A Fool Among Fools by John Terracuso #LGBT #Review

Susie reviews A Fool Among Fools by John Terracuso . Published May 19th 2013, 375 pages

RGR received a free copy from the author for the purpose of an honest review.

 

FAFools

 

 It’s 1986. Ronald Reagan is in the White House, Molly Ringwald is on the cover of Time and 29-year-old Michael Gregoretti is a struggling, underpaid copywriter at a big New York ad agency. He’d rather be writing plays; instead, he’s writing awful commercials for a moisturizer formulated to conquer that dire, life-threatening condition: handruff.

Michael reluctantly accepts an assignment on a brand-new (and very secret) product – an aerosol butter – hoping it will lead to the kind of work that will land him a better job at another agency. But there’s a catch: Working on this new account will also mean working for the rigid, compulsive and quite possibly insane Gwen Hammond, who thinks that Michael, with his off-the-wall ideas and unconventional campaigns, is just too much of a rebel to work with such a conservative client.

To further complicate life, Michael meets and falls for Craig Connolly, an absolute dreamboat from the South with a voice like FM radio and a face to match. Craig claims he’d like to be in a relationship and Michael wants to believe it. The problem is, Craig is already married – to his job.

Michael survives it all with the help of his two best friends: Irene Lucca, a witty book editor with a flair for vintage clothing and an eye for the art director Michael works with, and Anthony DeLorenzo, Michael’s wise (and wisecracking) roommate and staunchest supporter.

By the time A Fool Among Fools ends, Michael has battled stuffy clients and stifling supervisors, written and produced what just might be the worst commercials in the history of advertising, found and lost love, and managed to keep himself – and the reader – laughing along the way.

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*****

Review

   It’s the mid 1980’s in New York City. In a cut-throat ad agency, our hero, 29 year old Michael Gregoretti, struggles to hold on to his sanity while many around him seem to be losing theirs. His supervisor, Gwen, is certainly certifiable and more than a few of the agency’s clients appear to be as well. His creativity is stifled at every turn and his love life is doing no better. This is the setting for this very enjoyable first novel by this author.

   Although I found myself drawn into this story almost immediately, I couldn’t really explain why. It’s very different from the m/m fiction I usually read. Then it dawned on me….this story represents a phase we’ve all gone through at one time or another! I recognized these people, I’ve worked with them! Because of the author’s ability to flesh out these characters and bring them to life, I was able to relate the people in Michael’s world to many in my own: the friends & co-workers who have lifted me up and kept me going; the bosses who have dragged me down and made me want to quit; the clients who have made me want to pull my hair out with frustration…they’re all here at Malcolm and Partners Worldwide.
   Michael’s career is the main focus in the book, but we also get a peek into his Italian-American family from Long Island; his friendship with his best gal pal, Irene; and, oh yes, his less than stellar love life with Craig Connolly, a southern gentleman who says he wants a relationship but who can’t seem to translate his words into actions.
   A Fool Among Fools was an enjoyable read, a pleasant diversion that reminded me of the early days of my own career. I wouldn’t mind reading more about Michael and where life took him after his 30th birthday. A very solid 7.5 of 10 pots of gold!
Pot Of Gold 7halfb1380-abouttheauthor
John Terracuso spent most of the 1980s working in New York City as an advertising copywriter. He then moved to HBO Home Video as creative services manager, followed by a stint in the New York PBS press office.
John has worked on several documentary and independent films, and wrote, produced, and directed the video short “It’s Someone’s Wonderful Life.” John also wrote the pilot and several early episodes of “In the Life,” the pioneering LGBT news and variety program seen nationwide on PBS stations. He is currently a freelance writer and fundraising consultant.
John has written four screenplays, including an adaptation of “The Traveler” in collaboration with the play’s author, Jean-Claude van Itallie.John grew up on Long Island and graduated Fairfield University in 1979. He lives in Massachusetts with his partner, Wendell Wyatt. They’ve been together since 1997.A FOOL AMONG FOOLS is his first novel.

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