The Appetite Factory
An all-too-familiar dystopia where public perception precedes reality and our identities are defined by what we consume
As head of the crisis management team at a Madison Avenue PR firm, Leonard Lundell spends his days counseling executives whose reputations have been ruined by scandal. But Leonard has been managing a strange and debilitating crisis of his own that’s held him captive his entire adult life: Leonard likes to eat soap, pencils, paint chips—anything with no nutritional value.
For years, he’s kept his compulsion hidden behind a professional veneer. But when he signs an important client, an antisocial file clerk unwittingly discovers Leonard’s secret and blackmails him into accommodating her own bizarre culinary indulgences.
A picaresque set against the backdrop of Madison Avenue’s marketing machine in the months leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, The Appetite Factory examines the earliest days of our post-truth era, where a scandal-obsessed news cycle and social media’s rise as an information platform have given birth to a culture addicted to recreational outrage and hell-bent on finding the next public figure to disgrace to keep ourselves entertained.