Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jess Walter: Financial Lives of Poets

I usually don't read fiction, but the title of Jess Walter's Financial Lives of the Poets intrigued me. Poetry and finance? I couldn't resist. So far, it's an easy, fun read, and I just wanted to share some fun paragraphs from the book (page 71, trade paper):

At my mid-sized newspaper, the soul-disabled publisher scoured the various newspaper chains until he found the perfect budget-hacking delusional jargon-monkey, a man driven out of every crappy newspaper he ever ruined...

Like any tyrant worth his sadism, M---'s first move was to force out any managers who might disagree with him, and his second move--right out of the Khmer Rouge playbook--was to target and demote any intelligent people left who might question his propaganda...

Oddly, M--- seemed to have no real interest in the city his newspaper was supposed to cover; his only passion was the business itself, a thing he called newspapering, and he constantly made us all uncomfortable by professing a creepy, nostalgic love for this made-up word, a love he seemed to mainly show by wearing a '40s-movie fedora and getting weepy whenever he reflected back on the fourteen months he spent as a libelous reporter waterboarding the English language. "The man loves journalism the way pedophiles love children," we used to say.

Like I said, a nice, quick read.

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