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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars

on 10 September 2017
I was a little disappointed by this book. OK, it evokes a time and place-to use a Brit term 'the champagne fuelled Yuppie culture of the 1980s.' This is the New York version but the same thing was going on in London at the same time. I was half-hoping the author would end the book by commenting allegorically on this period in our history. Perhaps he does this to an extent, or more likely leaves us to make up our own minds.

Here the vernacular is different but the outcomes, the same. Some of the slang and swagger is difficult to keep up with yet sometimes very funny. This was a culture based on money, sex, alcohol and drugs: nothing particularly original about that so the author is chronicling a historical period in our fairly recent history. What it wasn't was a Counter Culture. It was something encouraged and fuelled by an Anglo-Saxon, Neo-Conservative establishment. The fact that it didn't materialise to anything like the same level in other cultures is testament to its American/British heritage. Has it endured and evolved? I have to say, unfortunately, yes.

I secretly quite like our heroine. She can be viewed as monstrous yet McInerney just gives her enough rope to hang herself with whilst leaving a door open for her to escape. Whether she goes through the door or not...

This is excellent writing by a male about the female psyche and well worth a read. I saw a recent interview with the author about the current state of the USA and I can't help thinking he had in mind his '8Os characters when commenting about current events. However, what side they are now on is a matter for conjecture. Read this and see if you can decide...
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on 20 January 2013
Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City) writes a novel about his ex Rielle Hunter (John Edwards' baby mama) who plays Alison Poole (American Psycho). New York decadence although there is surprisingly as much emotion as affectlessness. Or perhaps not surprisingly - it is New York where emotional venting is de rigueur. Reading this in the late 80's I thought the novel an 80's version of the Edie Sedgwick story without the burdensome 20 generations of wealth and prestige. I still do. Stick with the classics.
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on 30 September 2003
This is another offering from one of the Gen X gang - someone I drifted into after I had run out of Douglas Coupland - and it ticks the same boxes - disillusioned twenty-somethings with pretty relaxed attitudes towards drugs and sex being the main one.
This is done nicely, however, using the first person to carry the narrative at a nice pace. Personally, I'm never sure about males writing through female narrators, but here it works flawlessly, and the character is so real it is easy to be drawn in and read the story as an autobiography - a feat in itself. There are also plenty of occasions where the reader can see the pothole before the narrator falls into it, which again draws you in.
In short, this isn't rocket science, but it's a really good read, with strong characters and a real energy to it - I finished it in 3 or 4 days without noticing. If you like the genre, this is a good example
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on 7 December 2010
After reading, Bright lights big city, I felt I had to read more Jay McInerney. This is simpily because of his honesty in his characterisation and prose.
As soon as I openned , Story of my life, I was hooked. On the surface it may appear like a bunch of middle class, or well off, young adults feeling sorry for themselves, but it actually goes alot deeper, and wilder.
The characterisation is seriously strong, and the prose addictive. The honesty in how Alison thinks and talks is enlightening and refreshing. I believe she is real, and that their are Alisons out there, in the world, not just 1980's New York.
It reads as if she is talkig to you, which it should, but so many one person narrative books don't.
I read this book in 3 sittings, and woke up early before work to finish it. A book hasn't grabbed me like this since I read, Junky, and, Catcher of the rye.
I firmly believe this is better than, Bright lights Big City, and has kicked it's way into my top 3 of all time.
This book is pure skill, unique, and exciting. Yes it is set in the 1980's, but it still feels relevent in today's society.
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on 8 July 2009
I am a huge fan of Jay McInerney - I read this when it first came out and have just read it again for the second time and it is still as good as the first time I read it - very clever and funny/witty I love his observations on life/relationships -
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on 22 December 2012
The superficial and dissipated lifestyle of 1980s New York bohemians and mavericks is told in a taut stream-of-consciousness-like narrative. What sometimes seems like a disturbing picture of a near-constant sex, drugs and alcohol frenzy, the book is also an intimate and touching portrait of its confused and vulnerable protagonists. The author's supreme powers of observation, his ear for the contemporary lingo and his detached style make this a great novel and a must-read!
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on 6 November 2000
I have to say this book is brilliant. Written from Alison's, the main characters' point of view. Its smart, cynical and profoundly sad in parts. Its just so amazing that its written by a man who by the way is the most convincing woman! Alison is spoilt insecure, manipulative, vain and unfortunately damaged in a way rich kids can only be. Not a book to read whilst on public transport unless you get your kicks from laughing uncontrollably in front of total strangers who know that getting on a bus is a surefire way to meet the weirdest of the weird. Buy & Enjoy, I did
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on 13 October 2012
Touch of the classic 80s comedy Heathers about this one. McInerney gets right under the skin of his character in a slangy but not showy kind of way. The American setting doesn't detract from the universal themes - I grew up in the UK but these types are found everywhere. A great read.
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on 6 May 2006
Once upon a time this kind of book would have hacked me off to extent that I'd want to call the author and scream murder at him. Spoilt rich kids moaning about their problems while poncing around in designer clothes, doing fasionable drugs, and eating at restaurants where a meal costs about the same price as the average working class man's weekly wage, never appealed to me. But I don't know, somehow this book as won me over. There's great parts of this book I can kind of relate to and I can empathise with characters (as rich and as shallow as they are). The great thing though is that no matter what back ground you come from you'll know people who are like these characters. This book is funny and true to life in many parts and I recommend it.
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on 23 January 2013
The narration is extremely funny and the book is very, very enjoyable. I read this while I had the flu and will read it again while in good health. Jay McInerney's best book that I have read to date.
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