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Two Fast Fingers & 26 Keys Paperback – October 25, 2012
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From the Inside Flap
A cautionary tale of a writing life.
From the Back Cover
Bears, like people, get angry when they're frustrated. Or this one did, at any rate. When bears get angry, they charge something. That something was Dick.
How writing a cookbook got Dick into that predicament is a story that began a few years earlier, when, as an audacious fourteen-year-old, he duped a New York ad agency into giving him a freelance copywriting assignment by pretending to be a grown-up...and a professional writer.
That young imposter's precocious deception was the beginning of fifty years of nonstop writing. Dick churned out a torrent of TV scripts, magazine articles, websites, TV commercials, ghostwritten books, catalogs, ads, direct mail, videos and more. Including the cookbook that almost got him eaten by a bear.
He snagged assignments on four continents and dozens of tropical islands, got glowing reviews from amazingly lenient critics, made and squandered millions and had more fun than he ever could at an honest job.
Two Fast Fingers & 26 Keys exposes the ploys Dick perpetrated and the pitfalls he evaded in an eventful - and often calamitous - life at a keyboard.
The scoundrel is still getting away with his escapades. And loving every single minute of it.
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Top customer reviews
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We've grown up with TV taking us behind the curtain of the ad business, but it never gets old. Who knew you had to approve a Twinkie? Who knew that a ruby now in the Smithsonian was chased around the floor of the 21 Club by grey flannel suited lackeys? Who would have ever expected that a teenager could pass himself off as a copywriter and score a trip to Spain to write about wine?
Harrison's book is interesting also in that it gives us insights into the international world of advertising in locations that TV and movies overlook--Africa, along with Central and South America, for example. It's nice to know that things are just as screwed up--and just as funny--in other parts of the world. Harrison's encounters with culture shock also make for great fun, especially when his Anglo-Saxon physique and upbringing don't quite blend in.
A quick read, and one that contains a number of laughs, at both the ad biz and at the author's own expense.
In addition to his self-deprecating take on the creative industry, Harrison's stories are set in locales as far afoot as Columbia and Peru and provide rich details about the life of a young westerner in these fairly exotic locales. Evidently, this life included a fair amount of ego, bravado, aircraft of all types, sex and mood enhancers which make it fun to read about even if you are not familiar with the world of writing and marketing (like me).
Think S. J. Perelman's "Baby, it's Cold Inside" meets Chuck Klosterman's "Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs".