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Citizen Vinceby Jess Walter
2006 Edgar Award for Best Novel
Synopses & Reviews
Darkly hilarious and unexpectedly profound, Citizen Vince is an irresistible tale about the price of freedom and the mystery of salvation, by an emerging writer of boundless talent.
Eight days before the 1980 presidential election, Vince Camden wakes up at 1:59 A.M. in a quiet house in Spokane, Washington. Pocketing his stash of stolen credit cards, he drops by an all-night poker game before heading to his witness-protection job dusting crullers at Donut Make You Hungry. This is the sum of Vince's new life: donuts and forged credit cards — not to mention a neurotic hooker girlfriend.
But when a familiar face shows up in town, Vince realizes that his sordid past is still close behind him. During the next unforgettable week, on the run from Spokane to New York, Vince Camden will negotiate a maze of obsessive cops, eager politicians, and assorted mobsters, only to find that redemption might just exist — of all places — in the voting booth. Sharp and refreshing, Citizen Vince is the story of a charming crook chasing the biggest score of his life: a second chance.
"Dispassionate and compassionate by turns, and always engrossing. Walter's best by far." Kirkus Reviews (Starred review)
"[A] gritty love letter to Spokane...and with its Capra-like spirit, it serves as a surprisingly satisfying antidote to the avalanche of cynical chatter emanating from this year's political campaigns and commentators." Booklist
"It's been a long time since I've read a book as compulsively, indeed greedily, as I read Citizen Vince." Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls and Nobody's Fool
"Jess Walter's Citizen Vince is a wonderfully written, noirish thriller, but ultimately it is so compelling because Vince Camden is hard to forget....
"Citizen Vince is an affecting testament to American faith in the common man as well as to the resilient possibilities of the crime novel." Washington Post
"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." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"With a multitude of scruffy, likable characters and a hopping plot, the story moves along, at turns gritty, funny, poignant and, despite some bloody crimes, surprisingly charming." Portland Oregonian
About the Author
Jess Walter is the author of the novel The Zero, along with two previous novels, Land of the Blind and Over Tumbled Graves, a New York Times Notable Book. Also an acclaimed investigative reporter, he is the author of Ruby Ridge: The Truth and Tragedy of the Randy Weaver Family, which was made into a CBS miniseries. Walter lives in Spokane with his family.
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