Adages

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Admen and literature

The prolific novelist Jim Patterson, formerly JWT North America chairman and chief creative officer, dashes off thrillers as routinely as commercial treatments. His latest quickie novel is "1st to Die." Last year it was "Roses Are Red," which featured a character named John Dooner, the CEO of a large corporation. Is the fictional character anything like the real John Dooner, CEO of Interpublic? Here's a taste of the fictional Dooner. His face was pale as he hurriedly walked to the podium. "Time is of the essence," said Dooner in a trembling voice that shocked the other board members. "Please listen carefully. The charter tour bus carrying my wife and many of your wives has been hijacked." First of all, the trembling voice could be a Doonerism given the circumstances. But that dialogue. Would the real John Dooner, or any other real person for that matter, ever say anything like, "Time is of the essence." Adages doesn't think so.

Rummaging through a used-book store, Adages found a great literary bargain for $1.98: "Popo," written by Rosser Reeves. The former creative engine at Bates during its heyday in the '60s wrote "Popo" after his retirement in 1980. It's a novel about a poet who lives on a park bench in New York. The book features a character named Fallon. Any resemblance to Pat Fallon, of Fallon in Minneapolis? Here's a sample: Fallon the Feather Merchant. He is about six feet, five inches tall; and every day he comes into Washington Square with a bag of feathers. He takes a feather in his finger, purses his lips, thrusts out his jaw, and blows a feather up in the air.

Also on the lit beat, Adages has learned that Lou Schultz, CEO of Initiative Media, is working on a book. He says the title will be "Why Make it Rain When You Can Make It Pour?" According to Lou, the book will be about how to succeed at winning new business. He also says that one day, he'd like to pen a book about the $2.9 billion GM planning review, which Initiative's parent Interpublic tried to win but didn't. Here's a title for you, Lou: "You Win Some, You Lose Some."

Dumb and Dumber

Rock out with the Dummies: Volvo Cars North America throws an invite-only party Wednesday at New York's ABC TV Studios. Wayne Brady (ABC's "Whose Line is it Anyway?") hosts the gig, featuring the fictional Clive Bengtsson, billed as the oldest living crash test dummy. Clive takes the wraps off his new nine-minute safety flick from Sweden's Dock House Films. Music from, of course, The Crash Test Dummies. "The idea was to try to make safety kind of more fun and relevant to a broader group of people," explains Volvo's Bob Austin, marketing communications director.

Room At the Top?

San Francisco agencies may be laying off employees, but there's still room at the top. McCann-Erickson Worldwide is looking for a president to work under Chairman Barry Hedge, and GMO/Hill Holliday also has been putting out feelers for a CEO. The top openings come as True North's FCB Worldwide, San Francisco, braces for layoffs in the wake of the $400 million AT&T review affecting possibly more than 100 employees.

With news compiled by Alice Z. Cuneo and Jean Halliday.

E-mail your book proposals to rlinnett@crain.com.

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