2006 Edgar Award winner 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
"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
"Jess Walter's Citizen Vince is a wonderfully written, noirish thriller, but ultimately it is so compelling because Vince Camden is hard to forget....[L]eav[ing] many readers wanting Walter to hurry and deliver another installment." Los Angeles Times
"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
At 1:59 a.m. in Spokane, Washington eight days before the 1980 presidential election Vince Camden pockets his stash of stolen credit cards and drops by an all-night poker game before heading to his witness-protection job dusting crullers at Donut Make You Hungry. Along with a neurotic hooker girlfriend, this is the total sum of Vince's new life. But when a familiar face shows up in town, Vince realizes his sordid past is still too close behind him. During the next unforgettable week, he'll negotiate a coast-to-coast maze of obsessive cops, eager politicians, and assorted mobsters only to find that redemption might exist, of all places, in the voting booth.
About 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.