This Friday and every Friday for the next several months I'll be featuring a book in the Harper Perennial Imprint. Some were recently published, some will be released later this year, all are worth a closer look.
I was sold on The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter when it came out in hardcover and was reviewed and loved by many book bloggers. I'm going to share some of those reviews in minute, but first take a look at the publisher's summary:
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?What can I say? I love the premise, and I want to know what happens after Matt smokes dope. But the real reason I want to read this novel is because of the many enthusiastic reviews I came across last year when the hardcover was released. Here are three (click on the links for the full review):
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.
- Carrie from Books and Movies: "Mixing humor and poetry with observations of modern life, Walter has crafted a story that kept me turning the pages."
- Lisa from Lit and Life: "Even though Walter may have thrown everything but the kitchen sink into this book in terms of problems the Priors are facing, it never seems unbelievable. . . . Walter keeps it from getting too heavy, constantly throwing in characters and situations that made me giggle as I read the book."
- Melissa at The Betty and Boo Chronicles: "I think one of the hallmarks of a good writer is one who can make you love and hate a character within the same sentence. And Jess Walter—who is a very, very, very good writer—succeeds at this with his main character of Matt."
This book was featured as part of my Spotlight on the Harper Perennial imprint. For information about the imprint, please read Erica Barmash's welcome note posted here on June 18, 2010. I encourage you to add your reviews of Harper Perennial books to the review link-up page; it's a great way to discover Good Books for Cool People. You might also want to visit the The Olive Reader, the Harper Perennial blog.
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