Author: Jess Walter
Type: Fiction, novel
I read it: January 2011
The Financial Lives of the Poets starts off innocuous and cute, and ends up being more emotionally fulfilling than you’d think to give it credit for. There’s a lot of broad-stroke commentary on our modern, ever-consumer-driven communities, and the constant humor in the book serves to remind us of the constant sadness of some of our situations. In the end, it’s a last-ditch cry for more poets: the author wants the world to once again (once, ever?) embrace self-reflection. As the protagonist states of his financial demise which parallels his crumbling marriage:
The truly stupid mistake was believing that when we fell, a net made of money could catch us.
Which alternative nets could we weave if only we allowed poets to lay out the instructions?