The Financial Lives of the Poets: A Novel (Paperback)

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November 2009 Indie Next List


“In Jess Walter's best yet, feckless financial reporter Matt Prior has lost his job, is six days away from losing his house, and suspects his wife is courting an affair. Walter's own obvious empathy for the human condition will have you pulling for Prior and his screwy, shady, last-chance scheme for solvency. A laugh-out-loud serio-comic masterpiece!”
— Ranae Burdette, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA

Description


The Financial Lives of the Poets is a comic and heartfelt novel from National Book Award nominee Jess Walter, author of Citizen Vince and The Zero, about how we get to the edge of ruin—and how we begin to make our way back.

Walter tells the story of Matt Prior, who’s losing his job, his wife, his house, and his mind—until, all of a sudden, he discovers a way that he might just possibly be able to save it all.... and have a pretty damn great time doing it.

 

Praise For…


“A deliciously antic tale of an American dream gone very sour...part noir gumshoe, part average Joe, [Matt Prior] is a sharp, wide-eyed, soulful observer, with a keen eye for the layers of bureaucracy and doublespeak.”

“Would be so sad if it weren’t so funny, and so funny if it weren’t so sad. . . . Compassionate, witty and drawn from today’s heartless world, it’s a terrific book.”

“An extremely funny novel…a very smart meditation on what’s gone wrong with both the US economy and those of us who are expected to keep it running…cleverly designed and immensely entertaining.”

“The funniest way-we-live-now book of the year.”

“The novel has warmth, and its protagonist emerges as a bourgeois Everyman of the downturn.”

“[Walter is a] deft humorist and catastrophist. . . . dangerously astute.”

“Walter is one of my favorite young American writers. . . . [Financial Lives] made me laugh more than any other book published this year.”

“A real find….the ultimate something-for-everyone-don’t-skip-must-read.”

“[A] superb farce.”

“Cynical yet warm, this novel about a financial reporter (with a failing website written entirely in blank verse) is a delight.”

“Walter’s The Financial Lives of the Poets is gasp out loud funny. It’s also sufficiently true to life that you’re grateful it’s not your life. Middle-class mayhem is just the best, at least in Walter’s hands.”

“Darkly funny, surprisingly tender . . . witheringly dead-on.”

“Jess Walter is a brilliant writer, one of the freshest new voices in American literature.”

“Matt Prior . . . is an Everyman for our parlous times.”

“A refreshing reminder that fiction remains a relevant, vital way to understand ourselves.”

“In this cautionary tale of fiscal follies and collapse Walter delivers a comic and gut-wrenching fable for these impecunious times.”

“A comic masterpiece… packed [with] life and wry truth.”

“Hilarious and timely…Walter grounds the story with moments of genuine feeling…bitter, funny and accurate…Jess Walter’s buoyant voice is a fresh pleasure.”

“America’s first Great Recession novel.”

“National Book Award-finalist Walter does for the nation’s bleak financial landscape what he did for 9-11 in The Zero: whip-smart satire with heart.”

“When it comes to explaining to me my own too often baffling nation, there’s no one writing today whom I trust as completely as Jess Walter. His intelligence and sympathy and great wit inform every page—indeed every sentence—of his terrific new novel, The Financial Lives of the Poets. ”

“Jess Walter’s smart and big-hearted take on our bleak national moment is a welcome relief. The Financial Lives of the Poets is a rollicking fiction and an affecting family portrait, as well as a mordantly funny cautionary tale.”

“Confirms Jess Walter as a writer of the first rank.…his eye keen for the true values of the human heart. This is a hopped-up, raucous stunner of a novel with a hero who’s funny enough to make you weep for what we’ve lost.”

“Jess Walter’s The Financial Lives of the Poets is a comic, graceful parable of marriage and money troubles in which a well-meaning family man makes decisions that are seriously stupid—and entertaining and American.”

“One of the best American writers working today.…It’s a testament to this author’s genius that I could not stop laughing even as he drives home some necessary truths. Walter has written a profound, and profoundly funny, book; this may well be the classic novel of our post-boom era.”
Product Details
ISBN: 9780061916052
ISBN-10: 0061916056
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: September 1st, 2010
Pages: 320
Language: English
Series: P.S.