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
The performance was fine.
His father and siblings
The stories about the Ad Biz were great. Unfortunately they were tangled with boring tales of the lead characters lousy relationship with his family.
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.
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.
Not likely, but it might work as an outline for a weekly tv show.
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..
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