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The Cold Millions


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The wonderfully rich novel of early 20th century America from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins.

About the Author

Jess Walter is the author of six novels, including The Financial Lives of the Poets. Beautiful Ruins was a New York Times bestseller, and We Live in Water was one of Barack Obama's books of 2019. Jess Walter lives in Spokane, Washington with his family.


A riotous, propulsive adventure story, packed with captivating characters * Daily Mail *
A brilliantly multifaceted panorama of early 20th-century America . . . Walter is a writer whose work deserves a wide readership * Sunday Times *
A beautiful, lyric hymn to the power of social unrest in American history. It's funny and harrowing, sweet and violent, innocent and experienced * Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See *
A work of irresistible characters, harrowing adventures and rip-roaring fun ... bursting with a dazzling range of outrageous characters. One of the most captivating novels of the year * Washington Post *
Reminiscent of the stylistic tricks of F Scott Fitzgerald...With its rebellion against inequality and debates about capitalism, there are clear echoes from 1909 to the US today. Incitement to riot, dreadfully topical since the assault on the Capitol last month, also gets a look in. But The Cold Millions offers more: a study of individuals living, willingly or unwillingly, through tumult. * FT *
Colourful and punchy * The Times *
Walter is a class act...the fierce struggle for free speech and workers' rights is genuinely stirring. -- Max Davidson * Mail on Sunday *
A timely and poetic read that vividly depicts the American melting pot at its most unequal and volatile...a compelling portrait of America at the dawn of the 20th Century * Sunday Express *
Expansive, beguiling . . . A thrilling yarn that simultaneously underscores the cost of progress and celebrates the American spirit * O Magazine *
It's a tremendous work, a vivid, propulsive, historical novel with a politically explosive backdrop that reverberates through our own * USA Today *
Jess Walter is a superb storyteller. As polished and hard as a diamond, The Cold Millions reminds us of America's tempestuous past and suggests that all this is anything but past * Boston Globe *
Walter marshals a motley, fascinating cast of characters so finely drawn that they lift from the page. I haven't encountered a more satisfying and moving novel about the struggle for workers' rights in America * San Francisco Chronicle *
A layered, multi-character panorama * Vogue *
It's often said that a novel contains the world; Walter brings new meaning to this phrase, peopling The Cold Millions with vaudeville stars, hobos, suffragists, tycoons, union agitators, policemen, and dozens of other vibrant characters. Warm and deeply humane, this transporting novel is a staggering achievement from a landmark writer * Esquire *
The fact that the same author has written books as wildly different and all as transporting as The Zero, The Financial Lives of the Poets, Beautiful Ruins, and now this latest tour de force is testimony to Walter's protean storytelling power and astounding ability to set a scene, any scene . . . We have heard that Jess Walter writes nonstop: Seven days a week, 365 days a year. Please, never stop. * Kirkus, starred review *
Superb.... a splendid postmodern rendition of the social realist novels of the 1930s by Henry Roth, John Steinbeck, and John Dos Passos, updated with strong female characters and executed with pristine prose. This could well be Walter's best work yet. * Publishers Weekly, starred review *

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