ForeWord Reviews

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Mad Men

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

Just two years earlier, Randall had three cars, lived in a million dollar house off a golf course, and didn’t have a financial care in the world. Now he lived in a studio apartment with barely one car and no job. His wife had just left him.

Randall Joseph entered the advertising world through Affirmative Action in the 1960s. His talent brought him success, but he never could erase the taint of his black skin. Now he can’t find a job from any of his former white co-workers.

A friend commits suicide. He, too, was a black man in the white world of advertising. Determined not to end up like his friend and worried about paying for his daughter’s education, Randall concocts a scheme to extort money and to get even. As Randall’s plans go awry, he sees his world spinning out of control. As the action takes him from New York and Chicago to Monte Carlo, he acknowledges his responsibility but can’t rise above the downward spiral.

Jones, a black Chicago homicide detective, fights his own battle when he is moved from an all-black to an all-white district. However, his well-recognized investigative talent is ignored by Pulaski, his new partner. Pulaski meets his every suspicion with ridicule and sarcasm. When Jones attempts to talk about his suspicions, Pulaski tells him, “I know that you want to get your teeth into this Scoletti case, but we’ve got every able bodied detective in here on it and we just don’t need your help right now. Sorry, Jonesy. Now you can help us best by taking care of the little details as they arise.”

Author Jim Glover knows his subject. He spent more than thirty years in the advertising world, experiencing success and earning coveted awards. He also knows the challenges faced by black men and women in advertising careers.

In Mad Man, Glover brings readers into his world and interlaces the reality of that world with a fictional thriller of one man’s response. He writes on several layers: the action novel, the racially motivated crime spree, and one man’s fight with anger, revenge, and personal responsibility for his decisions. In Randall, Glover brings to life a man who cared about his family and his job, but now his anger has taken him past the point of reasonable behavior. The author leads the reader to understand his character’s pain.

With well-developed characters and a fast-moving plot, Glover opens up the ugliness of prejudice in the American business world. If readers look past the grammatical shortcomings and the language, the story offers conflict, an inside glimpse of the advertising industry, and two characters pitting their wits against each other.

Pat Avery