Ferman's Devils by Joe Clifford Faust

Review by Paul Melko

Boddekker, driven entirely by the need for The House in Princeton, takes a wrong turn on the day the Old Men tell him the world is about to end and comes face to face with Ferman's Devils, a New York street gang. Asked why the Devils shouldn't kill, Boddekker can think of no reason, and his doom is certain until he falls upon the idea of offering the street gang a spot in a commercial. The Devils accept and let him go, with the ominous warning that they will be in touch.

Boddekker, certain that he has outwitted the street gang, goes back to work at Pembroke Hall Advertising Agency. Only fate is against him, and he finds that he must use the Devils in a commercial, a commercial that does indeed rock his world.

Faust's satirical edge is extremely keen; his insight into the advertising business, where he has worked in real life, is scathing. Most successful is his inter-chapter ads, written as actual copy, for such products as "Baby Barely Alive" and "Love Slave Robotettes." These interludes are truly funny. Most of the jokes hit their mark, but a few are off target. Nonetheless, the book is a great read.

The background is filled with corporate fodder: Honniker In Accounting, Upchurch and Churchill, the twin-like sarcasm machines, Bainbridge the love-struck intern, all characters that the reader with corporate experience will know. The plot is fun and gripping, the characters interesting.

I eagerly await the second and final part of this series.

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