CASSANDRA FRENCH'S FINISHING SCHOOL FOR BOYS

Eric Garcia, Author . Regan Books $24.95 (298p) ISBN 978-0-06-073031-4

A Hollywood lawyer concocts a powerful new weapon in the war between the sexes in this spicy Tinseltown satire from Garcia (Matchstick Men , etc.). The fun begins when Cassandra French, a movie studio lawyer, anesthetizes three of her would-be paramours, then locks them up in her basement. There she conducts "finishing school" courses to transform them into perfect gentlemen. All goes swimmingly until French is asked out by beefcake movie star Jason Kelly, only to discover he was using her to set up a lawsuit against her studio. French gets revenge by abducting Kelly, but the plot twists come fast and furious after he accidentally electrocutes himself, leaving her to dispose of the body. At the cheeky climax, French's gorgeous, air-headed yoga instructor friend takes the finishing school concept in a startling new direction. French's penchant for great one-liners is matched by Garcia's imaginative plotting and his dead-on satire of life in L.A., Hollywood and the movie industry. The oddball conceit makes this novel an unlikely winner, but Garcia has crafted a quirky, pedal-to-the-metal satiric romp that remains fresh, likable and funny from start to finish. Agent, Barbara J. Zitwer. (June)

Forecast: Garcia's Rex novels (most recently Hot and Sweaty Rex) are cult hits; his more straightforward Matchstick Men was made into the 2003 movie starring Nicolas Cage. This chick-lit-goes-gonzo follow-up could be his breakout book.

Reviewed on: 05/24/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-06-078131-6
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