Hallelujah! - Jesus And The Adman by Rhidian Brook
December 7, 2017 2:35pm CST
In the early days, advertising was seen mainly as a threat to which everybody was exposed and could do nothing about. Although the essence of advertising hasn’t changed, i.e., to make people spend money they probably don’t have on products they mostly don’t need by associating them with promises that will hardly be fulfilled, its image has radically changed over the years. People aren’t afraid of being manipulated any more. Advertising has become a lifestyle thing and successful admen an envied species. Johnny Yell, 29, is a good copywriter working in the most prestigious advertising agency of the country. But he hasn’t reached the top rank yet. He’s ambitious and doesn’t mind cheating on his partner when he sees that the latter has come up with something brilliant. He knows that ‘without ideas an adman is a dead man.’ The chance for his breakthrough comes when LifeGen, a life insurance agency, asks Johnny’s firm to come up with a nationwide poster campaign. While the campaign is still at its embryonic stage, Johnny’s father dies. After the funeral he wanders back into the church where he sees a picture of a smiling Jesus which fascinates him at once despite his being a non-believer. “This Jesus looked like a man who had gone to the other side and come back, and the knowledge of that great secret could be detected in his smile like an excellent joke he could hardly wait to share.” Johnny can hardly wait to share his idea with his boss to use this painting for the poster campaign for LifeGen together with the slogan ‘For Life after Death, talk to LifeGen‘. He‘s the first to hand in something, and as his idea is really an attention-grabber, his boss gives him the thumbs up. The campaign is extremely successful. Johnny wins a prize and is promoted which means loads of money and a smashing company car. But then things change dramatically. Johnny has a breakdown as the themes he’s played with so flippantly for his campaign start getting to him. What IS on the other side? What HAS Jesus seen? I felt a bit cheated. The book started out funny. I thought it would go on like this. I enjoyed everything related to the advertising topic. But then the author leads us into a serious story about conscience v. commercialism including the question of the Divine, all the while keeping up a light-handed tone. I’ve realised that I’m not the right audience for this. The main part of the novel deals with Johnny’s attempt to come to terms with life after he’s glimpsed that there might be more to it than concocting slogans, rhyming and punning. It’s a one-plot, one-idea novel, a quick read, only 194 pages. Recommend as reading matter for a train ride. Maybe also a good present for religiously minded relatives and friends. --- Pic: pixabay
19 people like this
This review doesn't whet my appetite.
• United States
Poor Johnny. He was on a roll, and then he becomes far too deep in thought. I would prefer a book that starts out funny and stays funny until the very end. I would have to find some "religiously-minded" folks for this book, and I think I might not like this one much at all.
• Riga, Latvia
Sounds interesting and unusual. Will check it out. The one serious meaning book I have read in reference to the Bible is the Book on the Bible and found it interesting to read that Noah was the first person to get really drunk because he grew grapes and they fermented in the sun and he didn't realize that when he ate them he would get tipsy and so forth and so on through everything.
• Midland, Michigan
Hmm, interesting story line for someone questioning what he believes. I was confused at first not realizing this was a review. I've not heard of this author before. Maybe if I run into it somewhere I'll consider buying it, but I probably won't go out of my way to shop for it. Part of that is due to me needing to get bookkeeping done in the next few months. I already have a workbook borrowed from someone at church that I have yet to open and a novel for young adults that I'm supposed to be doing a review on after I read it again.