Uninvited

R.S.V.P., regrets only.

Oh, but you’ll be there. This soiree, this little event, this unabashed blow-out is something you wouldn’t dream of missing. You won’t even be late because this has been on your calendar for weeks and weeks. As in “Uninvited” by Adrian Maher, wild elephants couldn’t keep you away.

Adrian Maher had ample reason for being depressed.

In a short time, he lost his father, mother, best college chum, his job, his girlfriend, and his home. He hit bottom, sleeping most of the time – until one day, he remembered a man he’d met while working as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, a man who made pocket-change selling information about Hollywood parties, exclusive charity events, and invitation-only grand openings. There was an entire sub-culture in southern California, one that crashed parties as a hobby, and to Maher, that sounded like fun.

Life as a “self inviter” is one that’s never the same on any two days. It means having a bag full of literal tricks in the trunk of your car: Wigs, fakeable passes, changeable lanyards, wristbands of every possible color, and black aprons to use as disguise. It might mean dropping from a branch over a hedge one afternoon, and lying to a front-desk greeter later that evening. It requires quick-thinking and, because it’s basically an issue of trespassing and maybe theft, it could require bail.

For Maher and a revolving cast of mayhem makers, that’s all in a day’s sneak. A free meal, an open bar, and a swag bag are often what he takes away physically. Hobnobbing with the stars and peeking into lavish homes, sumptuous grounds, and exclusive compounds are the icing on the designer cake.

But it’s not all (free) beer and skittles. Eventually, the rich food starts to take its toll. The constant threat of getting caught feels like too much hassle. Yes, the rich live different lives than the rest of us, and it’s a lot of work to try to chase them.

Already, you’ve got plans for the rest of the year and maybe beyond: You’ll eat, drink, and be merry for the next six weeks. Read “Uninvited,” and you’ll laugh, too.

With a bit of Catch Me If You Can derring-do, author Adrian Maher spins tales of action and modern mischief that would feel just right tucked in the middle of a supermarket tabloid. And yet, there’s nothing salacious inside this book, no star-scandal, no divorcey-drama, and no Hollywood brats; indeed, the stars behave in this book while the main subjects – Maher and his cohorts – are the ones who caper.

That leaves readers with a look at privilege and wealth, but from an angle that seems more uncommon. We’ll never steal into a star’s party or an exclusive enclave – Maher offers plenty of reasons why we shouldn’t – but we can surely be happy he did.

For Hollywood star-watchers, this book is gold. It’s great, if you want modern adventure, too, or if you want something totally different. Read “Uninvited.” You won’t regret it.

Terri Schlichenmeyer developed her love for books at an early age and was reading by age 3. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with her two dogs and thousands of books.

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you