BEAUTIFUL RUINS by Jess Walter

After looking up various images of the 1963 movie Cleopatra, the film that critically bombed but was lit up by the scandal of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, I saw a coastline of Italy that looked exactly like the cover of this book. It is a most felicitous cover that captures the mood and time that this novel begins, in 1962. A parochial innkeeper, Pasquali Tursi, lives in a rocky coastline village called Porto Vergogna (Port of Shame), a place the size of a thumb between two mountains, and referred to as “the whore’s crack.”

March 16, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2013 Favorites, Contemporary, Facing History, italy, Literary, US Northwest, World Lit

WE LIVE IN WATER by Jess Walter

The world isn’t kind to the characters in Jess Walter’s collection of 13 short stories. Each of them is a loser, living in a “frontier of stale and unfulfilled dreams:” careless fathers, scam artists, ex-cons, gamblers, incestuous brothers, drug abusers.

November 27, 2013 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Drift-of-Life, Short Stories, US Northwest, y Award Winning Author

THE FINANCIAL LIVES OF THE POETS by Jess Walter

In THE FINANCIAL LIVES OF THE POETS, author Jess Walter has created an everyman character with a twist. Forty-six year old newspaper reporter Matt Prior has been laid off from his job. With his severance package running out, panic has set in. Questionable monetary choices, including most notably, Matt’s unsuccessful launch of the website poetfolio.com, which was to give financial advice in verse, but instead ate up their savings before it launched, and his wife Lisa’s brief e-Bay buying spree and a bit of financial juggling with their mortgage, have left the Priors in a home worth less then what they owe on it; a very topical situation.

December 30, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Contemporary, Drift-of-Life, Humorous, Literary, Satire, United States, y Award Winning Author