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Book Review

‘Truth in Advertising’

1/30/2013

Book 013113Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Cathryn Lang

Touchstone Books

1/22/13

$24.99

Ames Chamber

320 pp.

We are nearing Super Bowl Sunday, and what do we look forward to the most? Yes, of course, those memorable commercials. Former ad man and New Yorker contributor John Kenny has written his debut novel about a conflicted and flawed character involved in the craziness behind the world of advertising and the additional craziness of developing a commercial for the Super Bowl.                

Fin Dolan is sharp, slick and cynical. He has been successful at a Madison Avenue advertising firm but not so successful at managing his personal life. He has become so proficient at spinning the little white lies of advertising that he cannot be honest with himself. He can’t admit the truth about his broken, blue-collar family life. He just ended his engagement and can’t figure out why he cannot bring himself to marry his gorgeous, accomplished (and now former) fiancé. Just before his Christmas Eve trip to Mexico, he alone must deal with the illness of his estranged and once-abusive father since his siblings refuse to have anything to do with the “old man.” Oh, and besides all that, he has just been informed that he must create a Super Bowl commercial for the baby diaper account he manages. Out of all this chaos, Fin must get it together — both in his personal and professional life.                

Kenney has been a part of the world of Madison Avenue advertising and is uniquely qualified to write a story about the realities of today’s advertising world. We get a look into the world of advertising at the top (our Mad Men of today?) and the fascinating process and pressures involved. The dialogue is clever, sharp and witty. But isn’t that just what you would expect from the creative geniuses in the world of advertising? CV

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