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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

on 1 June 2017
Arpeggios on the theme of cheating in the majority of these tales and the man is a master musician; gripping and tender are those tales imbued with deep humanness and a love of humanity
Short tales and yes sometimes too short ... Book can be read in an hour and a half
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on 17 October 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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on 4 March 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.

"The March"

During a march against war with Iraq, two old lovers meet each other. After a while the peaceful march gradually turns into violence.

"Summary Judgement."

A gossip-like story about very wealthy Americans and European aristocracy.

"The Waiter"

America and Europe Again.

"Penelope On The Pond"

The mistress of a man who's running for President is temporarily tucked away in a house near a pond. He promises that when everything is back to normal, he will return to her. How long will she have to wait?

"Putting Daisy Down"

The oldest word: love
The oldest crime: adultery
By the way, Daisy is the name of a cat.

"The Debutante's Return"

Present and past of a wealthy Southern family.

"The Last Of The Bachelors"

A marriage in the South. It's a description of social life rather than a story.
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on 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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on 1 August 2016
Love Jay Mc, love short stories!
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on 8 October 2015
Good read.
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