It's Book Club Time and this Month's Author is Washington Olivetta

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Our book club selection for Novembro is "Corinthians," written in Portuguese by adman Washington Olivetto, president of W/Brasil, Sao Paulo. The book is quite an achievement in many respects. Writers often work under duress from editors. But get this: Washington had kidnappers on his back. He began sketching out the book after he was allowed a Bic pen during a grim 53-day hostage ordeal that ended earlier this year. In December 2001, Washington was snatched from his armored car in Sao Paulo by a Chilean extremist and his gang who wanted $18 million in ransom. Washington escaped on his own after he was left in a locked airtight room for dead.

His book is an ode to the soccer club, the Sao Paulo "Corinthians," told as a one-sided conversation in which the leading Brazilian adman explains futbol to his American friend and fellow adman Ed McCabe, founder of Scali McCabe Sloves. In the book, Ed replies with "Go Corinthians!" e-mails, but it's unclear just how much the Ed character really understands of Portuguese.

In the book, Washington refers briefly to the pain of two months spent without soccer while held hostage. Ed then e-mails sympathetically: "Food probably sucked, huh?"

Hack job

In May, Adages predicted CBS's new show "Hack" would fall flat on its far-fetched conceit of a disgraced New York City cop, looking for redemption, who turns into a vigilante cabby. Adages suggested such a cop would probably pick up a fishing rod and head for the Florida Keys.

Lo and behold, there is such a hack: Brooklyn's own James Beatrice, who recently was awarded the third annual John A. Reisenbach Award for heroism by a cab driver. James is a former New York street cop who took to driving a cab in 1945. Unlike the TV Hack, James wasn't disgraced and he wasn't interested in taking the law into his own hands. He just wanted to make a killing. "It's a cash business. I got a Medallion license," James says. He won the Reisenbach award-a trophy and a $500 grant-not after tracking down rapists and murderers, but for reporting an accident on the Brooklyn Bridge. James says cops often become hacks. "Most cops, they get in trouble and they have nowhere to turn so they become cabbies because it's easy money," says James, who is squeaky clean and likes to chatter. "Hack licenses were $10 when I first started. ...I had Nobel prize winners in my car. ... Jack Dempsey was in my car, he was smoking a cigarette. And he's got asthma. Terrible. Terrible."

During its second week, "Hack" won the 18-to-49 demo for Friday night in the 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. slot with 3.4 rating and 10 household share.

Gilligan's Island

Adages took a lunch break last week on a tropical island paradise. Actually, the island was a pair of barges welded together and topped with tons of sand. From a distance, and up close, the island looked like a giant floating ashtray. The supersize butt bucket was anchored in the Hudson River and two young people, Rob and Emily Hache, and their dog, were living on it in a heated hut. The Haches are the hosts of "Found in America," a series on the new cable network Fine Living (owned by E.W. Scripps Co.) and this was a promotional stunt dreamed up by their agency, Crispin Porter Bogusky, Los Angeles.

Sally Hogshead, creative director, led an expedition to the barges. She climbed the tower of a bobbing tug and explained: "We want to make a splash in New York." They certainly did. The Haches were surrounded by a camera crew from "Extra" and by the time Adages arrived, the welding had broken and the two barges were grinding like tectonic plates. The Haches were being evacuated that night because a storm was on the way. Winds were already whipping up and sand was spilling into the river. Adages jumped on the next tug to the mainland.

Contributing Laurel Wentz Messages in a bottle to [email protected]

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