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How It Ended: New and Collected Stories Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Apr 2009

3.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Audiobook, 1 Apr 2009
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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433271079
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433271076
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 3.3 x 15.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Product Description

Review

`How It Ended is the work of a fine writer on the top of his
form' -- Sunday Telegraph

`Sharp, spare, exquisitely observed writing' -- Daily Mail --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jay McInerney is the author of six novels, BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY, RANSOM, STORY OF MY LIFE, BRIGHTNESS FALLS, THE LAST OF THE SAVAGES, MODEL BEHAVIOUR and THE GOOD LIFE. He lives in New York and Nashville. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 29 Oct. 2000
Format: Hardcover
'The hour I spent with Amanda made me yearn for something,' recalls Benjamin Braddock in 'My Public Service', one of the ten stories in Jay McInerney's successful first collection of short prose fiction. Amanda is a starlet who briefly canoodles with Benjamin on her way to a Senator's bed. Benjamin, part of the Senator's campaign team, wonders about his yearning. 'Not exactly beauty or sex or power,' he reflects. 'I can only call it brilliance, like a surfeit of life.' In *How It Ended* McInerney's protagonists search for 'brilliance', and each time it turns out to be a will-o'-the-wisp.
'Brilliance' takes different forms, but it is always to do with status, often to do with glamour and sometimes to do with ideals. The Senator gets the girl, not Benjamin, who later finds himself doing PR for a South American dictator whom he abhors. In 'Third Party' Alex goes to Paris to romantically act out his dejection, after having been dumped by his girlfriend in New York. He plays along when two glamorous Parisians seem to mistake him for someone of social distinction. Easily manipulated by them, he is told, finally, 'You're a nobody.'
McInerney is fascinated by the ways in which becoming a 'somebody' makes you a 'nobody.' Martin, a scriptwriter who plots his way to success in 'The Business', remarks that in Hollywood 'the story is always Faust.' One gets the impression that you don't get much in exchange for your soul. Jared, in 'Getting In Touch with Lonnie', is a successful actor. But one feels he might well be joining his wife, in an upmarket mental hospital, soon - especially since his much sought-after dealer is already there.
McInerney also focuses on the less glamorous, 'role-model' worlds of law and medicine.
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Format: Paperback
McInerney is a writer of great reliability, amusing yet pointed, sad yet forthcoming; his first collection of short stories continues his obsession with contemporary America, his writing underpinned by a pathos that at times hints at Fitzgerald. And like Fitzgerald, McInerney possesses the great quality of being entirely submerged in a culture undone by anomie, whilst retaining the ability to analyse his subjects with objectivity. Moreover, he remains highly readable at all times. A writer defintely worth investigating.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the first Jay McInerney book I have read in over a decade. His grasp of literature is without doubt superb and his style of writing contains so much depth. His work stands in marked contrast to so many of today's authors, who write stories with outrageous storylines, but little in the way of quality literature. The stories in this book are quiet, subtle tales, set mainly in 1980s Manhattan. As with all short tales, these leave you feeling like you have only heard half the story, and with more questions than answers. Perhaps the very fact that these stories represent a bygone time means that they appear somewhat tired and unoriginal. The title of the book is How It Ended and I cannot help wondering if this should also refer to the end of Jay McInerney's much-copied storytelling genre: Manhattan stories of yuppies and other freaks of the 1980s. It would be great to see his amazing story-telling qualities renewed for the new century, instead of just churning out re-runs from the old.
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Format: Paperback
How it Ended is a book of short stories. Let me confess that I hadn't realised it was a book of short stories until I got to chapter 2. Part way through the first story, Third Party, I wondered what on earth had made me invest my hard earned cash in that.
Third Party reads like a novel written by an English Literature academic from one of our rarified Universities: someone who has read just about every type and style of book there is and who has developed a formula for writing the perfect novel. Of course, such a novel would fail badly, like the Ford Edsel car that failed because it was designed to be the perfectly acceptable car.
Anyway, having overcome the shock of Third Party, I hummed and hawed my way through the ten stories and really liked some of them and could have lived without others. Smoke was a good one: the story of two partners who come to a joint decision to stop smoking. The sub plot of the story concerns sex and it ends with a nice ironic twist.
I liked the way The Queen and I shaped up: a good story of down on their luck people, transvestites/cross dressers/prostitutes/pimps ... but I felt McInerney made a mess of the denouement: let him read this review and have another go at it! Still, the image of Randi,
'Wearing a leather mini and a red halter, Randi stands six foot eight in heels ...'
is something to ponder over, don't you think? Then we are treated to this:
'Randi stands ... beneath a sign that reads FRANKS SALAMI BOLOGNA LIVERWURST KNOCKWURST STEW MEATS & SKIRT STEAKS. Truth in advertising'
Reunion, the last story in the book, concerns at least some of the people who could have dreamed of writing Third Party. A family gets together yet remains apart at the same time.
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