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Jess Walter is the author of six novels, including The Financial Lives of the Poets, published by Penguin. Beautiful Ruins was a number one New York Times bestseller. We Live in Water is his first collection of short fiction. Jess Walter lives in Spokane, Washington with his family. He is currently writing for Radio 4.
From Jess Walter, the bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins, comes We Live in Water - a darkly funny, utterly compelling collection of stories about the American family. We Live in Water brings to vivid life a world of lost fathers and redemptive con men, of personal struggles and diminished dreams, a world marked by the wry wit and generosity of spirit that has made Jess Walter one of America's most talked-about writers. In 'Thief', a blue-collar worker turns unlikely detective to find out which of his kids is stealing from the family vacation fund. In 'We Live in Water', a lawyer returns to a corrupt North Idaho town to find the father who disappeared thirty years earlier. In 'Anything Helps', a homeless man has to 'go to cardboard' to raise enough money to buy his son the new Harry Potter book. In 'Virgo', a local newspaper editor tries to get back at his superstitious ex-girlfriend by screwing with her horoscope. The final story transforms slyly from a portrait of Walter's hometown into a moving contemplation of our times. A ridiculously talented writer . (The New York Times). One of my favourite young American writers . (Nick Hornby). Darkly funny, sneakily sad, these stories are very, very good . (Publisher's Weekly). A witty and sobering snapshot of recession-era America . (Kirkus). Jess Walter is the author of six novels, including The Financial Lives of the Poets, published by Penguin. Beautiful Ruins was a number one New York Times bestseller. We Live in Water is his first collection of short fiction. Jess Walter lives in Spokane, Washington with his family. He is currently writing for Radio 4.
'A monument to crazy love. Magic' New York Times 'The actress arrived in his village the only way one could come directly . . .' In spring 1962 American actress Dee Moray's boat motors into an Italian bay and the life of hotelier Pasquale Tursi. Dee - fleeing a film set, claiming to be dying and desperately awaiting her lover - throws herself on Pasquale's generous mercy. Fifty years later Pasquale lands in Hollywood, sporting a fedora and seeking a long-forgotten actress. Why he's come, what happened to Dee in Italy and, later, LA, are questions that Beautiful Ruins answers in the most surprising and wonderfully entertaining manner. 'Exhilarating. Very, very funny' The Times
From the author of the bestselling Beautiful Ruins comes The Financial Lives of Poets - a brilliantly funny novel about a man who, in an attempt to save himself, may destroy everything he loves. Meet Matt Prior. He's about to lose his job, his house, his wife, and maybe his sanity too. Financial journalist Matt quit his job to set up a website which couldn't fail. Only now he's woken up to the biggest crisis since the Great Crash, and it has. He's got six days to save his house. It's hard to focus when your wife's having an online affair with her childhood sweetheart, but there are children to think about . . . So when he gets hold of some high-grade dope and finds he can sell a piece on at a profit, he begins to think this might be his salvation. A fabulously funny, heartfelt novel about how we can skate close to the edge of ruin - and pull back. 'A beautifully laid-back exultation of the human connections that make life worth living' Metro 'Ecstatically funny and unusually big-hearted' Financial Times 'It made me laugh more than any other book I've read this year' Nick Hornby
The No. 1 New York Times Bestseller Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins is a gorgeous, glamorous novel set in 1960s Italy and a modern Hollywood studio. The story begins in 1962. Somewhere on a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and views an apparition: a beautiful woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an American starlet, he soon learns, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away in Hollywood, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot searching for the woman he last saw at his hotel fifty years before. Gloriously inventive, funny, tender and constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a novel full of fabulous and yet very flawed people, all of them striving towards another sort of life, a future that is both delightful and yet, tantalizingly, seems just out of reach. 'Magic...A monument to crazy love with a deeply romantic heart' New York Times 'A novel shot in sparkly Technicolor' Booklist 'Hilarious and compelling' Esquire 'Beautiful Ruins is a novel unlike any other you're likely to read this year' Nick Hornby, The Believer
We Live in Water, the first collection of short fiction from New York Times bestselling author Jess Walter, is a suite of diverse, often comic stories about personal struggle and diminished dreams, all of them marked by the wry wit and generosity of spirit that has made him one of our most talked-about writers. In Thief, a blue-collar worker turns unlikely detective to find out which of his kids is stealing from the family vacation fund. In We Live in Water, a lawyer returns to a corrupt North Idaho town to find the father who disappeared thirty years earlier. In Anything Helps, a homeless man has to go to cardboard to raise enough money to buy his son the new Harry Potter book. In Virgo, a local newspaper editor tries to get back at his superstitious ex-girlfriend by screwing with her horoscope. And the collections final story transforms slyly from a portrait of Walters hometown into a moving contemplation of our times.
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 ruinand how we begin to make our way back. Walter tells the story of Matt Prior, whos losing his job, his wife, his house, and his minduntil, 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.
The Zero is a groundbreaking novel, a darkly comic snapshot of our times that is already being compared to the works of Franz Kafka and Joseph Heller.From its opening scenewhen hero cop Brian Remy wakes up to find he's shot himself in the headnovelist Jess Walter takes us on a harrowing tour of a city and a country shuddering through the aftershocks of a devastating terrorist attack. As the smoke slowly clears, Remy finds that his memory is skipping, lurching between moments of lucidity and days when he doesn't seem to be living his own life at all. The landscape around him is at once fractured and oddly familiar: a world dominated by a Machiavellian mayor, and peopled by gawking celebrities, anguished policemen, and real estate divas hyping the spoils of tragedy. Remy himself has a new girlfriend he doesn't know, a son who pretends he's dead, and an unsettling new job chasing a trail of paper scraps for a shadowy intelligence agency. Whether that trail will lead Remy to an elusive terror cellor send him circling back to himselfis only one of the questions posed by this provocative yet deeply human novel.Performed by Christopher Graybill
Vince's real name is Marty Hagen. A career criminal from New Jersey, he has been given a new identity in a sleepy Northwest city by the Witness Protection Program. Since he testified against the hoods he used to run with, his rights have been restored - including his right to vote, something he's never done. For Vince, voting in the Presidential election becomes the most important thing in his life - proof that even a guy like him can change. But while Vince is busy remaking himself, his past arrives in town in the form of a contract killer that he recognises from his old life. Has he come to kill Vince? With three days left until the election, Vince must duck crooks, cops and an implacable killer, as he tries to figure out a way to save himself, and his dreams. A suspenseful crime story, a moving love story and a superb evocation of time and place, CITIZEN VINCE is a truly memorable novel from an acclaimed author.
Burned out and working the weekend night shift, Caroline Mabry is confronted with the arrival of an apparently unstable but charming derelict who announces he wants to confess to a murder. At first she dismisses him as a nutcase. But when she realizes he is none other than former wunderkind politician Clark Mason, she agrees to let him write out his confession. Nineteen hours later, with Mason still feverishly writing, Caroline finds herself scrambling to investigate his long, progressively darker and more sinister tale.
Spokane, Washington, a bustling city split by hurtling white-water falls. One afternoon a young woman's body is found buried in a riverside park - then a second body, then a third. Before the week is out Caroline Mabry is plunged into a full-blown hunt for a serial murderer her colleagues have nicknamed the Southbank Strangler. As Caroline and her troubled mentor, Alan Dupree, bridle under an investigation overrun by headline-grabbing specialists and bean-counting statisticians. As they close in on a suspect Caroline and Alan confront dark truths about the killer-hunting industry - and about their attraction to each other. And in the end they come face-to-face with an evil very different - and far more alarming - than the one they thought they were chasing.
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