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Brightness Falls Paperback – 6 Feb 2006

15 customer reviews

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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: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 169,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'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

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Jun. 2002
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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By J. Ang on 24 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
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 30ish power yuppie couple, Russell and Corinne Calloway. Although it was published in the early nineties, the story takes place in 1987. There is a kind of retro-chic vibe to reading about Wall Street in Lower Manhattan right before its dramatic crash that same year, in tandem with the downward spiral of the Calloways, the prematurely jaded urbanites who have not entirely left behind their heady drugs-n-booze filled college days.

The Calloways are Hollywoodishly-attractive - Corinne is a runway model-thin blonde stock broker struggling to leave behind her eating disorder. Russell, a would-be-poet who inevitably gave up his literary aspirations and `settled' for a more corporate position as a promising junior editor at the esteemed publishing firm, which he eventually tries to buy over with the help of a shady mafia boss-like player in the industry, Bernie Melman. Russell still retains traces of his manchild persona, but is fast approaching the use-by-date for clumsy oafish cuteness (his nickname is `Crash Calloway' and Corinne knowingly alludes to this lost of appeal when relating to their friend Washington, that he had been crashing less into things these days). Washington leads another story arc that deals with the woes of being black in corporate America. McInerney somewhat succeeds to this end, if only he hadn't made Washington exhibit all the custom shenanigans that ironically make him the very stereotype that McInerney seems to be protesting.
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Format: Paperback
The "plot" of this novel is so thin - something to do with a management buyout of a publishing house - that it is best to forget it and read the chapters as biting portraits of a certain kind of member of New York society in the 1980s.

In bits, some episodes are enjoyable and funny and could even be read at random since they are so loosely connected to the "plot". However, as a whole, the book is tedious, slow and never ending.

There are poisonous portrayals of the usual caricatures of the time - greedy yuppies, insecure artistic types, unfaithful couples, upstart outsiders, usually Jewish or token blacks, trying to break into the WASP establishment that refuses to accept them.

There are all the usual scenes in upmarket restaurants, trendy bars, Caribbean hideaways, art exhibitions etc. with references to characters wanting to buy their way onto the board of the Museum of Modern Art or real-life politicians, financiers and actors.

It has been all done before - by McInerny himself and Tom Wolfe in fiction and in non-fiction books like "Barbarians at the Gate". Don't expect any surprises.
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By Tico Feo on 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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