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Rich and Poor

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Who hasn't, at one time or another, considered killing a billionaire?

Following on the critical success of his novel Polyamorous Love Song (BookThug, 2014; finalist for the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and one of The Globe and Mail's 100 best books of 2014), Canadian writer and performer Jacob Wren picks up the mantle of the politically and economically disenfranchised in Ri
Paperback, 181 pages
Published April 13th 2016 by Book*hug Press (first published 2016)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  93 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Richard Derus
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.75* of five

"If you are a billionaire it is because you have done evil in the world." It's so simple, isn't it, when reduced to those terms...seems like a self-evident truth, now doesn't it? By the end of this novel, I wasn't at all sure of that.

My 4-plus star review is live at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.
Jacob Wren
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)

A fable of not knowing how to change the world and perhaps learning how to do so in the process.

"Rich and Poor is art in resistance, a work that dares to remind us of our capacity for revolutionary love..."
- Jade Colbert in The Globe and Mail http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/b...

"Like Wren’s other work, this book is essentially not so much a call to action as a call for the reader to step away from apathy and to take seriously, however briefly, the most radical of positions."
- J. C. Sutclif
Tom Buchanan
Apr 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Made me want to burn things complicatedly to the ground.
Class-war as seen through the eyes of the billionaire and the poor would-be assassin. I don't generally like switching POV's or first person narration, but they are so well done he so I highly recommend this book. ...more
Jul 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Fantastisch, Jacob Wren is snel een van mijn favorietjes aan het worden!
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-ish, can-lit
I like Jacob Wren’s writing. This is the second book I’ve read by him, the other being Polyamorous Love Song—which could very well be my favourite “novel,” or was certainly my favourite at one time.

Rich&Poor is a bit odd. It’s theatrical, in a way, with these extended monologues, but it’s very grounded, doesn’t need that liveness to come alive that much theatre requires. I actually listened to this as an audiobook, so, I was somewhere in between a reading and a performance, but Wren’s voice (whi
Dylan Jones
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jacob Wren always seems to write from a feeling of political malaise, but in that feeling he’s able to find so much beauty and possibility. You’re left feeling that everything is still possible.
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
‘There are no individual solutions to collective problems’

Montreal based performance artist and writer Jacob Wren writes and thinks and expresses and challenges so well that he is an artist that simply cannot be ignored: he should be on everybody’s mind right now – in the post election mind-bending chaos of attempting to adjust to the concept of the ascendency of the very questionably qualified President elect. Jacob has seen this situation in his other books.

To get the gut level message of his
Apr 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I definitely enjoyed this book. It read quickly, because of the way it's written: the story is not "fleshed out" into scenes but rather described, somewhat secondhandedly, by the two main characters. Nonetheless, it is in first person, so one gets quite a close look into the minds of both rich CEO and humble worker. The development was well-paced, and the ending felt quite satisfying.

I only left off one star because at times, the particular structure of this book left me wishing that there were
Jiny S
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really, really like the premise of this book: an unapologizing, self-made billionaire and the obsessed ex-pianist attempting his assassination. The first part of the story is so alluring that I could not put the book down. There were some things that happened a bit too fast, which is not necessarily a fault. It was an enjoyable read, and the only complaints that I have are that it was too short and finished too abruptly.
John Machata
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Sometimes, oftentimes fiction is more poignant than non-fiction.
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book followed me around all day.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Everything I liked about Polyamorous Love Song, minus some of the things I didn't. ...more
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Jacob Wren makes literature, collaborative performances and exhibitions. His books include: Polyamorous Love Song, Rich and Poor and Authenticity is a Feeling. With the interdisciplinary group PME-ART he has co-created performances such as: En français comme en anglais, it's easy to criticize, Individualism Was A Mistake, The DJ Who Gave Too Much Information, Every Song I’ve Ever Written and Adven ...more

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46 likes · 8 comments
“On a social level, people have to look after each other, but on an ethical level, each of us has to look after ourselves. If you are a billionaire it is because you have done evil in the world. You have exploited and caused untold misery. You have bent laws and governments to your will. I don't want to shoot him. I want to strangle him with piano wire. I don't want to escape. I want to be caught and explain my idea to the world. I want to be executed. I now have nothing to lose. We will all be forgotten. But if ten of us manage to kill billionaires those ten will be remembered forever. Our poverty will become history. Wealth is impersonal but we will make it personal again.” 0 likes
“But a minute of commemorative silence is not the right time to be thinking of rats, and before it was done I hope I gave at least a few seconds for a quick prayer that we’d all survive, that whatever happens next we don’t turn on each other and instead find ways to lend each other our strength.” 0 likes
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