If you’ve ever wondered what really goes on at an ad agency, are obsessed with the TV show Mad Men, or simply want to read a novel about a man navigating between the minefields of work and family, then The MineFields by Stephen C. Eisner is for you.
The MineFields follows Sam Spiegel and his family as he joins his father, Harry’s ad agency, Spiegel Communications, intending on taking it to the top. Sam starts out his business career working in Manhatten, where he’s referred to as “The Golden Boy,” but when his father calls, requesting his presence in Philadephia, home of the family business, Sam goes running to him.
Harry is ill, and needs Sam not only by his side, but to join him at Spiegel Communications. They work side by side for years, but then Harry passes away. After Harry’s death, Sam and his wife Amy persevere, working hard to keep the company successful. Everything seems to be going okay, as okay as it can go, anyway, then 9/11 occurs and, well, let me just say that things start to go awry…
The MineFields is well-written and fast-paced. It covers the main events in Sam’s life (marrying his wife, the birth of his kids) rapidly, quickly getting to the meat of the story, which is life at the ad agency, and life outside — but still revolving around — it. Eisener’s prose has a unique tone of voice, making Sam seem all the more real. He doesn’t dwell on the unimportant details, but includes enough so that his point of view comes across loud and clear. The MineFields pulls you in, and doesn’t let you out until Sam’s story has been told.
(Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. For additional information regarding this, please see my disclosure policy above.)