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The Happy Soul Industry [Paperback]

Steffan Postaer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 16.46 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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By K.P.
The Happy Soul Industry is a book about God, Advertising, hope, the devil and L.A. It tells the story of an Angel who is sent to Earth by God, to find the perfect Advertising Agency that will run a campaign to support "goodness."

One of the agency's that's up for the running CN&W, has a president with a serious anger/ depression problem, the Creative Director has a serious drug problem and their personal assistant has joined a cult (that sounds suspiciously like Scientology) in an effort to find meaning in her life.

I liked this book. It was funny and clearly a social commentary on our society - you will find recognize many of the references in this book. And its description of the advertising industry is very accurate, as it's after all written by a veteran of the industry.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God Chooses an Ad Agency to Promote Goodness April 17 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
I began reading Steffan Postaer's blog when he went to Cannes in 2009. I didn't know that much about him, then learned after some quick research that he was the mastermind behind Altoids' "Curiously Strong" effort and a co-creative behind the "Not your father's Oldsmobile" campaign. Without knowing it, I was already a fan.

When I learned he had written a couple books, one being, "The Happy Soul Industry," I picked it up and knocked it out in a couple of sittings, unable to put it down. It's an engrossing, great read. My only qualm is that it ended quickly...leaving me with the question, "What happens next?"

Briefly, the gist of the novel is that God decides to choose an advertising agency to promote goodness. In an effort to do so, God's emissary, an angel, changes the lives of those with whom he interacts,and ultimately himself. The characters are easily understood as they question themselves, and the world around them.

There's a point being made by the novel, and that point is: There's a dark and sordid underbelly to the advertising industry that isn't openly spoken about; it exists, but is largely ignored. The Happy Soul Industry draws this underbelly into the light without delving too deeply, highlighting that even those who start with the best intentions get sucked in, one small sacrifice at a time. Some are able to justify themselves while others pay a moral price.

The Happy Soul Industry is like an amusement park ride; fast, exciting, and definitely worth it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Happy Soul Industry. Trust me. Feb. 21 2010
By T. Jay - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Happy Souls Industry will make you want to believe in something. What you do with that is entirely up to you. A thoughtfully fun read. It's hysterical. The story begins a little sketchy. Probably because it has to cover centuries of setup in a small space. But then, as with any good story, I got caught up, literally. One minute I'm struck with longing for an advertising era that would not have included my type. The next I'm laughing aloud at another one of the character's antics. The main character, David reminds me of me. Naive. Idealistic. Only he catches up fast for having been out of it for almost a century. Sometimes he catches up too fast. Either way, he seems to enjoy himself.

There are a lot of sensitive, thought-provoking topics covered. Religion. Greed. Avarice. Sex. Racism. Class. Even the volatile, touchy minorities-in-adverting subject. It may be too much to tackle, yet the author doesn't preach. Well, only a tiny bit. Again, coverage of advertising greats like Leo Burnett and David Ogilvy -- creatives who worked before the process, the committee, the group think invaded -- left me wistful for a chance to do great work. Was advertising ever so great? I once believed it was.

Happy Souls Industry really does leave me wishing I could believe again. It's harder to work so hard without faith.The Happy Soul Industry
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this book. Feb. 19 2010
By Julie Glassman - Published on
Someone once told me that if I pursued a career in advertising it would "suck away my soul." That the people are terrible, that my creativity would be suppressed, and well, all that kind of stuff.

What I like about The Happy Soul Industry is that it actually embraces all of these stereotypes, and stays comedic and positive. Yes there are screwed up people in the advertising business. Women who use sex to advance their careers. Ad execs who drive SUVs like they own the road because they are rich and feel entitled. But it's hilarious.

By so perfectly nailing these stereotypes, Postaer makes a greater statement about the stereotypes themselves - that they're just that: stereotypes. The choice is yours as to whether you let these stereotypes suck away your soul or whether you find them a source of creative inspiration, as Postaer did, and as I, the reader, did.

The plot is well structured, and unfolds in unexpected and whacky ways. This is a book that's easy to read, and definitely a page-turner. The characters and events are so well-described that you almost see them - and maybe someday you will. My fingers are crossed for the day this book gets made into a movie.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you work in advertising, definitely pick this up. July 29 2009
By Joseph A. Dapier - Published on
It's a book that reads like a film you can't take your eyes off of. Great idea, great story and obviously well written. It's also a scathing commentary on the darker side of marketing/advertising and the execs that sell corporate america on the masses.
If he wasn't such a brilliant ad man himself, I'd tell Postaer to become a novelist full-time.
Unfortunately, Chicago needs guys like him in this industry... he'll have to wait til retirement...heh heh.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steffan Postaer July 29 2009
By LaWoman071 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Steffan held my attention, It's an awesome book.

I couldn't help but smile when he cast a woman as God : )

I can hardly wait for his next book.
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