“Darkly funny, surprisingly tender . . . witheringly dead-on.” — Los Angeles Times
Named one of the year’s best novels by: Time • Salon.com • Los Angeles Times • NPR/Fresh Air • New West • Kansas City Star • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A comic and heartfelt novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins and Cold Millions about how we get to the edge of ruin—and how we begin to make our way back.
What happens when small-time reporter Matthew Prior quits his job to gamble everything on a quixotic notion: a Web site devoted to financial journalism in the form of blank verse?
Before long, he wakes up to find himself jobless, hobbled with debt, spying on his wife's online flirtation, and six days away from losing his home. . . . Until, one night on a desperate two a.m. run to 7-Eleven, he falls in with some local stoners, and they end up hatching the biggest—and most misbegotten—plan yet.
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.
Listen to him speak if you get the chance. Intelligent, funny man.
A bit disappointing
I read this after Beautiful Ruins and not as good so a letdown for sure but not a bad book either. JW is a talented writer and plan to read more of his books....EAF
Hilarious and even heartwarming
Quick and fun to read. I couldn't put it down.