As World War II winds down, Victor Norman resigns his military propaganda job.
A New York ad agency hires him to handle the Beaute Soap account.
The Hucksters by Frederic Wakeman
Rinehart, 1946. 307 p. 1946 bestseller # 5. My Grade: C-.
Beaute Soap CEO Evan Evans, is a cruel, controlling, old coot whose only joy in life (aside from selling soap) is making people’s lives miserable.
Vic finds he loathes advertising and radio.
He’s not particularly interested in money either.
Vic doesn’t really know what he wants.
All goes well until Vic falls for Kay Dorrance, a rich, sexy woman with two children who is waiting for her husband to come home. Vic becomes sugar daddy to the kids and bedfellow to their mother.
Vic wants Kay to divorce her husband and marry him. He’ll need a bigger salary to support her and the kids.
Vic’s need for money gives Evans a way to control him.
Vic sees himself poised to become a huckster like the people around him.
Will he fall?
Will readers care if he does?
Frederic Wakeman’s novel is as much a piece of hucksterism as any commercial.
The plot is complex and subtle as a billboard, the characters no more than billboard-deep.
In fact, if you strung together a series of billboards, you’d have as good a novel as The Hucksters.
© 2016 Linda Gorton Aragoni