Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter

Matt Prior lost his job as a financial journalist. His Web start-up tanked. His wife is flirting with an old flame on Facebook. His father is senile. He's going to lose his house. Matt's brilliant solution to these problems is to become a suburban pot dealer. To make matters worse, he sucks at it. Matt is a kind of suburban Everyman — hopelessly optimistic, endlessly disappointed, incompetent but indomitable — and this book is a small masterpiece, a Wodehouse-level comic performance. But it's also a deceptively amusing survey of the post-Fannie-and-Freddie American landscape, with a mother lode of bitter truths lying right below its perfect, manicured lawns.