About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Fictional Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter

21. – 534.) The Fictional Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter – The book challenged my preference for only seeing if a reviewer enjoys a book. Having read and enjoyed Over Tumbled Graves and Citizen Vince I was expecting a mystery. Instead, it was the story of Matt Prior, a laid off journalist, who with his wife, Lisa, and their two children and his memory loss father are struggling to avoid bankruptcy. They face financial disaster partly because of the collapse of the American mortgage system and partly because of their excessive optimism in buying a big home and then renovating it beyond their means. Yet the primary reason is a failed internet venture. Matt had sought to establish a website providing financial advice in verse. It was called poetfolio.com. As the financial vise tightens the marriage frays. After an accidental encounter with some young guys at the local 7-11 Jess is drawn into the current world of marijuana use – a much better product than when he was a young man. The decline recounted of Matt’s former newspaper is comparable to Michael Connelly’s lament in The Scarecrow. Personal and financial poetry is scattered through the book. It was hard for me to enjoy the book as the story was so depressing. The desperate attempts to stave off bankruptcy were matched by the marital discord. It is very well written. Before I read another Walter book I would want to make sure it is a mystery. Hardcover or paperback. (May 15/10)

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