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Infernal Affairs
     

Infernal Affairs

4.3 3
by Jane Heller
 

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An unwitting pact with the devil transforms a hapless, lonely woman into a babe with everything she ever wanted – until the Faustian bill comes due in this hilarious be-careful-what-you-wish-for tale.

Florida real estate agent Barbara Chessner is down on her luck, up several dress sizes, drowning herself in Bloody Marys — and, worst of all

Overview

An unwitting pact with the devil transforms a hapless, lonely woman into a babe with everything she ever wanted – until the Faustian bill comes due in this hilarious be-careful-what-you-wish-for tale.

Florida real estate agent Barbara Chessner is down on her luck, up several dress sizes, drowning herself in Bloody Marys — and, worst of all, has just been dumped by her husband for a blonde TV weatherperson. Tired of living the life of a woman in a “before” ad, Barbara stumbles outside in the midst of a thunderstorm and beseeches heaven to help her — unaware that someone diabolical might be listening. Instantly, the storm vanishes and the sky fills with stars, one of which actually seems to be winking at her. Barbara wakes up with golden hair (not her own premature gray), perfect pitch (she’s tone deaf), a strange black dog (registered to her), no double chin, a waistline … and definite cleavage! Talk about a good night’s sleep!

Even more bizarre things begin to happen. Without any effort, Barbara sells the least appealing house in Banyan Beach to David Bettinger, the most appealing man she’s ever met. Without any reason, Jeremy Cook, a crude charter-boat captain who has detested her since high school, starts paying her compliments. And without any explanation, everything she wishes for comes true. As David becomes passionate, Jeremy becomes jealous, and everyone becomes suspicious. Barbara’s friends at the Home Sweet Home agency attribute the inexplicable to everything from hot flashes to dark forces. Not even she knows what the devil is going on. But when she finds out, all hell is going to break loose…

“Campy, over the top, down-and-dirty, and a whole lot of fun.”—KIRKUS

“Author Jane Heller strikes gold again with her wickedly funny sense of humor in this hilarious tale of love battling the ultimate forces of darkness.”—RT BOOK REVIEWS

“Move over, Faust: Heller adds a witty, feminist slant to a strictly 20th-century story of the tug-of-war between good and evil.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Sly, smart-mouthed fun.”—PEOPLE

“Fiendishly funny.”—BOOKLIST

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Move over, Faust: Heller (The Club) adds a witty, feminist slant to a strictly 20th-century story of the tug-of-war between good and evil. The devil in disguise makes his appearance to frumpy real estate agent Barbara Chessner in Banyan Beach, Fla., on the night on which Mitchell, her husband of 10 years, announces he is leaving to tie the knot with his partner in adultery. Having been derided for her flat chest, excess avoirdupois, disinterest in sex and failure to sell a house in over a year, Barbara ties one on, then staggers out into a tropical storm to tell whoever's listening that she's ready to make a deal. Done! She's a bodacious babe with a mouth. Soon, an attractive client, David Bettinger, comes on to her. But once she learns there's a price to pay (aside from brussels-sprouts breath), Barbara wants out of her bargain. Banyan Beach takes on a whole new light, or in this case, darkness. Waiting in the wings is pudgy Jeremy Cook, fisherman, singer, hater of pollution and secret admirer of the old Barbara. Cook cooks up a plan to best the bestial; Barbara buys into it. A bunch of wacky characters, including a persistently on-the-scene dog, share this frothy scenario, which lacks subtlety in plot and prose but succeeds on the strength of Heller's fast-paced dialogue and humor. Film rights optioned to Disney/Touchstone. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Florida real estate agent Barbara Chessner is prematurely gray, overweight, and drinking too much. She hasn't sold a house in ages when her husband announces that he is leaving her for a 24-year-old weathergirl. After a tipsy Barbara beseeches the heavens for help, she is thrilled to wake up the next morning, blonde and successful. Joy turns to horror, however, when Barbara discovers that the Devil is responsible for her transformation, and he expects quite a lot in return. Will Barbara be able to get her soul back from the Devil and thus thwart Satan's plans for the moral destruction of south Florida? Readers of this very funny novel will have a great time finding out the answer. Barbara is a terrific character-clever, witty, and truly likable. This enjoyable tale is highly recommended for popular fiction collections.-Elizabeth Mellett, Brookline P.L., Mass.
Melanie Duncan
Barbara Chessner is overweight and prematurely gray, and her real-estate career has hit the skids. When her husband announces that he wants a divorce, Chessner hits the bottle to drown her sorrows and then stumbles outside into a thunderstorm to cry to the heavens, "I'll do anything you ask. "Anything"." Barbara awakens the next morning with a centerfold's body and blond hair, and suddenly, she's selling houses like hotcakes. So what if her breath reeks of brussels sprouts? She pops breath mints by the boxful and goes to meet a handsome tycoon. The tycoon, however, is a "darksider," a person who made a deal with the devil in order to fulfill his dreams. This is a fiendishly funny novel, with riotous surprises and nonstop action. Disney/Touchstone has optioned it for a movie, and the intense national advertising campaign and sweepstakes contest will draw attention to a deserving work.
Kirkus Reviews
A fourth novel (after The Club, 1995, etc.) from Heller (whose name may or may not have inspired her novel's witty hook) puts a devilishly zany spin on the hard-to-enliven subject of midlife crisis.

Things couldn't get much worse for real-estate agent Barbara Chessner of 666 (yes, that's 666) Seacrest Way, Banyan Beach, Florida. A bottle of wine has become her nightly norm; she can't sell a house to save her life; and, at 38, she's already gray- haired and dumpy. One night in the midst of a powerful thunderstorm her misery reaches its peak: Mitchell, her husband of ten years (whom she doesn't even love), dumps her for buck-toothed but blond and busty local weatherperson Chrissy Hemplewhite. On top of everything else, Barbara's suddenly all alone. So she does the only thing she can do: She strikes a midnight-hour deal with the devil. The catch is that she doesn't know what she's done: She thought she was praying to God when she called out to the stormy ocean, "I'll do anything if you'll help me." When Barbara shows up at work the next morning, her stomach is newly flat, her hair is suddenly blond and smooth, her bustline is mysteriously enhanced, and she's acquired a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that has her officemates deeply puzzled. Life picks up all around: She makes an immediate, significant sale to David Bettinger, a former short, fat, bald orthodontist and current stud who turns out to be another "darksider." He gives Barbara the score when in the heat of passion she discovers that he has a tail. Meanwhile, Jeremy Cook, her brother Ben's best friend, becomes rather more than an acquaintance, and her loyal dog Pete turns out to be much more than man-or woman's-best friend.

Campy, over the top, down-and-dirty, and a whole lot of fun.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781682303559
Publisher:
Diversion Books
Publication date:
03/22/2016
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
428,471
File size:
785 KB

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Infernal Affairs 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My second Jane Heller book. This is so bizzare and funny. Great surprises and laughs. Just pure fun and non-stop reading. I love Jane Heller's style. She's the best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
At first the beginning was a very fast read. I was enjoying the book tremendously, then, it slowed down and finished with a great ending! I recommend this book to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This the first book I have read by Jane Heller, and I don't believe it will be my last! There were times when I was reading this book that I was actually laughing out loud, and I was hating to finish it because it was so good. I am not surprised to see that it is going to be made into a film, and one can only hope that the movie does the book justice! Definitely a book that I will share with all my friends!