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.
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.
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.