Truth in Advertising

Truth in Advertising

Book - 2013
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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.

"F. Scott Fitzgerald said that there are no second acts in American lives. I have no idea what that means but I believe that in quoting him I appear far more intelligent than I am. I don't know about second acts, but I do think we get second chances, fifth chances, eighteenth chances. Every day we get a fresh chance to live the way we want."

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 forty. 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 Super Bowl commercial for his diaper account in record time.

Fortunately, it gets worse. Fin 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 coworker Phoebe, question the importance of diapers in his life, and finally tell the truth about his past.

Truth in Advertising is debut novelist John Kenney's wickedly funny, honest, at times sardonic, and ultimately moving story about the absurdity of corporate life, the complications of love, and the meaning of family.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013
Edition: 1st Touchstone hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781451675542
Branch Call Number: KENNEY
Characteristics: 308 p. ; 25 cm


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"Truth in Advertising" is the first novel by New Yorker humor contributor, John Kenney. Our narrator is Finbar Dolan, an ad man for a Madison Avenue advertising agency. Just before the Christmas holidays, he's forced to cancel a much-needed vacation in order to create a Super Bowl ad for a revolutionary eco-friendly diaper. Fin has recently called off a wedding and slowly discovers he's in love with his co-worker, Phoebe. This book is funny and sweet. If you love Nick Hornsby novels, you'll love "Truth in Advertising". The book won the 2014 Thurber Prize for American Humor. Recommended by Sonia

Jul 08, 2013

I found this to be an engrossing book. While the primary theme was advertising, and sprinkled with humor, I found the underlying story of the main character's struggle to find meaning out of his life touching and redemptive.

tealdawg May 23, 2013

Spent 20 years in advertising... 7 of them in New York mostly working for the agency that did the 1984 commercial. While Kenney may have tried to capture the "truth in advertising" his writing is trite and stupid at best. He was wise to get out of the business.

Feb 21, 2013

Well written, funny, insightful

clipshie175 Feb 19, 2013

Great, funny, touching book.


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