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The Financial Lives of the Poets
The Financial Lives of the Poets
The Financial Lives of the Poets
Audiolibro7 horas

The Financial Lives of the Poets

Escrito por Jess Walter

Narrado por Jess Walter

Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas

3/5

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Información de este audiolibro

The Financial Lives of the Poets is a comic and heartfelt novel from National Book Award nominee Jess Walter, author of Citizen Vince and The Zero, about how we get to the edge of ruin-and how we begin to make our way back. Walter tells the story of Matt Prior, who's losing his job, his wife, his house, and his mind-until, all of a sudden, he discovers a way that he might just possibly be able to save it all . . . and have a pretty damn great time doing it.

Nota del editor

Heartfelt & hilarious...

A pointed critique of the American male’s traditional role in society, this novel is the bridge between Walter's noir works and “Beautiful Ruins”, framed in a heartfelt & hilarious rock-bottom-to-comeback story.

IdiomaEnglish
EditorialHarperAudio
Fecha de lanzamiento17 nov 2009
ISBN9780061988134
The Financial Lives of the Poets
Autor

Jess Walter

Jess Walter is the author of six novels, including the bestsellers Beautiful Ruins and The Financial Lives of the Poets, the National Book Award finalist The Zero, and Citizen Vince, the winner of the Edgar Award for best novel. His short fiction has appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, and Playboy, as well as The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He lives in his hometown of Spokane, Washington.

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Calificación: 3.195187165775401 de 5 estrellas
3/5

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  • Calificación: 5 de 5 estrellas
    5/5
    I am continuing my trip through Jess Walter's books. This one was excellent. It deals with the financial impacts of the 2008 downturn and is told with Walter's usual touch of humor. The book is told in a first person narrative which I don't always feel gives you a total picture of all of the characters. This book is so focused on Matt the main character that it is not important to get into the heads of the other characters. Matt and his wife Lisa have put themselves on the brink of financial ruin through risking a business venture that went bust, an over priced home, and LIsa's consumerism. Matt is keeping the impending loss of their home from Lisa and seeking a way out. The book follows his touching humorous journey. It says a lot about what was going on in the country during that time. It is just under 300 pages and is an excellent read. I continue my march through Jess Walter's works and he continues to come through. He is definitely one my favorite writers.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    I think if your somewhere around middle aged and you smoked weed in your youth you will appreciate this book and writing style. It might not hurt if you have a couple of kids that are in there 20's and live in a state that just legalized recreational use. I thought the book was great and I'm interested in seeing what else Jess Walter has written.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    I believe this is the third book I've read in a row that deals with redemption. A journalist/poet is stuck in the height of the recession out of work and with a failing marriage. Join him on his quest for redemption and financial security.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter follows Matthrew Prior, a journalist who loses his job, thinks his wife is having an affair, and, for a lack of a better term, is in the middle of a midlife crisis. Out of money, and no hope of earning more, on the brink of losing his house, he takes a fateful trip to the 7-11 where he meets two people who offer to smoke him up.Prior quit his job as a journalist to follow his dream of starting a poetry/financial website, offering advice to investors in the form of haikus and sonnets. When this fails, after dumping his savings into it, he finds himself at an odd position: should go back to his old job, even though his paper is about to start massive lay-offs?But when we meets two drug dealers at 7-11, his life is about to change. Armed with the idea that he can make enough money to keep his house by selling weed to his rich older friends, he becomes a drug dealer.“If so, then I am an even smaller man than the out-of-work, out-of-gas loser who greets me in the mirror every day, and maybe I deserve my unraveling fate, pushed away from this beautiful beaten wife, who goes out every night on the Internet in search of her better self — pre-child, pre-40, pre-me.”The Financial Lives of the Poets is almost unbelievable, but then I remember all the people that I know that have lost their jobs because of the recession and then turn to dealing drugs. I can respect the midlife crisis now because I appear to be going through a quarterlife crisis. When nothing is certain and everything you’ve ever known, thought you wanted, and everything you planned is suddenly disappearing before your eyes, you do things that you normally wouldn’t do.Walter’s characters are easily liked and you can get a sense of the desperation that Prior is feeling, grasping at any straw he can to save his house, his marriage, and to keep his life intact. The story really picks up towards the second half of the novel, becoming funnier and more heartbreaking as Matt begins to realize that his life has changed forever.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    Matt's just a regular guy. Just a regular guy who lost his job when the economy tanked. Just a regular guy with a failing marriage. Just a regular guy who will lose his home if he misses the balloon payment due on his mortgage. Just a regular guy who met some teenage delinquents at the 7/11 and smoked weed for the first time since college. Just a regular guy, desperate enough to try his hand at selling weed. This is definitely not going to end well. This novel is funny, lyrical, poignant and very very relevant. Beautifully written.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    Clever book...enjoyable, lighthearted and yet touching in its own way.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    This book is very funny and engaging. The story is all too familiar after the recession of 2008/09 - the main character quit is job to start a website (financial advice delivered in poetry!), and then the economy tanked and the website failed. He is unemployed, about to lose his house to the bank, and about to lose his wife to an old fling of hers. As depressing as all of that sounds, the book is hilarious. The main character meets some kids who let him smoke some marijuana, and he decides to spend the very last of his money in an attempt to become a drug dealer. What makes the book enjoyable is Walter's wonderful writing, his constant playing with words, and his brilliant humor. The situations keep getting more and more ridiculous, but Walter's amazing ability to conjure up characters in just a few words makes the story believable. Unfortunately the end falls a little flat... I'm not sure what I would have changed about the ending to make it work better, but for as insightful and ridiculous as the rest of the book is, the end is suddenly rather trite and down-to-earth.All in all, a very fun read.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    My sister took some kind of American Fiction class and this was one of the assigned readings. It was lying around the house so I picked it up --this is definitely not the kind of book I would normally buy or even borrow from the library (white writer gets involved with some unsavory dealings--no thnx) but I realized that the novel had grown on me when I got excited that the protagonist was going to get out of his foreclosure by selling two pounds of weed.

    I wish I had saved the book to read when I was in Vegas -- I had to stick with "I, Claudius" when I was lounging by the Paris hotel poolside. Overall, a very entertaining read and a more literary version of the breezy summer read. I liked reading this after White Noise --both novels are written in the first-person; the protagonists are white guys reaching middle age; both reflect contemporary life in America (or at least, American life during the contemporary periods in which they written). I would just like to point out that Financial Lives is way funnier than White Noise.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    The dilemma that the protagonist faces is self-created, but the author ratchets up the tension very well. Nothing world-shaking here, no epiphanies. I enjoy the use of poetry to reveal the character and in itself. The author works on several levels at the same time.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    This book is hard to read in that it touches on almost every bad thing that is happening in the economy right now. Throw in an affair, a senile parent and you've got a recipe for a real downer. But Walter throws in plenty of humor. His Matt Prior is a real wise cracker, even when he's up to his eyeballs in debt, losing his wife, and contemplating an illegal way to get himself out of trouble.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    This was an enjoyable read & once I picked it up, I zipped through it much more quickly than I expected. Matt Prior is the narrator & I have to admit that at first I felt he was self-indulgent (I didn't care that that was the point), I didn't much like his wife either (I loved the children & Matt's father) but somehow I was pulled in & felt that I wanted everything to work out for he & his family eventhough he was making decisions high on the epicly stupid list. The main of the story takes place over a series of days as the foreclosure of the Prior's house looms & when Matt's plan finally goes completely off the rails, I was just relieved. I was rooting for the family to lose everything except each other because I couldn't take the crazy anymore.

    Though satire, I must say that this pulled at my heart a bit. It felt a little crazy but I cared what happened to the characters. The ending was happier than I expected & I enjoyed that as well. Jess Walter certainly didn't disappoint.
  • Calificación: 1 de 5 estrellas
    1/5
    I honestly have no idea why people like this book. Why? Will someone tell me why? The whole thing can best be summed up by the fact that, while our protagonist is looking at a pile of lumber in his front yard his son says it looks like Jenga. This not only leads said character to cry because of how Jenga was once his son's favorite game, but also to *compare life to Jenga.* That's roughly the level of depth you're dealing with here. Since I can't understand what's meant to be good, I should at least say what's not, huh?

    1) The prose is 21st century tricky - sentences without verbs, lots of ellipses, witty dialogue and lists - but with no apparent purpose.
    2) The first person narrative doesn't allow for any ironic distance between you and the main character. So if you find him an insufferable jerk, as I did, the book's a hard slog. It needn't be, I like lots of books filled with insufferable jerks, but not this one.
    3) Of the two conceits in this novel, neither of which could actually do any literary work on its own, one is unbearably stupid, the other is hackneyed (there are *2 television series* featuring middle-aged drug dealers). There's nothing worse than cliched quirk.
    4) The whole thing is roughly as mawkish as a 19th century novel in which the 'orphan' finally finds his mother, who is an heiress forced to give up said orphan by pirates acting on the order of her father, an evil businessman, who is thrown into gaol and has his possessions confiscated by the magistrate, who then gives them on to the mother and orphan. That's mawkish
    5) It's about as funny as 300 pages of dad jokes can be I guess, i.e., you can't miss all the time, but you can miss most of it.
    6) None of the characters are at all interesting: all the women are hot (that is also their only characteristic), and all the men - bar the one who is all blue-collar and traditional manly man - are dysfunctional, or assholes; the children are all innocent and charming. For real, there are hot, pleasant men, and there are dysfunctional, interesting, ugly women.
    7) More personally, his attempt to transfer an Australian accent to print is awful; for a start, we don't drop the 'h' from the start of words.

    Perhaps I could go on. I feel bad, because the book is about important issues, and I'm sure it's hard as hell to write about lives being shaped by modern technology while also writing a satisfying narrative about financial crisis. I guess his other books are really good, and I'll probably give him another chance, since he's ambitious and can write well when he's not using the aforementioned trickery. But honestly, unless you think that being topical is the prime duty of a novel, avoid this one.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    Walter hilariously captures postmodern-finance, late-housing-bubble America and its desperate delusions of wealth and entitlement. The Financial Lives of the Poets is a fast-paced, culturally literate story about becoming an adult and accepting -- even appreciating -- the corresponding responsibilities and limitations. The book especially rings true for business reporters who chronicled the mania, who saw the end coming, for the crowd and for their own careers -- but couldn't stop rooting for everything to hold out just a little longer.
  • Calificación: 5 de 5 estrellas
    5/5
    I just fell in love with Jess Walter's "Beautiful Ruins", and I was really happy to see that he's been able to do his magic with this book too. The striking element in Walter's writing (in these 2 books at least) is his sense of humor, and that's where I see some readers not liking it because they just have a different sense of humor (or they just don't have one). I understand humor is a very personal thing.
    However, while many "funny" books are just shallow, stupid, unfunny, or absurd, or very often unbalanced structural abominations (especially the ones with idiotic comments on the cover like "I barfed with laughter all the way through", or "you will be laughing so hard your hemorrhoids will explode" or something), "The Financial Lives" strikes a wonderful balance between comedy and drama, between very light-hearted moments and intimate, touching scenes. And all of it fitting in a harmonious structure. It is a joy to read. It is elegant, alla Italiana.
    Do you have an idea of how hard it is to do that? To strike this kind of balance? It takes a very unique kind of alchemist, one who knows just how many drops of this and that substance is too little or too many.
    I also loved the inventiveness of the poetry. Yes, of course is a joke, a game. But it's poetry, as well. And it bears meaning, too.
    The best books are the ones where you can feel the writer's own enthusiasm and joy of writing, and I can say I felt that playfulness and joy all through the book, despite the very serious subjects.
    Hats off, Mr Walter. This is the kind of story-telling that I wish I was able to pull off in my fantasy life as a writer.
  • Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas
    3/5
    Jess Walter's The Financial Lives of the Poets is interesting in its sense of capturing a time and a place, but less successful in terms of that sense of being able to transcending its own time and specific circumstances.  It is a novel that captures very well that sense of panic and hopelessness of its period, of the post 2008 housing crisis, job crisis, that sense of desperate hanging on.  It is a novel of bad decisions, drawn in sharp relief, and eventual redemption.  The main characters could in many ways be everyman or everywoman, young people filled with hopes and dreams, trying to fulfill their own dreams of what they can be, but making decisions based primarily on the yearnings within themselves looking for fulfillment, working past each other out of their own need rather than together with a sense of relationship and common purpose.  Matt and Lisa's lives break into many pieces before they begin to find some sense of comfort in each other, and the book only ends with that hint of redemption, of finding, but without guaranteed resolution.
  • Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas
    3/5
    All the reviews of this say that it's hilarious, a laugh riot. So funny!

    I didn't laugh even once. This is maybe the saddest book I've ever read, or at least the most poignant.

    I'm approximately the same age as Walter, and prey to the same generational conceits, fears, and acting out. There's a lot of heartbreak, a lot of realism, a lot of sad truth here. Not so much with the hilarity.

    So close to home, so well-written, so heartbreaking.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    This is a story of a dreamer: Matt Prior quits his job as a newspaper reporter to start a website (poetfolio) that gives financial news in the form of poetry. Faced with crushing debt, a wife who is very probably having an affair, two small childiren, and a live-in father with dementia, Matt struggles to cope. He decides to start selling pot to nostalgic baby boomers. Imaginative, laugh out loud funny at times, Matt's struggles touch issues that resonate: providing for family, parenting, making a marriage work. With his poet's soul, Matt is a character that you will root for.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    I don't usually like books about money (like Janelle Brown's All We Ever Wanted Was Everything), but this one has heart. It's about a flawed but likeable man whose wife is having an emotional affair, and his finances are in the garbage.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    Entertaining but slight. While reading, I did get very wrapped up in the wild ups and downs of the plot, but I'm not sure there's much here that will stick with me. I did like the way poetry was incorporated into the text, and I loved the adorable drug-world characters. But overall, I would have preferred this book to have more hi-jinks and less self-pity.
  • Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas
    3/5
    An average middle class guy loses his job as a journalist during the 2009 recession — he is days away from losing his house too. Then he stumbles into the possibility of being a drug dealer. Selling pot to his friends and acquaintances. Exploiting an under-serviced niche market. Funny book.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    Matt Prior's life as he knew it is circling the drain the night he heads out to the 7-Eleven for some overpriced milk. He lost his job some months ago, the job he was forced to crawl back to after he risked it all on a website venture dedicated to financial advice written in mediocre poetry. It's starting to seem inevitable that he will lose his house if he doesn't come up with a significant sum of money before week's end. His wife is carrying on an affair of sorts with an old boyfriend via Facebook and text messages, and his dad's mental health is declining rapidly. When Matt, shuffling under the fluorescent lights of the 7-Eleven in his bedroom slippers, happens upon two of the sorts of guys that you'd rather not run into in a 7-Eleven he soon finds himself driving the two stoners to a party and smoking way better weed than he ever smoked in college. With a clarity that only weed can produce, Matt knows that this weed is the weed that can solve all his problems. He just needs to sell it.The Financial Lives of the Poets drew an inevitable comparison to the TV show Weeds for me. Both are at once laugh out loud funny and sad in their biting satirization of what the American dream has become. Mercilessly does Jess Walter spear the new American family unit that builds its ambitious life on hard work and mountains of debt. He harpoons the people who seemingly without a second thought take out loans on houses and cars they never had any hope of affording sold to them by slick salesmen peddling an unrealistic way of life. Walter mocks the people who, once they've attained some semblance of security, throw it away on goofy dreams and online shopping binges all the while ignoring the important things in life like their spouses, their children, and their friends. Hidden within Walter's laugh out loud satire, however, is a set of real, recognizable characters that draw readers' sympathies. There's Matt who got lost while he was trying to find his dreams, who can't sleep at night for worrying about what fate will befall his family now that he's failed as their provider. There's his wife, Lisa, who desperately misses the powerful, sexy career woman she used to be before she gave it up for kids. There's Matt's father who is slowly going senile, but still thinks he's "got it" because he can't remember that a stripper named Charity took him for all he was worth. There are countless would-be customers of Matt's pot dealing scheme who feel like they need to have a smoke just to make it through a day at the office. These are people we know, and in some cases these are people we are, and despite all his squeezing them into ridiculous situations for laughs, Walter doesn't let us forget that. The Financial Lives of the Poets is an engaging story of a family gone awry full of cannily delivered truths and a potent satire of life in today's USA.
  • Calificación: 5 de 5 estrellas
    5/5