DEATH WATCH is a dark satire of consumer culture gone awry, where a devious ad campaign persuades customers to buy a luxury watch that might kill them.
Son of a legendary adman, Coe Vessel has selling in his blood. To win a plum account for his struggling NYC agency, Coe travels to Tokyo to pitch the artist-provocateur Watanabe, who is unveiling his latest creation—a mysterious watch called Cassius Seven. Coe spends a week courting the enigmatic Watanabe, who claims the watch can kill its wearer. Reassured by the artist’s son that Cassius Seven (AKA Death Watch) is a high-art hoax, Coe straps a prototype watch around his wrist to show solidarity with Watanabe and win the lucrative account.
Back in New York, Coe and his team of renegade creatives work furiously to create a campaign to convince the world that Death Watch is the must-have accessory for end-time capitalism.
Thanks to the team’s inventive campaign, Death Watch finds eager buyers among the brazenly cocky, thoroughly disillusioned, and silently suicidal. Death Watch soon becomes a cultural phenomenon, harbinger of a new nihilism, and a target for moral outrage—exactly what Watanabe envisioned. But his hoax turns horrific when the watches start going off, killing their wearers.
Appalled, Coe and his team reverse course and work feverishly to alert potential buyers. But can they stop Death Watch, the juggernaut they set in motion?
Stona Fitch is the founder of Concord Free Press, a non-profit publisher that has been called a grand experiment in subversive altruism. His seven novels, which include Give + Take and Senseless, have been praised by critics and readers, published widely throughout the world, and produced as feature films. He lives with his family in Concord, Massachusetts.
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