THE HARD SELL by David Delman


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A novel about the garment business -- the lingeric department, evolving around the erratic relationship of two brothers, Herb and George Brenner. Herb was the older of the two -- a brash glad-hand, glib-tongued fellow, looking for the fast buck. George was Herb's shadow, his conscience, covering up for his brother's mistakes, taking second choice of the women. George follows Herb into the Joy de Vivre Lingerie Corp. Where he both wittingly and unwittingly plays the tool for Herb's ambition. Herb, sales manager, is after the $75,000 a year presidency of Joy de Vivre, being capably and honestly handled by Oscar Steinman, and he considers no pries too high for the plum; if necessary he would use his beautiful wife, Laura, as the bait, the trump card to offer to Elliot Gans, Chairman of the Board, a disreputable old man who fancies himself a connoisseur of women. A wild sales conference provides the showdown for the brothers and the Joy de Vivre infighting: Herb is assured of the job; George discovers his brother's exchange and leaves him finally to his unscrupulous conniving. Familiar caricatures of business personalities, especially inadequate in the larger issue of the brothers' rivalry -- George's spurious virtue is only an annoying naivete -- punctuated by nervous splatterings of sex.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1958
Publisher: Messner