I would definitiely listen to this again, because I enjoyed how the author entertwined laugh-out-loud, wry humor with a very real pathos. This is the story of an advertising executive who looks at everything in his life thorugh the lens of television commercial, which allows him to distance himself from what's going on in his actual day-to-day existance. He wants the happy endings he creates in TV commercials. But he just doesn't know how to get there without a script, beautiful cinematography, great lighting, and a pitch-perfect musical acompaniment. It is the tale of how a man who makes a living orchestrating illusions learns at last to trust, even in what cannot be scripted.
I reallly loved the gentle friendship that develops between the main character and the never-been-loved son of a Japanese corporate magnate. And Petkoff does a spot-on Japaness accent that brought this character to life, without descending into parody.
I do have to say that the climactic scene in which the main character blows up in front of his boss should go down in the Memorable Moments in Modern Literature Hall of Fame. I laughed so hard. Then I backed the chapter up and listened to it again. So, so brilliantly funny. And what we'd all love to say to our boss, but never will.
Petkoff did a fabulous job bringing all the characters to life. His timing is perfect and each character has a distinct voice. I especially loved his interpretation of the egomaniacl, once-famous Hollywood director trying to turn a diaper commercial into high art. It's a brilliantly written scenario, made better by Petkoff's narration.
In a world of illusions, love is still the one real thing.
I bought this book because I read a previous review in which TRUTH IN ADVERTISING was compared to books by Jonathan Tropper. I've devoured everything Tropper has written and was interested to see if John Kenney was up to the comparison. Happily, I can report that the answer is "yes," and then some.
Like several of Tropper's novels, TRUTH revolves around a mid-life crisis, father-son estrangements, and family ties that strangle. I must admit it took me a little longer to get into the rhythm of TRUTH, but I quickly became a fan and found myself eager to see how this story would unfold.
My best barometer of how much I like any book is how many friends I've recommended it to. Where TRUTH IN ADVERTISING is concerned, the answer is "many."
It's well-written, thought-provoking, and a grand pot-shot at the weird world of advertising.
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