Meet the "Mad Men" of the 21st Century.
In this work of fiction, Pure Creative, an ad agency, has set its sights on rap star Markus in hopes of cinching one of the most profitable collaborations ever: turning the viral music video for his number-one song “Holy War”—in which he ventures into poor neighborhoods to make broad gestures of generosity—into an ad campaign for their most lucrative client, the telecommunications giant Telco.
Pure’s client services lead, Ella, is dealing with other challenges. She's struggling with deteriorating judgment and frayed nerves caused not only by work overload but by several traumatic events in her past. As a result, she's mismanaging the Telco account, putting her career, and the entire Holy War project, at risk. As if that weren’t enough, an onslaught of bad press about Markus’s very politically incorrect private life will begin to threaten Pure's squeaky clean image as the “woke-est” agency in the world. Despite these hurdles standing between Pure Creative and success, its creative director, Link, has convinced himself that this campaign will finally give him a chance to do some real good in the world. Why, then, can’t he shake the nagging feeling of being an imposter?
In this Swiftian, often comical narrative, Stoddard satirizes the newest and perhaps most manipulative weapon of today’s advertising industry: branded content that promotes progressive social values—and all for the “pure” and unadulterated goal of…sheer profit.
“THE VIRTUOUS ONES is a razor-sharp insider's look at today's world of young professionals in L.A. advertising and their transgressive lifestyles. It reminds me of reading the literary Brat Pack novels of the 1980s for the first time, and of watching Mad Men—a dark but often humorous satire that makes for a fast-paced read.” —Lisa Howorth, Author of Summerlings, a Novel
“THE VIRTUOUS ONES contrasts trendy kindness and sudden, unspeakable cruelty dressed in Prada. Gradually, the disparate cords of this narrative tighten, recalling Didion and Ellis with their offhanded, blunt descriptions, on-point brand inventions, and breathtaking one-liners...” —Michael Carroll, Author of Stella Maris: And Other Key West Stories
Praise for the Author’s Work:
"Stoddard has created an addictive and intoxicating environment for his readers… A depressingly beautiful portrait of the metropolitan human." —Kirkus on At Night Only
"Stylish, despairing, enviable..." —Edmund White on At Night Only
"Though dubbed a tragedy on the jacket, At Night Only looks unrelentingly for a way out of fake love, fake relationships, and fake identities." —The Paris Review on At Night Only
Most Anticipated Books in September @ Lambda LiteraryA Conversation with Bruce Benderson @ The Evergreen ReviewExcerpt of “Mrs. Diet Coke” @ Grand Journal Excerpt of “Mr. Snuffleupagus” @ The Evergreen ReviewGoodreads Consumer Reviews
Christopher Stoddard is the author of three other novels: At Night Only (ITNA, 2018), Limiters (ITNA, 2014), and White, Christian (Spuyten Duyvil, 2010). His most recent book, At Night Only, was praised by PEN award-winning author Edmund White, and was a staff pick in The Paris Review. For more than a decade, he worked at various ad agencies in New York City. He lives in Los Angeles.