Citizen Vince

Citizen Vince

A Novel

Book - 2005
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One day you know more dead people that live ones...

Jess Walter is a writer with a rare talent for finding humanity and emotional truths in lives lived on both sides of the law. With his third novel, Citizen Vince, Walter has crafted a story as inventive as it is suspenseful -- an irresistible tale about the price of freedom and the mystery of salvation.

It's the fall of 1980, eight days before a presidential election that pits the downtrodden Jimmy Carter against the suspiciously sunny Ronald Reagan ("Are you better off than you were four years ago?"). In a quiet house in Spokane, Washington, Vince Camden wakes up at 1:59 a.m., pockets his weekly stash of stolen credit cards, and drops in on an all-night poker game with his low-life friends on his way to his witness-protection job dusting crullers at Donut Make You Hungry. This is the sum of Vince's new life: donuts, forged credit cards, marijuana smuggled in jars of volcanic ash, and a neurotic hooker girlfriend who dreams of being a real estate agent.

But when a familiar face shows up in town, Vince realizes that no matter how far you think you've run from your past . . . it's always close behind you. Over the course of the next unforgettable week, on the run from Spokane to New York's Lower East Side, Vince Camden will negotiate a maze of obsessive cops, eager politicians, and emerging mobsters, only to find that redemption might just exist in -- of all places -- a voting booth.

Darkly funny and surprisingly hopeful, Citizen Vince is the story of a charming crook chasing the biggest score of his life: a second chance.

Publisher: New York : ReganBooks, 2005.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780060394417
Branch Call Number: WAL
Characteristics: 293 pages ; 24 cm


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Apr 24, 2013

I can't get enough of Jess Walter. I read The Beautiful Ruins and We Live in Water and enjoyed them both so I thought I'd give some of his earlier stuff a try. This one is like one of the stories from We Live in Water only expanded. I was not impressed that the previous reviewer spoiled the ending. I would recommend it.

siammarino Sep 02, 2012

Vince Camden makes donuts and forges credit cards, but gets away with it because he has a lawyer friend and is in the witness protection program. That is, until a familiar face shows up in town and he must spend a week on the run from Spokane to New York. I liked the way Vince sees politics and voting rights as a way to redemption. I also liked the ending of the book where Vince turns himself in to finally get a real second chance to be who he says he is. I didn't find it compelling, and I put the book down for days at a time.

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