From Publishers Weekly
Lightbulb jokes, office snafus and scatological humor are ostensibly the stuff of comedy in this debut epistolary novel constituted solely of e-mails. It's the dawn of the new millennium and the London advertising firm of Miller Shanks is about to embark on two weeks of intensive effort with the goal of winning the most impressive jewel in the industry's crown: the $84 billion Coca-Cola account. Meanwhile, a team has been dispatched to Mauritius for a location shoot, where they run afoul of Ivana Trump, and a technological glitch has been rerouting all of the CEO's communications to the Helsinki office, so the Finns have cheerfully blundered their way into the Coke campaign with an ABBA-esque pitch. The one-dimensional characters are predictable typesDthe prima donna creative director, the touchy-feely copywriter, the many sycophants and backstabbersDwith not a real protagonist in sight to hang the reader's sympathies on. The plot is thin, the internecine conflicts will likely intrigue only those with a particular interest in advertising, the constant paranoid jockeying for power is tiresome and the clich d office sexual shenanigans lose their juice when played out in the noncorporeal land of cyberspace. In an age of swiftly advancing technology, this material already seems dated with its Y2K references. In theory, a novel composed solely of digital correspondence should provide voyeuristic, warp-speed fun. In practice, this one is like reading endless pages of other people's junk mail. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
'A brilliantly plotted comic novel about life in an advertising agency, narrated entirely through office emails. It gives me more sense that literature is alive and kicking than anything else I've read in these millennial 12 months.' Humphrey Carpenter, Sunday Times Review of the Year 'Lively, viciously funny and about as switched on as a novel can be' Mirror 'Hilarious' Cosmopolitan 'A genuinely enjoyable page-turner' The Times 'e is the most enjoyable, addictive read I've had since Bridget Jones' Lisa Jewell 'Here's a book that recognises our true priorities: blame-shifting, arse-covering, personal enhancement, shagging -- and, oh yes, the odd advert. Matt compresses into a few weeks a dazzling cascade of events, most of which have either happened at one agency or another or are otherwise completely believable. A finer observer of agency politics you'll never meet.' Andrew Cracknell, Campaign 'Depicts the Machiavellian scheming and summary sackings of the ad world in withering detail and with no shortage of dead-eye wit' The Times 'Groundbreaking...an internet-enabled Clarissa for the 21st century' Evening Standard 'Hysterical, sensationally funny' Arena 'Read it, wipe away your tears, then read it again' Company 'Fab debut...lock eyes with Matt Beaumont. Your career may depend on it' Kirkus
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