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Brightness Falls [Paperback]

Jay McInerney
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

6 Feb 2006
Corrine Calloway is a young stockbroker on Wall Street, her husband Russell an underpaid but ambitious publishing editor. The happily married couple head into New York's 1980s gold rush where prospects and money seem to be flying everywhere, and the best and the brightest vie with the worst and most craven for riches, fame and the love of beautiful people. But the Calloways soon find out that what goes up must come crashing down, both on Wall Street and at home. "Brightness Falls" captures lives-in-the-making: men and women confronting their sudden middle-age with wit and low behaviour, fear and confusion, and, just occasionally, a little honesty and decency.

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Brightness Falls + The Good Life + Story of My Life
Price For All Three: 23.57

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (6 Feb 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747584850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747584858
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A funny, self-mocking, sometimes brilliant portrait of Manhattan's young literary and Wall Street crowd, our latest Lost Generation ... McInerney's version of Thackeray's Vanity Fair' Time 'Smart, funny and brilliant' Independent 'McInerney has a gift for the simultaneous perception of the glamour and tawdriness of city life and the novel pulsates with his trademark sense of excitement about living in New York' Evening Standard 'It works greatly to McInerney's advantage - and our entertainment - that he is fascinated by what he flagellates ... this book rolls along to an ominous beat ... powerfully affecting' Independent

About the Author

Jay McInerney is the author of Bright Lights, Big City, Ransom, Story of My Life, Brightness Falls, The Last of the Savages, Model Behaviour, How It Ended and The Good Life. He lives in New York and Nashville.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brightness Falls but Brilliance Rises 18 Jun 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This, rather than his more epic but also more flawed Last Of The Savages, is McInerney's closest and most successful stab at the great American novel. Beautifully structured, perfectly characterised with passages of writing at once humorous and heartbreaking, the novel manges to be as epic in scope as its New York setting yet as intimate and compelling as the marriage it portrays. The only real comparison to do it justice is Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is The Night, another novel that succeeded in telling us all about a time and a place at a particular period through telling us about two people and their strange and yet ultimately sustaining love. Because the author is rightly seen as a humourist it is easy to forget that that few modern writers can cast an eye on places and people at once sharply objective and wryly compassionate and it is also forgotten what a fine writer McInerney can be, something he demonstrates amply and consistently in Brighntess Falls. A fine romance, a lovesong to a city and an era passed, a surprising portrait of what marrigage is and does, a tender social satire and something like a modern classic, I would highly recommnend this underated book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden... 12 July 2013
Format:Paperback
Every now and again you read a book where the main players become your friends. McInerney's ability to convince a reader that they are listening to a story told by a friend, of a friend, rather than a fictional tale, amazes me.

'Brightness Falls' revolves around the 'golden' couple - Russell and Corrine Calloway - and their social and work-related highs and lows. Russell is a fantastically easy-to-read (and easy-to-like) character, displaying his every emotion to the people around him, whilst Corrine is the quieter and more withdrawn of the two, preferring to keep her problems bottled up.

McInerney's vivid account of their lives presents the reader with a gripping insider's look at 1980s New York City. Only he could make a very basic domestic set-up like this so utterly compelling and tremendously captivating.

I adore the simplicity of this book and McInerney's witty 'see-it-tell-it' style that distinguishes him from other over-embellishing authors of this era.

A must read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE this book! 4 Mar 2002
Format:Paperback
I think very carefully before I give a book five stars, but I found this story so captivating and well-written, that in my opinion, it deserves it!
The story follows the lives of a young married couple living in New York. It tells the highs and the lows of their life together, and their working lives, and documents the pressures they are under, and the effect is has on their marriage.
Like Bonfire of the Vanities, what appeals to me most about this book is that it shows us a whole cross-section of New York life, from the millionaires with their chic apartments and holiday homes, to the homeless in their shanty town in the Lower East Side. Manhattan as a backdrop is an essential part of the story.
The characters are believable and likeable, and although the story concentrates on two main people, the surrounding characters are well developed too.
Jay McInerney has excelled himself, producing a novel that is hard to put down. I highly recommend this book to both the casual reader, and anyone who has an interest in Sociology or Urban Geography.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dark is Rising 25 May 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After the wit and brevity of Bright Lights..., Story of My Life and Ransom, Brightness Falls is McInerney's effortful biggie, 400+ pages and witty rather than comic. It covers a year in the life of husband and wife Russell and Corrine Calloway. He's a publisher and she's a stock dealer, and their marriage will pretty soon be in trouble. As the action takes place in the year to October 1987, you can probably guess where we're heading. Yes, it's an historical novel (although he wrote it contemporaneously) with all the prerequisites of 80s Manhattan life, down to and including a big disease with a little name.

Plotwise, even the blurb finds it difficult to make the book sound interesting, feebly tailing off with a Robert Goddard-esque "None of them would ever be the same again..." Because the plot itself wouldn't drive you wild with desire, unless you like to read about management buyouts and corporate shafting. It starts off weakly too, with that most dangerous of set pieces, the dinner party, so the author can introduce lots of characters at once. (The disappointing Gosford Park, the careful will recall, was one big dinner party scene.) But it settles down quite quickly and once he entered the mind of Corrine in chapter 3, I was hooked. The book then trundles on for 400 agreeable pages, with everyone suffering minor setbacks but nothing too serious - they are the beautiful people, after all - even the writer who goes cold turkey in a rehab clinic seems to take it all with insouciance and a dry wit. (Up to a point.)

Where Brightness Falls succeeds best, though, is in making you think that this is a retelling of some archetypal story that you already knew. "Ah yes," you find yourself thinking throughout, "this is that book about the yuppies who lose it all...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McInerney's best: thoroughly involving 10 May 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I've enjoyed all of McInerney's novels, but this is by far my favourite. Goes further than 'Bright Lights', 'Story of My Life' and the disappointing 'Model Behaviour' in presenting interesting characters with a depth that I found extremely involving. 'Brightness Falls' provides a very moving account of a relationship breakdown at an interesting point in history. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dimming of Fortunes
Jay McInerney's novel is one of those works which has a setting so firmly set in the eighties you can almost feel shoulder pads growing on your shoulders as you enter the lives of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Ang
2.0 out of 5 stars awful
I'd read 'bright lights' after seeing it in the 'da funk' video. I found that to be laugh out loud funny and mcinerney's prose to be spare and at times gasp inducing in its... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mr. N. J. Milton
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever expose
Clever expose of the 1980s New York business world seen through the eyes of publisher Russell and broker Corrine. All seems unassailable - profits, privilege, protected positions. Read more
Published on 9 April 2012 by JoTownhead
2.0 out of 5 stars McInerney Falls
Russell `Crash' Calloway is a rising star in the New York publishing industry. He is also a man with a problem: his boss is getting jealous and blocking Calloway's opportunities. Read more
Published on 30 Dec 2009 by Mostly Harmless
4.0 out of 5 stars A fulfilling, substantial read
If, like me, you were young in the loadsamoney late 80s, then this book will bring back memories and confirm all your suscpicions about 'the beautiful people'. Read more
Published on 1 Jun 2008 by Dr. J. S. E. Sullivan-lyons
5.0 out of 5 stars Another reader from UK
Simply the best piece of fiction I have ever read, even better than Bright Lights and Last of the Savages! I am shocked to see a one star rating for this superb story.
Published on 25 Jan 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars it could happen for you as well
I, too found, this novel, moving and involving and, well, not that far removed from a life - or some lifes - that I know. Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2000
1.0 out of 5 stars A dreary non-starter
I found this piece to be sadly disapointing. On the whole very tedious with a dull storyline and uninteresting characters.
Published on 5 April 2000
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