Truth in Advertising by John Kenney
A Novel

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Leaves not a shred of doubt as to how the novel will end...Makes us wonder if Kenney doesn’t aspire to the stereotype he mocks. This safe, romcom predictability is the only real disappointment in an otherwise delightfully caustic piece of satire.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

“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.
 

About John Kenney

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John Kenney has worked as a copywriter in New York City for seventeen years. He has also been a contributor to The New Yorker magazine since 1999. Some of his work appears in a collection of The New Yorker’s humor writing, Disquiet, Please! He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit ByJohnKenney.com.
 
Published January 22, 2013 by Touchstone. 322 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Truth in Advertising
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Toronto Star

Below average
Reviewed by Emily Donaldson on Feb 15 2013

Leaves not a shred of doubt as to how the novel will end...Makes us wonder if Kenney doesn’t aspire to the stereotype he mocks. This safe, romcom predictability is the only real disappointment in an otherwise delightfully caustic piece of satire.

Read Full Review of Truth in Advertising: A Novel | See more reviews from Toronto Star

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80%

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