The Financial Lives of the Poets

The Financial Lives of the Poets

3.69 (8,657 ratings by Goodreads)
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Meet Matt Prior. He's about to lose his job, his wife, his house, maybe his mind. Unless . . . In the winning and utterly original novels "Citizen Vince" and "The Zero," Jess Walter ("a ridiculously talented writer"--"New York Times") painted an America all his own: a land of real, flawed, and deeply human characters coping with the anxieties of their times. Now, in his warmest, funniest, and best novel yet, Walter offers a story as real as our own lives: a tale of overstretched accounts, misbegotten schemes, and domestic dreams deferred. A few years ago, small-time finance journalist Matthew Prior quit his day job to gamble everything on a quixotic notion: a Web site devoted to financial journalism in the form of blank verse. When his big idea--and his wife's eBay resale business-- ends with a whimper (and a garage full of unwanted figurines), they borrow and borrow, whistling past the graveyard of their uncertain dreams. One morning Matt wakes up to find himself jobless, hobbled with debt, spying on his wife's online flirtation, and six days away from losing his home. "Is this really how things were supposed to end up for me," he wonders: staying up all night worried, driving to 7-Eleven in the middle of the night to get milk for his boys, and falling in with two local degenerates after they offer him a hit of high-grade marijuana? Or, he thinks, "could this be the solution to all my problems?" Following Matt in his weeklong quest to save his marriage, his sanity, and his dreams, "The Financial Lives of the Poets" is a hysterical, heartfelt novel about how we can reach the edge of ruin--and how we can begin to make our way back.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 290 pages
  • 162.56 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 430.91g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • United States
  • English
  • 0061916048
  • 9780061916045
  • 757,230

Review quote

"Darkly funny, surprisingly tender . . . witheringly dead-on."--Los Angeles Times
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Rating details

8,657 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 19% (1,668)
4 42% (3,644)
3 29% (2,512)
2 8% (663)
1 2% (170)

Our customer reviews

Don't you love it when you find yourself really enjoying a book that you know you normally would not like? THE FINANCIAL LIVES OF THE POETS is that book for me. There are so many things about the book that should make up the recipe for being a book on Lydia's did-not-enjoy list. Instead I found myself enjoying the story immensely (although, admittedly, I did have some pretty nasty dreams because it was a little too real and bleak). Jess Walter does a fantastic job of mixing comedy (straight up laugh out loud lines as well as a self-deprecating main character) with real life topics such as the economy and financial crisis. The first chapter had me laughing out loud to the point where I was wiping away tears by the end of it. So what all did this book have that would make me not want to pick it up? - Poetry - Financial misery - An extraordinary amount of swear words - Drug use Those four things normally add up to me tossing the book away in disgust and moving on. Instead I found myself wrapped up in the story and feeling the narrators pain. It was all so.. real. Very solid book, very entertaining and I'm loving that it took me way out of my comfort zone and reminded me to keep an open mind about things. You never know when something might surprise more
by Lydia Presley
The Financial Lives of the Poets Synopsis: Successful throughout his life, Matt Prior finds himself in the unexpected position of being unemployed, deeply in debt and weeks away from losing his home. Things have been difficult at home and he can't bare to tell his wife the true state of their finances. Matt continues with the everyday life - caring for the children, applying for jobs, negotiating with their mortgage lender, and the usual household chores. When one late night, Matt discovers a possible solution - wacky and dangerous though it may be - to solve their financial hell, he decides to give it a go. Review: In Jess Walter's The Financial Lives of the Poets, Matt Prior goes on a hilarious and absurd adventure triggered by today's financial crisis. Matt has his own crooked logic that will leave you chuckling, whether he's plotting ways to sabotage his wife's flirtation with her high school boyfriend or eke revenge against M_ who laid him or finding ways to reassure his father during his slow descent to senility. A fun and crazy ride - highly recommended! Publisher: Harper (September 22, 2009), 304 pages. Review copy courtesy of TLC Book more
by Gaby @ Starting Fresh
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