by Leslie Stella

Publisher:  Crown/Three Rivers

Pub Date:  Spring 2003

Format:   Trade Paperback original

Brief Description
The new novel by the author of FAT BALD JEFF.  With its uncensored observations about high society and the world of retail hell, THE EASY HOUR chronicles the escapades of a working-class girl turned personal assistant to Chicago¹s most infamous socialite---and the mayhem she unleashes on a gullible public.  Sure to be another cult classic.
(see below for Full Description)

* chosen by Barnes & Noble for their summer buy 2 get 1 free "chick lit" table
* chosen by Three Rivers Press for their "Summer Reads" catalogue

"Laugh? I nearly wet my Pucci pant-suit. And I'm sending Leslie Stella the dry-cleaning bill."
--Adele Lang
author of Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber



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"This sparkling novel proves the humiliations and class divisions of the workplace with intelligence and wit."
--Publishers Weekly

"A good-natured comedy….A pleasant take on the vanity of human wishes: well conceived, nicely wrapped up."

"Take one foul-mouthed, beer-swigging saleslady from South Side Chicago. Toss in the ax she has to grind with high society. Add a pinch of humor and a host of lovable characters. Shake it; don't stir. And one Easy Hour later, you get an intoxicating dose of hilarity.  Stella's Lisa Galisa flees "retail hell," and wackiness ensues in The Easy Hour.
              Lisa Galisa — yes, it rhymes — is destined for a life of "retail hell" until she takes the society high-hats by their Gucci heels and turns them upside down in Leslie Stella's sophomoric novel, The Easy Hour.
              Raised in the working-class Bridgeport neighborhood, Lisa toils to earn the elusive brown badge that denotes saleslady seniority at Fishman's department store. But endless days of cigarette breaks in the dressing room and stints as the saddlebag model prove she's going nowhere fast.
              When socialite Honey Dietrich invites the Fishman staff to a party, Lisa and her alter ego — her "drunk" — take the bar and buffet table by storm. Her "drunk" vomits on snobby society columnist Babbington Hawkes who recounts the event in embarrassing detail for Chicago Society newspaper.
              Determined to crack the elite crowd, Lisa becomes Honey Dietrich's personal assistant. But this self-deprecating yet lovable chick with a bad perm never quite fits in. Even a makeover at an upscale salon doesn't help.
              "My hair was now in full poof mode, bobbling an inch or two above my shoulders and bursting out a good twelve inches from the side of my head. On my way to the salon, I heard a voice down the hall shout, 'Mr. Kot-ter!' I looked but saw no one."
              But Lisa suddenly gains the popularity and respect she desires after a South Side pal asks her to spread the word about a retro-themed "easy hour" at his dingy Bridgeport tavern.
              Thanks to a shallow clique where trends are based on little more than word of mouth, Lisa soon has socialites grooving on the South Side to cheesy Simon and Garfunkel remakes and wearing tacky pantsuits in an amusing twist of events.
              Much like the disenchanted prima donna in Stella's debut novel, Fat Bald Jeff, Lisa is a little too much like Bridget Jones.
              Even her final jab at Babbington Hawkes is reminiscent of a costume party mishap in Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary.
              But the author succeeds with a heavy sampling of eclectic friends and family, including Lisa's quirky sister, Gina, who is a pet psychic.
              And wacky plot twists peppered with witty dialogue keep the story entertaining. There's never a dull moment in this Hour."
--USA Today


"Although negatives abound in this novel, few things are as compelling to read as a send-up of something perceived as pompous, officious, and petty. For example, an organization. Let's say a library organization. The made-up National Association of Libraries has a headquarters populated by the dregs of "nerddom": from corrupt and sexually questionable bosses and boring self-important coworkers to Addie, our narrator, a self-absorbed, hypochondriacal, retro-snob copy editor. Beneath, in terms of building arrangement at least, is the tech-support department with our unlikely hero, Fat Bald Jeff. His skills as a computer tech are legion, but encouraged by Addie's tiny foray into bad behavior, he becomes a saboteur without equal. Will the two of them succeed in deflating the overinflated? Will Addie find love? Will Jeff get a raise? Will she get the stain out of her silk blouse? Although as subtle as a sledgehammer, this is a fun, harmless, and quick read. Don't look for inspiration, just amusement."

"A wisecracking protagonist who rages successfully against the machine...with a contagious vibrancy... A hilarious send-up of hippies and hipsters."

"An antically satirical and quite smart sendup of the workplace...a lot of freshly imagined fun...the lumpen will love it."
--San Francisco Chronicle

Warm the pockets of your heart watching this bereft waif find a little happiness in life."

"Amusing... caustic... entertaining... read on company time!"
--US Weekly

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