By November 3, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

Citizen Vince on Voting Day

cover of citizen vince by jess walterYesterday my book group discussed Jess Walter’s Citizen Vince, a novel that tells a rollicking story set during the Carter-Reagan election in 1980 whose crowning moment involves voting. I swear that when I scheduled our discussion of this book more than a year ago, I wasn’t thinking about the fact that it was the perfect book to discuss in November. Well, it is.

Citizen Vince is about Vince Camden, an ex-con in the Witness Protection Program who now lives in Spokane, Washington where he works in a donut shop and runs a credit card scam on the side. Vince is an affable fellow, but he’s also paranoid. Could someone be out to get him from back East? Things start to change for him when trouble comes from his new home.

But Vince also finds himself evaluating himself and the world around him anew when for the first time in his life he receives a voter registration card. With a new identity comes the opportunity to have a vote, and Vince begins to take this responsibility very seriously.

My group had a lively discussion. I must say that one member came simply to pick up next month’s book; she couldn’t finish the book and had no desire to. (This doesn’t happen often and I sure hate for someone to walk away from a discussion, but I had to respect her decision.) But the rest of us had a great discussion. We talked about the characters, the violence in the book and the humor.

Citizen Vince is one of those books that achieves depth in the midst of its entertainment. It was also a refreshing read after the rather harrowing The Reluctant Fundamentalist the month before.

Citizen Vince is a good book for discussion anytime, but I would recommend that if your group hasn’t read it yet, to put it on your list for a November in the future.

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About the Author:

Misha Stone is a readers' advisory librarian with The Seattle Public Library. Follow her on Twitter at @ahsimlibrarian.

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