Citizen Vince

Citizen Vince

3.7 9
by Jess Walter
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

"It's the fall of 1980, eight days before a presidential election that pits the downtrodden Jimmy Carter against the suspiciously sunny Ronald Reagan ("Are you better off than you were four years ago?"). In a quiet house in Spokane, Washington, Vince Camden wakes up at 1:59 A.M., pockets his weekly stash of stolen credit cards, and drops in on an all-night poker game… See more details below

Overview

"It's the fall of 1980, eight days before a presidential election that pits the downtrodden Jimmy Carter against the suspiciously sunny Ronald Reagan ("Are you better off than you were four years ago?"). In a quiet house in Spokane, Washington, Vince Camden wakes up at 1:59 A.M., pockets his weekly stash of stolen credit cards, and drops in on an all-night poker game with his low-life friends on his way to his witness-protection job dusting crullers at Donut Make You Hungry. This is the sum of Vince's new life: donuts, forged credit cards, marijuana smuggled in jars of volcanic ash, and a neurotic hooker girlfriend who dreams of being a real-estate agent." But when a familiar face shows up in town, Vince realizes that no matter how far you think you've run from your past ... it's always close behind you. Over the course of the next unforgettable week, on the run from Spokane to New York's Lower East Side, Vince Camden will negotiate a maze of obsessive cops, eager politicians, and emerging mobsters, only to find that redemption might just exist in - of all places - a voting booth.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Maureen Corrigan
Two stream-of-consciousness riffs at the center of the novel even take readers into the minds, respectively tortured and serene, of Carter and Reagan. The excruciatingly breathless climax of this novel pits the claims of civic responsibility against those of self-preservation as Vince insists on exercising his voting rights in the face of almost certain oblivion. In its coarse, violent and very funny way, Citizen Vince is an affecting testament to American faith in the common man as well as to the resilient possibilities of the crime novel.
— The Washington Post
Janet Malsin
… Mr. Walter's voice is too entertaining to turn flat. For readers who appreciate wry precision and expert timing, it may be enough to know that Citizen Vince arrives with sky-high praise from both Ken Bruen and Richard Russo, with whom Mr. Walters shares these qualities. For others, the book's fusion of humor, crime and politics may be recommendation enough.
— The New York Times
Kirkus Reviews
A petty thief bucks one system to join another. Notching his first felony at 15, Marty Hagen, the quintessential New York City street kid, has a rap sheet to be reckoned with by the time he's 36. Not that there's anything really lurid on it-certainly nothing violent-it's just nonstop. And then suddenly, almost by accident, Marty becomes a person of interest to the feds, a circumstance that leads to a new name, a new location, and the makings of a new life. Farewell Marty, hail Vince (Camden), reborn, as it were, courtesy of the Witness Protection Program. Though at first Spokane, Washington, rattles his urban sensibilities ("Everyone drives everywhere, even the ladies"), Vince soon grows fond. He gets to like the quirkiness, discovers that the measured pace suits him after all, allowing time for an interest in things that would once have seemed exotic: presidential politics, for instance. The time is 1980, eight days short of the election between Reagan and Carter, and Vince plans to do what he's never done before: vote. Moreover, there are women in his life, two of them, actually, good women in their differing ways. He even likes the kooky job the feds have found for him, donut maker-manager of the estimable Donut Make you Hungry establishment. Then, after two equable years, enter Ray (Sticks) Scatieri, hit-man extraordinaire, emissary from the mob, with an overdue bill in his bloodied hands. Well, exactly who sent him? Why now? Is there a way Vince can square himself in time to render the contract null and void? The answers are admirably unpredictable. This, in fact, is a story full of wonderful small surprises-among them Vince's way of finally achieving citizenhood. Dispassionate andcompassionate by turns, and always engrossing. Walter's best by far (Land of the Blind, 2003, etc.).
Sunday Telegraph
“A splendidly entertaining, thoughtful book ... Jess Walter continues to impress.”
Chicago Tribune
“(An) immensely entertaining crime thriller and wry social commentary.”
Seattle Times
“Rich in robust characters ad wry dialogue, with agile prose, a big heart and a finely tuned plot.”
No Source
1st Place, General Trade-Jacket, New York Book Show

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060989293
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/15/2006
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.76(d)

Meet the Author

Jess Walter is the author of six novels, including the bestsellers Beautiful Ruins and The Financial Lives of the Poets, the National Book Award finalist The Zero, and Citizen Vince, the winner of the Edgar Award for best novel. His short fiction has appeared in Harper's, McSweeney's, and Playboy, as well as The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He lives in his hometown of Spokane, Washington.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Spokane, Washington
Date of Birth:
July 20, 1965
Place of Birth:
Spokane, Washington
Education:
B.A., Eastern Washington University, 1987
Website:
http://www.jesswalter.com

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >