Monday, October 19, 2009

Blog Tour of The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter

"When the hole started opening two years ago, Lisa and I congratulated ourselves because at least we weren't in one of those La Brea Tar Pit adjustable-rate home loans. We had a normal thirty-year, with a normal fixed rate, and even though we'd unwisely cashed in equity for a couple of costly remodels, we were still okay. We had some normal debt; normal credit cards, normal furniture layaways, normal car payments, some uncovered medical bills, Teddy's normal braces and Franklin's normal speech therapy (Oh, for God's sake, say your 'R's'). But then my perfectly normal dream of starting my own business, the afore-derided, turned out to take longer and be more costly than we thought, and we found ourselves taking another line of credit on the house, going deeper in debt. Then came Lisa's abnormal online shopping binge, and our credit cards rolled over on us a couple of times and the car payments lapsed and the ground began slipping away and the only thing that seemed rock steady was the house, so we took another chunk out of it, just to catch up, we said, to temporarily cover living expenses, and we refinanced at the peak value; like a snake eating its tail we borrowed against our house to pay the house payment of a house leveraged at forty percent more than the house was worth. When the dip came I scrambled back to the newspaper, but with the hole growing deeper and the monthly interest charges eating us alive, we fell further behind, missed a few house payments and our helpful mortgage lender offered us an "agreement of forebearance," six months away (with interest!) to get on top of our payments, and we jumped at that lifeline, but then I lost my job and maybe we were distracted by that and by my father's collapse (we dragged him into the hole with us) because while we fretted and waffled and stalled, the stock market went out for milk, got stoned and lost forty percent of its value, depleting my 401(k), which, due to my stubborn love for financial and media stocks, had already begun to look more like a 4(k). ...This is how a person wakes up one morning to find that he's six days from losing his house."
-The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter

The Financial Lives of the Poets


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 Tours.

About the Author, courtesy of his website:
Jess Walter is the author of five novels and one nonfiction book. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages and his essays, short fiction, criticism and journalism have been widely published, in Details, Playboy, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe among many others. Learn more on Jess Walter's website at

Participating Blogs:

Monday, October 12th: 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

Book Tour Events in your area:

October 21-25 -- SAN FRANCISCO Tomales Bay Writers Conference

October 26 -- CORTE MADERA, CA Book Passage, 7 p.m.

OCTOBER 27 -- BELLINGHAM, WA Village Books, 7 p.m.

October 28 -- SEATTLE, WA Elliott Bay Books, 7 p.m.

October 29 -- SEATTLE, WA Seattle Mystery Bookshop (noon)

October 29 -- PORTLAND, OR Powells Books, 7 p.m.

November 4 -- SPOKANE, WA. Tinman Gallery 7 p.m.

November 5 -- MISSOULA, MONT. Fact and Fiction, 7 p.m.

November 16 -- BELLINGHAM, Western Washington University

November 18 -- LEAVENWORTH, WA, A Book for All Seasons

November 19 -- EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE, OLYMPIA, WA 3 p.m. & Swing Winery 7 p.m.


November 21 -- HOOD RIVER, Bookstop

December 2 -- EWU MFA -- The Zero with Sam Ligon

December 3 -- MOSCOW, IDAHO -- University Bookstore

December 5 -- AUNTIES BOOKS, Spokane Reading with Sherman Alexie

December 10 -- THIRD PLACE BOOKS, Bothell

January 22 -- BOOKMANIA, Florida




April 17 -- SPOKANE, GET LIT

April 23 -- WHITWORTH COLLEGE, 7 p.m.


Thanks so much to Jess Walter, Trish and TLC Book Tours for this opportunity!

1 comment:

  1. Normally I wouldn't pick up a book like this, but I just finished Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell and really enjoyed it! For some reason this book is reminding me of Beat the Reaper, so I think I'll give this book a shot.

    Thanks for being on this tour, Gaby!