

    Those contacts may not lead him to an Oscar - but they're certain to make him an overnight sensation

    • Brief Description of the Plot

     The book commences on the Monday of Tobin's 4th week in LA and Russ is still at Sam & Barbie's pad in LA (although they are on vacation for two weeks) and he's waiting for that elusive call. Much like Stan described his own acting career back in the 60s - days spent sat waiting for a call, and just like that, Russ is pretty fed up, because he can't leave the house (a strange concept for the modern day where it's hard to imagine no mobile phones). Of course, as soon as he chances a quick swim in the ocean, he returns to hear it ringing. Managing to catch it just in time, he's thrilled to find that it's FINALLY Genevieve Holmeyer - his potential agent! Of course he pays her a visit that evening, and of course they have an instant chemistry and of course, they make sweet lurve. Even though it transpires that she's not really an agent as such, she just "knows a few people in the film industry". Returning home alone to the apartment, Russ spends another couple of days feeling miserable beside the silent phone, when on the Wednesday he finally takes a call from Matt Holden - the guy he met on the flight to the USA.

    Almost inevitably, Matt invites Russ to an exclusive party at his father's holiday home on Santa Catalina Island, taking place at the weekend - Friday to Sunday. It's safe to say that Russ doesn't need to be asked twice! The party is wild and wonderful - with plenty of available females for company, and on the boat ride there, Russ meets Julie Kahn - author of the supernatural million best-seller "The Beelzebub Bubble". It turns out that Julie is not a witch or at all even vaguely supernatural - she just wrote the book out of desperation because all her other novels flopped (is this a subtle nod to Stan's own writing career? He started out with Octopus Hill but couldn't get it published until he hit the Tobin formula). Despite hitting it off instantly, and promising to catch up later for a game of tennis, Russ gets totally distracted by other women! Firstly spending the Friday night with Belinda Tuttle (not only do they watch yet another blue movie but would you believe...she has to leave the party on Saturday morning to go to work?) and then Millie Zilchik who takes up most of Russ's Saturday afternoon before Julie finally pins him down for the evening

    It then transpires that fellow guest and maverick Oscar-winning film director Valco Hess spots the couple and does a quick screen test on them, vowing to cast them in his new film. But just when it looks like Russ is headed for stardom, things take an inevitable turn for the worse, as Valco is outed as a drug-addicted maniac who nearly dies falling off a cliff! Then, as the guests return home on the Sunday, Julie bids Russ farewell with a promise to call, leaving a despondent Russ who gives himself just one more week of waiting around for his work permit (which would have tied in with his plan to stay for a month - or until his money ran out) before giving up and heading back to the UK. But what's that?? The sound of screeching tyres...Julie has had a change of heart and speeds back around the block to whisk Russ off on a spontaneous road-trip to goodness knows where! We leave Russ on the Monday afternoon, sat behind the wheel of a four-berth Winnebago with Julie, heading south...

    Stan himself admits that this was never intended to be the final Tobin book and that the storyline was rather left hanging due to the collapse of the publisher - in fact he was contracted to write another 8 installments at the time! That said, there is an air of disillusionment about the book, some serious bashing of the publishing industry, and also with Russ opining that if the acting thing doesn't work out, he might just retire to the Bahamas and write a yearly best seller!

    Even so, Russ's next step was left dangling in a far more vague manner than most of the previous books, so with Russ happy and care-free, literally able to go anywhere he pleased, it almost felt like a satisfactory ending. And it was....for 26 years

    • Page at which Russ Tobin first eyes up a lady

     Page 16 - Love sees no colour as Genevieve Holmeyer's cute little African-American maid attracts Russ's attention with her "cheeky smile". However on Page 17 she is eclipsed by Miss Holmeyer herself!

    • Page at which Russ Tobin first gets to know a lady in the biblical sense

     Page 39 - Johnny Mathis is on the stereo and Russ dances with Genevieve. One thing leads to another and hey presto...Herc is unleashed (again!)

    • Page at which Russ Tobin first drinks a Vodka Tonic

     On Page 18 Russ has a beer, but on Page 30 he finally gets to the good stuff and a Vodka Tonic is poured, sunk and enjoyed!

    • Page at which Russ Tobin first reminisces about a previous adventure

     Of course Russ recounts his situation and how he came to be there on the first couple of pages in the now obligatory manner.

    • Serious points raised

     Stan gives book publishers a particularly hard time (in the guise of Julie Kahn) - ironic given what was to happen shortly after this book came out. Other than that - we also learn that no matter what may or may not be around the corner, you should always follow your heart and deal with the consequences afterwards..

    • Rating on the MORGANOMETER

     A tinge of sadness comes with finishing this book - knowing that there is no more to follow - it's a fairly routine Tobin book by all standards (most of the Tobin tropes are ticked...extravagant party, blue movies, multiple soul mates met, mild peril etc) but it's still pretty good - and as it stood unresolved for so long I'd say it deserves 8/10