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[Book Review] 'The Financial Lives of the Poets' by Jess Walter

the financial lives of the poets jess walter

Written by Jess Walter, The Financial Lives of the Poets tells the story of Matthew, who quit his job as a reporter to pursue his long-time dream–to write verses about money matters. Things don’t go well for him, unfortunately, and he is suddenly faced with debts.

He is also about to lose his home and his materialistic wife. One night, he goes to a 7-Eleven store to get some milk for his child and meets two young men who happen to be pot smokers. For some reason, he becomes close to them. He is also introduced to these pot smokers’ friends until he eventually gets into the business of selling pot. Then a crazy turn of events begins.

"How do you know when you’ve gone too far? When you can’t go back?"


This novel is close to my heart not only because it gives me a pat on the back that I’m on the right track (you know, not quitting my day job to pursue art full-time, regardless of whether there’d be food on the table or not) but also because it provides interesting insights on how the modern society works, particularly in relation to money and capitalism.

This book is also very easy to read. Apart from being funny, its language is also simple, making it easy to understand. The dialogues are also entertaining and powerful; they can give you lots of ideas about the cleverly designed characters.

(Image from Penguin Books Australia)
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