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
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
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!
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.
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.
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.