|How to Sell Toothpaste is the latest novel by
Leonie Thorpe, an author whose name I may previously have seen as I browsed the YA section
of my local bookstores but until now a complete unknown to me. An oversight I am glad to
have had corrected.
In todays world of literary classification and stratification How
to Sell Toothpaste is a novel of indistinct heritage: Does it sit in
literature? Young Adult? Or, out in the hurly-burly of general author and readership (as
all fiction books used to once upon a time)? Where ever it should sit in the shop How
to Sell Toothpaste is undoubtedly an amusing read told with a deft touch.
How to Sell Toothpaste tells the tale of Dominic Clayton, recent school
leaver and filling his summer holidays before varsity doing a spot of interior decorating
at his fathers workplace an advertising agency. Unfortunately for Dominic his
father appears to have developed the winning formula for stealing Dominics cool
by getting there first and being effortless with it. Dominic sees his only recourse
in recovering that cool is to one up his father in the advertising game. And so the story
I was impressed at Ms Thorpes skill that not only did the plot point of competing
ad campaigns appear logical, but it also appeared natural. And by keeping to the central
story of Dominic trying to outdo his father in an ad campaign for toothpaste (hence the
books title) she has made the characters and their actions believable.
This was a wry coming of age tale, with its tongue firmly planted in its cheek. What
the story did it did very well; I enjoyed reading it and was sorry it came to an end. A
very definite keeper and an author to watch for a sorbet for the jaded