Hilarious 'Mr. Ballpoint' Celebrates the Pen Wars of 1945
In 1945, Milton Reynolds introduced the ballpoint to the United States and triggered the biggest single-day shopping riot in history at Gimbels in Manhattan. The Reynolds International Pen Company made $8 million in six weeks during the first non-wartime Christmas season. Thereafter, increasing competition from established companies such as Eversharp triggered several years of the "Pen Wars."
Pen collector and historian Henry Gostony likens this sensation to the early excitement over the iPhone: "Gerald Everett Jones tells the story in a way that brings back the fascination of the public for the pen that wrote without refilling, upside down, and under water. History more fascinating than fiction!"
An exuberant entrepreneur who had already made and lost several fortunes, Reynolds bragged that he "stole it fair and square." This novel is told from his mild-mannered son Jim's point of view, about coping with Milton's outrageous schemes, then their sudden success.
Although Jones wrote the book for general audiences, teachers and librarians have commented that it's an appropriate read for young adults – an ideal book-report assignment. In an engaging and funny story about the foibles of fathers and sons, students get a vivid description of the post-World War II era, including the beginnings of mass-market advertising and the often wild schemes of entrepreneurial capitalism.
Deborah Vaden, manager of public libraries in Irving, Texas, agrees: "Forgotten history brought to life. If you ever wanted to know how to play the game of life and have a blast doing it, read Mr. Ballpoint. Perfect for our library and book clubs."
Magdalena Ball, host of The Compulsive Reader, said: Gerald Everett Jones certainly knows how to tell a story. Engaging, funny, and full of the cross-genre capability that marks all of Jones's novels, Mr. Ballpoint will surprise and delight readers of all ages.
This is author Gerald Everett Jones's eighth book for LaPuerta. His first was the tongue-in-cheek business title How to Lie with Charts. He is also the author of the "boychik-lit" series of Rollo Hemphill Misadventures, including My Inflatable Friend, Rubber Babes, and Farnsworth's Revenge. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the College of Letters, Wesleyan University, where he studied under novelists Peter Boynton (Stone Island), F.D. Reeve (The Red Machines), and Jerzy Kozinski (The Painted Bird, Being There). Claiming he's inspired by the humor of P.G. Wodehouse and James Thurber, author Jones blogs on the topic of male-centered comic fiction at Boychik Lit (www.boychiklit.com).
Jason Teahan, Marketing Director
La Puerta Productions
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