Citizen Vince: A Novel

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9780060989293: Citizen Vince: A Novel

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.

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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.

From Booklist:

It's October 1980, and laid-back loner Vince Camden never misses a morning making maple bars at the doughnut shop he manages in Spokane, Washington. And he rarely misses a night relieving locals of their bankrolls at an after-hours poker game, selling his hooker pals pot at cost, and running a lucrative credit-card theft ring. Vince has landed in eastern Washington via the witness-protection plan, and he is starting to like the simple pleasures, including receiving his first voter-registration card. So even when a hit man, a local cop, and Mob-boss-in-waiting John Gotti get Vince in their crosshairs, he keeps trying to figure out if he should pull the lever for Reagan or Carter. This tale of unlikely redemption works because of Walter's virtuoso command of character and dialogue--along with a wicked second-act twist. The novel is also a gritty love letter to Spokane and all the other second-tier cities where residents don't realize how good they've got it, and with its Capara-like spirit, it serves as a surprisingly satisfying antidote to the avalanche of cynical chatter emanating from this year's political campaigns and commentators. Frank Sennett
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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