Jerry Della Femina - From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor (3 stars)

Jerry Della Femina - From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor

(Canongate)

‘I know guys who would make you fly Nazi Airlines in a minute or get you to pack your voodoo kit for a little trip to Haiti,’ declares self-styled mad man Jerry Della Femina, in this re-release of the rambling 1970s cult classic. Although enjoyable and ever so of-their-time, eyebrow-raising epithets such as this aviation gag are sadly dulled by a barrage of name-dropping, tangential industry specifics and an irksome over-reliance on the full-stop. Short sentences are epic. They create punch. But get a nasal New Yorker stuck in your head and they grate. Big time.

An insider’s account and a cultural history to be swallowed with a large pinch of salt, Femina’s monologue hazily traces Madison Avenue’s heady golden years. Like the rightfully successful TV series that it has spawned, this offers a smokin’ portrait of an enviable profession and a hokey, satiric homage to a recognisable era.

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