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Truth in Advertising: A Novel | [John Kenney]

Truth in Advertising: A Novel

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....
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, January 2013 - I’m excited to listen to Truth in Advertising because I can’t wait to hear Robert Petkoff’s narration. Petkoff’s performance on Beat the Reaper is what got me hooked on listening, so I have high expectations for author John Kenney’s debut. I’m currently reading it, and the book feels a lot like Jonathan Tropper’s One Last Thing Before I Go (which I loved) – funny, honest, bittersweet, and real. —Chris, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (254 )
5 star
 (58)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.6 (217 )
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Story
4.1 (218 )
5 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    T. Pittsburgh, PA, United States 02-20-13
    T. Pittsburgh, PA, United States 02-20-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Should have stuck to advertising stories"
    Would you try another book from John Kenney and/or Robert Petkoff?

    No


    Has Truth in Advertising turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance was fine.


    What character would you cut from Truth in Advertising?

    His father and siblings


    Any additional comments?

    The stories about the Ad Biz were great. Unfortunately they were tangled with boring tales of the lead characters lousy relationship with his family.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nelson GRAIN VALLEY, MO, United States 02-15-13
    Nelson GRAIN VALLEY, MO, United States 02-15-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    97
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Different Kind of Story"

    When it comes to fiction, I am a Mystery/Thriller reader so Truth in Advertising is a totally different type of story for me to choose. I can understand why some think the story is slow and the plot thin. That would be true if I were listening to it from my usual corner where action is expected non-stop.

    This is not that type of book and if you're looking for action, this is probably not the book for you. Truth in Advertising is more of an experience rather than a story with a plot. This book dives into an individual's life experience... who he is, what he does and why he is the way he is. It's a book that actually made me laugh, actually made me uncomfortable a time or two and actually made me think.

    Robert Petkoff is outstanding. He brings life to the characters and to the story. I've listened to his work several times (Michael Palmer & Michael Koryta books) and he is fast becoming one of my favorite narrators.

    I enjoyed Truth in Advertising. It seems to drag a bit here and there but for the type of story it is, it holds its own. I don't have a lot to compare it to because it is so far outside of my normal listen but I can say that I would recommend it to my friends and will be looking forward to more work from John Kenney.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danny D. 02-14-13
    Danny D. 02-14-13 Listener Since 2007

    Danny

    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    66
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tropper like, but not there yet."
    Would you try another book from John Kenney and/or Robert Petkoff?

    Yes


    Would you recommend Truth in Advertising to your friends? Why or why not?

    Maybe


    Have you listened to any of Robert Petkoff’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but he is good at keeping the narration even, and also accurate when it comes to voices and accents in the dialog, which he does without exaggeration or bombast.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Not likely, but it might work as an outline for a weekly tv show.


    Any additional comments?

    The author is what one of his characters who falls back on cliches and trite descriptions would call "spot on"' when it comes to describing the advertising business and such. His characters are good but the plot is lacking in subtlety or mystery, and the psychological element is dished out in fairly heavy handed fashion. Almost as if he should have lifted the principal plot and built a new one around the settings, characters, and occasionally well crafted vignettes..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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