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The Last Bachelor [Hardcover]

Jay McInerney
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Jan 2009
In true McInerney style, this new collection of stories examines post 9/11 America in all its dark and morally complex glory. His characters include a young woman holed up in a remote cabin while her (married) boyfriend campaigns for the highest of all offices, a couple whose sexual experiments cross every line imaginable, a young socialite called home to nurse her mother and an older one scheming for her next husband. From the streets of downtown New York during the 2003 anti-war march and the lavish hotel rooms of the wealthy social elite, to a husband and wife who share a marital bed with a pot-bellied pig, the people in these stories search for meaning while struggling against each other, colliding as the old world around them fractures and dissolves into a modern era full of new uncertainties, where ghosts of loss hang in the air. McInerney's writing has crackling humour and a feverish, clear-sighted brilliance that perfectly underpins the lives of people living in modern America. These stories are deftly constructed, subtle, insightful and heartbreaking. Steeped in history but yet alive in the present - this new collection is a companion to the sweet madness of life

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; First GB Edition edition (5 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074759984X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747599845
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 782,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


`An entertaining look at dysfunctional relationships among the Manhattan middle-classes' -- Daily Telegraph

`An entertaining look at dysfunctional relationships among the Manhattan middle-classes'
-- Daily Telegraph

`The model for McInerney has long been F Scott Fitzgerald ... written with characteristic easy fluency of style' -- Observer


`The model for McInerney has long been F Scott Fitzgerald ... written with characteristic easy fluency of style'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly "too short" stories 17 Oct 2009
OK, first of all I have to admit that I'm a huge fan of Jay McInerney so maybe it's just that I can't get enough of his writing, but I felt with this book that just as I was starting to get to know and like each character, the story would abruptly end and I'd have to start all over again with a new one. The literary equivalent of speed dating! The book is written in typical McInerney style; smart, witty and insightful. The only criticism that I have is that because the stories rely on characters more than plots, I feel that they needed to be just a little longer. Perhaps it's just Jay's way of making sure that he always leaves us wanting more...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Cool Clear Eye 7 April 2009
The twelve short stories in this volume average about five thousand words each and hardly a word is wasted. Reading them gives a similar sense of mixed awe and pleasure as one might get from watching a great sportsman performing at his peak.
McInerney looks closely at human falibility and does not care much for what he sees. His characters are from the upper middle echelons of modern American society. With a crisp, pertinant and fluent style, he brings their habitual infidelities, or self deceptions, or failures to connect into sharp focus. Thei descriptions he gives are generally short, just enough for the reader to hang on to, and the telling is at a pace which holds the attention to the end, while not gives too many clues as to how things will work out.
Anyone with a touch of cynicism, a hint of self doubt, or simply a love of good writing will enjoy this book. Anyone who aspires to writing, even in a different genre, should, I suggest, read it as an example of how things can be done.
I would suggest that McIninerny is in the same league as Somerset Maugham, Jean Rhys, and of course Scott Firzgerald.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A summary of the twelve stories. 4 Mar 2009
Jay McInerney writes about American society, mostly situated in the South. To a certain degree it reads like the gossip columns in a newspaper.
When you read this collection of twelve short stories, you're under the impression that McInerney has a pessimistic outlook on marriage.
He writes about several aspects of American social life. Although Americans banished aristocracy long before the Revolution, wealthy families - mostly in the South - have the pretensions and a way of social life similar to European nobility. "The Debutante's Return" and "The Last Bachelor" are a good example of that.

I would like to introduce the short stories one by one.

"Sleeping With Pigs"

A married couple - belonging to the High Society - divide their time between New-York City and a farm in Tennessee. The wife likes to sleep with a pig between her and her husband.

" I Love You, Honey."

A man is unfaithful to his wife. She takes revenge on him in a sophisticated but cruel way.

"The Madonna Of Turkey Season "

Four brothers lost their parents and each year at Thanksgivings Day, they invite all kinds of women at the table: girlfriends and acquaintances or just a girl that happened to be in the neighborhood.

"Everything's Lost"

Sabrina wants to throw a surprise party for her boyfriend. But she's afraid that she won't be able to keep it a secret, now that he suddenly decides to stay at home most of the time.

"Invisible Fences."

A man wakes up around one o'clock in the morning. He goes to the kitchen for a beer and a cigarette. He hears strange noises coming from the living room; his wife lies in the arms of another man.
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