Book Review: Broker Jim

Book Review: Broker Jim

By Christine Swanberg, Author and Poet

J. Glenn Evans of Seattle won the National Award for the 2003 Rock River Poetry Contest. We liked his work because of its delightful use of narrative, wit, warmth and folksy quality. But here’s the rest of the story: It turns out that J. Glenn has come to literature late in his life. Though he always wanted to write, he gravitated into finance, eventually becoming a stockbroker. His real-life journey took him from Oklahoma to the great Pacific Northwest, where he has remained for most of his life.

Eventually, J. Glenn was able to realize his dream of becoming a writer. He is a staple in the Seattle literary community, publisher of PoetsWest and organizer of many reading venues throughout Seattle. He wrote a definitive history book of Pike’s Place as well as the saga of Scandinavian immigrants in the great Northwest. Of couse, many writers dream of writing a novel later in their lives, a novel that can capture the essential experiences, the triumphs and tribulations of a life hopefully well lived. And that is just what J. Glenn Evans has done in Broker Jim.

Not every novel is autobiographical, but in the case of Broker Jim, it is. Broker Jim is the journey of a farm boy from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl who works his way into a large brokerage house and eventually starts his own company. It is written in a crisp honest first-person style that keeps you wanting to read on. Broker Jim is a good guy finding his way admidst wolves, marketing trends, eccentric clients, good friends and bad friends. The characters such as Winona Flowerbell, Tidler, Saul, Sven and Sonada are memorable. Miss Shirley, Mr. Montcalm and Lois–the infamous first wife—add spice to the tale.

The novel is chuck full of realistic and interesting dialogue. Its style is straightforward and easy to read. The reader definitely roots for Broker Jim, who is a likable though thankfully not saintly character, with the guts and gumption and Boy Scout ambition to see a dream all the way through. I have never read a book written from the point of view of a stockbroker. It was a new world for me—and that’s why I like to read! Check it out on It’s worth the read.

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