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Set in the world of a large advertising company Storyboard focuses on the decision by the agency’s clients, Hoppness, Silch & Co. (‘the soap people’) to destroy one of their competitor’s products. Into this scheme are thrust copyeditor Sophia Last and her boss Hugh Grover, as well as over-conscientious Account Executive Keith Bates, his wife Sylvia and their son Stephen. Also caught up in these events is Ralph Cavell, a young research graduate turned journalist.
Storyboard is not primarily a novel about advertising. It is an exploration of how people can be corrupted, and ultimately destroyed, by their desire for money and power and how even those people who start out with good intentions can be misled from their original purpose. It is also a critique of powerful corporations that are controlled and organised by the greed of those who operate them.
An absorbing and adult novel, Storyboard cemented John Bowen’s reputation as a mature and intelligent novelist when it was first published in 1960.
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