Truth in Advertising by John Kenney
When the kind folks at Touchstone Publicity offered me an advanced copy of Truth in Advertising (it's due for release on January 22nd), I read the blurbs and then gave them an emphatic yes!
I summed up this novel to my friend in one sentence the other day: if Josh Kilmer-Purcell (Beekman Boy, ad exec and one of my favorite writers) were to write a novel about the world of advertising, I think this novel would be very close to it.
This is a major compliment, by the way. :-)
Fin Dolan is having a midlife crisis without knowing it - he's working in advertising on a diaper campaign (there is a HILARIOUS opening dialogue with Gwyneth Paltrow and diapers to kick off the novel), just broke off his wedding, has a disengaged, disenfranchised family, and doesn't see any future or happiness coming his way.
Fin, in short, is stuck.
In quick succession, Fin must craft an ad for the Super Bowl with little to no time, deal with his estranged, ill father, deal with his siblings, and deal with his feelings for his assistant - and Kenney writes all of this which such substance and style, that even though you should cry or cringe or close the book, you keep reading, keep cheering Fin on, knowing that elusive happiness is there somewhere.
I picked this book up at about 7pm one evening during Christmas break, and didn't emerge from it until 10:30 that same night, having read it cover to cover, in one sitting.
I still think fondly of Fin (and especially his Japanese friend), and think this will be a fantastic book for fans of Nick Hornby, Jonathan Tropper, or readers who just like a funny, emotional, sardonic, serious novel. Highly recommended!
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