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The financial lives of the poets : a novel
Walter, Jess
Adult Fiction WALTER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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. Matt Prior quits his job as a business reporter to start Poetfolio.com, a Web site featuring poetry about finance, or "money-lit." Unsurprisingly, it tanks, and Matt returns to the newspaper, only to be laid off with a meager severance package. Now not only are the Priors in danger of losing their house, but Matt is convinced that his wife, Lisa, is having an affair with an old boyfriend she rediscovered during her lengthy nightly Facebook sessions. With two sons in overpriced Catholic school and his increasingly senile father to support, Matt's bank accounts dwindle amid his financial planner's dire predictions (diagnosis: "fiscal Ebola"). When an appealing but illegal moneymaking opportunity presents itself, Matt jumps at the chance. The decision to include snippets of Matt's poetry in the novel was a risky one, but Walter pulls it off, never resorting to pretension or overused metaphors for life's meltdowns. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

A new novel by the Edgar Award-winning author of Citizen Vince is cause for celebration; though tedious passages of indulgent free verse threaten to derail an otherwise promising premise, Walter manages to pull it off with zippy dialog and a likable, if extremely flawed, main character. Matt Prior is a former journalist who bailed from his newspaper job to start a misconceived web site-poetfolio.com-featuring literary writing about the financial world. Now his web site is floundering, and he has no job prospects in sight. Convinced that his wife's furtive text messages signal an affair with a high school flame and desperate for cash to prevent his mortgage lender from foreclosing on their house, Matt stumbles into an unlikely money-making venture: drug dealer to the middle-aged. Fans of the TV series Weeds will not be disappointed. Manic, sleep-deprived, cringe-inducing hilarity ensues as Prior sinks lower and lower toward rock bottom before he finds a glimmer of redemption. Verdict Prior is a zany, foul-mouthed Willy Loman in search of a stimulus package, and readers looking for some humor with their layoff notices will certainly relate.-Christine Perkins, Bellingham P.L., WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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