The Destinies of Two Creative Crusaders

Fiction - Drama
239 Pages
Reviewed on 03/18/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

ADjoined: The Destinies of Two Creative Crusaders is a work of fiction penned by author Art Novak in the literary style and the interpersonal drama subgenre. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience. In this intriguing drama, copywriters Ted Canby and Riva Marshall navigate personal challenges, leading them to ponder the impact of advertising on humanity. Despite their differing backgrounds, they unite as teacher and student, embarking on a journey of self-discovery. Together, they cultivate confidence and respect for their profession, realizing that advertising mirrors the complexities of humanity. In their collaboration, they find solace in the paradoxes of their craft and come to understand that the morality of advertising is inseparable from the intentions of its creators.

Author Art Novak has crafted a compelling literary work that prompts a great deal of personal reflection on advertising's influence on humanity. While it can elevate products and ideas, it also possesses the potential to manipulate and deceive, and this journey is explored well through the nuances of Novak’s story. Through Ted and Riva's journey, we see the multifaceted ways in which advertising's impact can hit people, and the ensuing plot serves as a mirror for society, showcasing both noble aspirations and darker tendencies. Ultimately, the narrative suggests that advertising, like humanity itself, is neither inherently good nor bad, but that its morality lies in the hands of those who control it. Overall, ADjoined is a superbly unique work that I would highly recommend to anyone seeking a thought-provoking drama.

Craig M.

November 4, 2023

| Verified Purchase

“Advertising IS brain surgery. It’s been operating on our brains for centuries,” posits Ted Canby, a Chicago copywriter turned advertising teacher. And like so many ad campaigns that unite two disparate people, Adjoined brings together its own mismatched pair: Ted, a white, middle-aged man adrift in his career, and Riva, a young black woman seeking to make her mark on the world. As teacher and student, they couldn’t be more dissimilar. But united by their belief in advertising as a potential force for change, they challenge each other, energize each other, support each other, and at times, flip the roles of who’s teaching whom.

Mr. Novak carefully lays the groundwork for each of the main characters. In the first half of the novel, alternating chapters check in on Ted and Riva at key moments in earlier years. By the time Ted and Riva’s lives inevitably intersect in a college classroom, it may seem like we know everything about them – but there’s still a surprising connection between them that adjoins their lives in one more way.

It's a breezy read, but not insubstantial. Drawing on his own experience as both copywriter and instructor, Mr. Novak is sincere in his full-throated defense of advertising that’s laced throughout the novel – but it’s the vivid characterizations and empathetic writing that gives the story (as a recurring ad jingle puts it), Staying Power.