The Financial Lives of the Poets (Blog Tour)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blog tours are something I often find risky because you are promising (generally) to read and review a book by a certain time. This is all without knowing much about the book other than the synopsis. But sometimes the risk proves worthwhile and you end up with a book you really like and with an introduction to an author who you would like to read more of. That is what happened when I read The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter.

This satirical novel begins with the main character, Matt Prior, going to the 7/11 at midnight to buy a gallon of milk. There he has an interesting run in with some "stoners" which leads him to a bevy of humorous (to the reader, anyway) situations. Throughout the novel, Matt reflects on where his life has brought him. His financial situation is in ruins after he left his job as a newspaper reporter to start his own website/business of financial news written in verse. Things continue to get worse as his house is about to be foreclosed. He hasn't yet told his wife, for fear of losing her, though he suspects she's already having an affair. Matt is also dealing with the stress of caring for his elderly father who is suffering from early onset Dementia. His escapades lead him through a variety of interesting situations and then to a place where he can finally look back and reflect on how his decisions have impacted him. In that way it's almost like a mid-life "coming of age" story.

Matt's musings (on life in general and on his situation) are both humorous and reflective. The author appears to have a sense of humor about life and can look at a difficult situation with wit. Jess Walter's writing is intelligent, yet his conversational style makes the reading flow easily from one page to the next and engages the reader. This is a book I have recommended to my husband... it reminds me of other authors he likes (though I've yet to actually read one of their books so I'm going off the little I know) such as Nick Hornby, Christopher Moore, Carl Hiaasen, etc.

The Financial Lives of the Poets is an amusing novel full of life, epiphanies, drugs, revenge, love, and the every man. I will be looking for more books by this author, and I recommend this book!

From his website:
Jess Walter is the author of five novels, including The Zero, a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award and Citizen Vince, winner of the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel. He has been a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and the PEN USA Literary Prize in both fiction and nonfiction. His books have been New York Times, Washington Post and NPR best books of the year and have been translated into twenty languages.

Stop by these other blog tour locations to read more thoughts!

Tuesday, October 13th: Lit and Life

Wednesday, October 14th: One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books

Thursday, October 15th: Jo-Jo Loves to Read!

Monday, October 19th: Starting Fresh

Tuesday, October 20th: I’m Booking It

Wednesday, October 21st: Beth’s Book Review Blog

Friday, October 23rd: Take Me Away

Monday, October 26th: Raging Bibliomania

Tuesday, October 27th: Booksie’s Blog

Wednesday, October 28th: Book Nook Club

Thursday, October 29th: Books and Movies

Friday, October 30th: The Novel Bookworm


trish said...

Great review, Jenny! I agree about the almost gambling nature of book tours. I've been pretty good at picking books (especially recently) so haven't had to deal with a dud in quite a while! :)

I'm really glad you liked this book!

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I like your review. I've seen this one at my bookstore under New Fiction.

I've never done a blog tour but I did sign up to do my first sometime in November. We'll see...

Laughing Stars said...

Your review is beautifully written! I just love the title of this book, and it looks like a great book tour.

Allie ~ Hist-Fic Chick said...

Love this review! It sounds like a great book!!

I recently joined my first blog tour for Kathleen Cunningham Guler's A Land Beyond Ravens, which I really thought I would love but it turned out being the first one I've read since starting my blog that didn't receive a positive review. I felt awkward because here I was, supposed to be helping the author to promote the book, yet I didn't really feel like it was all that good. I know a lot of people really enjoyed the book, but it just wasn't for me. I gave it a 3/6 review. Glad you joined a blog tour of a book you truly loved! I'll have to be more choosy in the future. :)

Jenny said...

Trish -- Thanks! Yes, I think initially I was just excited to do tours so I picked ones I wouldn't necessarily have read. I think for the most part now I'm being a little smarter about it!

Michelle -- Ooh which one are you doing? I'm doing one in Nov. for Note from an Old Aquaintance (or something like that)

Laughing Stars -- Thanks! And I love the title too!

Allie -- Thanks! And yeah, it can put you in an awkward position for sure. =/ I've had that in the past.

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I'm doing The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate.

Heather said...

Great review! I do think this is a book that can be enjoyed by almost anyone, because it deals with topics that almost everyone is dealing with or has dealt with in a really funny way. I think your husband will really like it. Mine has asked to read it as well, so I will let you know how it goes. I also agree that the writing is very conversational, and the style is easy. I think that was one of the first things that drew me into the story.

Jenny said...

Thanks Heather! Definitely let me know how he likes it!

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