Top critical review
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Tedious, slow and never ending
on 23 August 2015
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.