A wickedly funny, honest, and poignant debut novel in the spirit of Then We Came to the End and This Is Where I Leave You about the absurdity of corporate life, the complications of love, and the meaning of family.
Finbar Dolan is lost and lonely. Except he doesn’t know it. Despite escaping his blue-collar Boston upbringing to carve out a mildly successful career at a Madison Avenue ad agency, he’s a bit of a mess and closing in on 40. He’s recently called off a wedding. Now, a few days before Christmas, he’s forced to cancel a long-postponed vacation in order to write, produce, and edit a Superbowl commercial for his diaper account in record time.
Fortunately, it gets worse. He learns that his long-estranged and once-abusive father has fallen ill. And that neither of his brothers or his sister intend to visit. It’s a wake-up call for Fin to reevaluate the choices he’s made, admit that he’s falling for his co-worker Phoebe, question the importance of diapers in his life, and finally tell the truth about his life and his past.
First-time novelist John Kenney, a regular New Yorker contributor, mines his own advertising background to weave spot-on, compelling insider detail into a hilarious, insightful, at times sardonic, and ultimately moving debut.
©2013 John Kenney (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
No, I rarely want to listen to a book a second time.
The story "hit the nail on the head" several times, which I found entertaining and thought provoking. However, I got tired of Finn not being truly happy.
Robert Petkoff is amazing reading this book. The best narrator I have heard so far!!!
Great narration, but the story didn't capture me. I found myself really starting to hate the protagonist for how self centered, whiny and cowardly he was. My biggest pet peeve of John Kenney's as a writer is that with long sets of dialogue the only introduction used is "he said," "she said," "I said." Maybe it works on the page, but listening to it is ridiculous!
It's an easy "airplane" read, but not a "must read."
Hate to be suspicious, but have to wonder whether rave reviews were from friends of the author. Narrator was first-rate, but story was practically non-existent. Every now and then, there is a laugh-out-loud line, but the plot is thin and tedious. There is nothing new about the advertising world's silliness, and the protagonist's supposed family drama seemed overdone. I nearly gave up after part 1; wish I had.
Resonant and moving, a John Kenney has delivered a debut that will be hard to top. Truth in Advertising is an astonishing piece of writing presented pitch perfect with flawless narration.
Maybe if Fin's dysfunctional family life was portrayed before the reader is dragged through his career/job. A job where relationships are the actual job itself.
It wanted to finish but could not.
I don't have to like the main character when I read a book.
This main character just wasn't worth reading about because too many narcissistic self indulging people already exist.
Yes, but not with high expectations. Within the first half hour of listening, I almost abandoned the book because I was so put off by the superficial topic and writing style. I'm glad that I stuck with it because it got better, and there were some moments when it was great.
I am ambivalent about the performance. Most of the time, I was more aware of the narrator than the story, but I attribute that to the writing more than the narration.
Yes, the good moments outweigh the bad. It is a much more substantial story than the beginning indicates.
Funny, Touching, Interesting
Inside baseball about the ad world.
I don't want to give it away....
Laugh out Loud. Def
It was a great surprise. I would LOVE to hear more books exactly like this. I don't write many reviews but had to reco this one.
Could not get interested in this, the story and character just put me off and made me feel irritated. Not much insight here, just the feeling it wasn't worth my time.
It was a great book. I just stumbled onto it, and I would read it again.
I liked how the story developed. I liked his compulsion to do the right thing with his father's ashes.
Only if the character were supposed to be an older person. He has an older person's voice. It did not match the character.
His relationship with the Japanese son of his company's owner (whose name escapes me right at the moment). I should do these reviews immediately after the read. :)
author of books for teens and children
A witty, well-written novel with romance. What sets this apart is its intelligent humor and its insights about working in the advertising industry.
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