Tell Them Anything (Beacon Books #325, 1960)
This was a somewhat disappointing Hitt book; it’s about a Madison Avenue suit, Joe Barnes, and his pursuit of accounts and pussy.
It’s not about the low-rent, trail park, blue collar white trash that seems to be his best work — his real work. I have not yet read any of his suburban bored wives or suburban wife swapping books yet, or any of his summer resort romances…
“I stood up, all six-four of me,” is how Joe describes himself (p. 11). Hmm, another tall Hitt hero…
Joe has a girl, Rita, a hot model whom he uses in an ad campiagn. She wants to get married and have his baby but he has no interest in marriage, and was about to call it off until he needed her for the commercial for vitamin pills (every woman in American watching TV now wants to look like Rita).
One weekend while staying at his biss’ plush Long Island estate, lounging at the pool, Joe meets the boss’ daughter: Wilma Craft, 18, “the most perfect thigh I had ever seen on a woman.” She wants to come in to the office and learn the biz, along with her boyfriend, a trust fund baby with plenty of family connections that would mean big accounts.
Joe wants Wilma. If he gets her, marries her, he can take over the family biz, plus have a gorgeous young wife…
The novel moves slow, and is filled with enough ad biz detail that tells me Hii either worked in the biz or did his research well. As a novel itself, it’s okay, well-written; as a Hitt novel, I was left dull. Now I wonder if I should read his other Mad Ad novel, Rotten to the Core.
It’s also like watching an episode of that AMC TV show, Mad Men. I was picturing those characters in this — always smoking, always drinking, always looking for the next lay.
As a part of Hitt’s body of work, it’s interesting to look at his variety of interests, leaving me to wonder, did Hitt really want to write about ad guys, or did Beacon books say, “Hey, write us one about Mad men.”
This entry was posted on September 6, 2009 at 2:41 am and is filed under Beacon Books, Orrie Hitt, sleazecore with tags ad accounts exec, ad men, advertsing fiction, Joe Barnes, Mad ad, Mad men, Madison Avenue 1960s. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.