by Bill Forman
When Billy Bob Thornton spoke to the Indy a couple years ago, he mentioned his plan to direct a film adaption of Jess Walter’s novel, Citizen Vince. A former journalist whose novels have been described as “standup tragedy,” Walter seems like a perfect match for Thornton’s darkly comic sensibility.
That said, I haven’t heard a word about the project since. But Thornton’s enthusiasm ended up convincing me to read one, two and eventually all five of Walter’s novels: The Financial Lives of the Poets, The Zero, Citizen Vince, Land of the Blind, and Over Tumbled Graves. I even found myself entranced by Every Knee Shall Bow, his nonfiction book about Ruby Ridge (a subject in which I’d had no previous interest).
So I was happy to see that Denver’s Tattered Cover Bookstore posted Walter’s Favorite 2010 Books today as part of its ongoing month-long series. Better still is the fact that Walters will be a panelist at the store’s day-long Writers Respond to Readers conference at the downtown store on Jan. 29.
If you've yet to climb aboard the Jess Walter bandwagon, it’s easy to do. Just listen to the following clip, in which the author reads the opening 7-Eleven scene from The Financial Lives of Poets, and you’ll be hooked: