Soul for sale, in a first from Canadian author McInnis.
Sally Carpenter is a veteran of many auditions—but she can’t exactly call herself a working actress. She can’t even land a part on a stupid soap like Dusk Until Dawn (acronym: DUD). At least her crummy job at Backburner, a used-book store in Greenwich Village, lets her take time off to go to auditions, though it’s never going to make her rich—not with a boss like Jeremy, a failed artist who scrawls faintly obscene nudes behind a tattered curtain while leaving her to take care of the few customers. Now, just her luck: she’s reading against her nemesis Dara Dempsey for the part of a bank teller. Practically perfect Dara is sure to be picked—after all, she’s the Pizza Hut girl. Sally is flabbergasted when her agent calls to say that the role is hers, though Dara gets a better part. Could this stroke of good fortune have anything to do with the presence of fabulously successful and sexy network exec Jack Weaver? Apparently he saw something in her . . . but Sally is troubled by the devilish look in his eyes. Still, she’s drawn to him like a moth to a flame. And her luck just keeps getting better: During a sudden seizure on the set, Dara effectively ends her acting career—and Sally is headed for stardom. She bids adieu to boyfriend David as she strolls down the red carpet at movie premieres with a dazzling line-up of celebrities, wondering how an unhappy girl from Tecumseh Falls, Wisconsin, ever got this far. She can’t forget the memories of her alcoholic father’s suicide, or the travails of her mother, a drab saleswoman left to cope with Sally’s pot-smoking brother. Further memories of her dismal Catholic education bring up the Big Question: Is Jack the devil? Anyone who crosses him somehow ends up dead. It’s all, like, really strange . . . and stuff.
Sometimes gruesome, sometimes giggly. Uneven debut, not helped by talky style.