©1984 Jay McInerney; ©2009 Random House
"A sidelong look at life in the Big Apple, as experienced by youth that once had hope and aspirations. In spite of the depths to which the main characters descend, the exuberance and humour of the narrative maintains its wonderful disregard for conventional behaviour with great buoyancy. An entertaining read, but it is the resignation and frustration that lingers in the mind that makes this novel so compelling." (Kirkus)
"A rambunctious, deadly funny novel that goes right for the mark - the human heart." (Raymond Carver)
"The author is one of those reare writers who catches the moods, nuances and manners of a sub-culture with humor, finesse, skill and accuracy. A born stylist and remarkable discovery!" (George Plimpton)
Just about everyone who has never lived in New York likes to imagine what it might be like. I found the book just the right balance of obscure and mundane to be believable. It's easy to imagine a person such as the main character existing in NY in the 80s.
Don't let my title mislead though, this book isn't boring. It's just got the right amount of day to day normality to make it believable.
When the book finished I initially thought "What? Where's the ending?". But after more thought about what the book was trying to achieve, I'm pretty satisfied with it. It's not a big morality tale, as I started to expect it would be. I was disappointed with some of the character's actions, in just the way I am sometimes disappointed with my actions or those of friends. But that's what makes this book endearing. It's as just life from the eyes of just another person.
The more I think about this book the more I'm glad I read it.
Final note though: At 5ish hours it's a fantastic quick read. Easy to follow, easy to visualise. I bought this on sale, and am glad I did.
Provocative, bratty, brilliant.
This story follows a broken man who refuses to acknowledge he is broken. It is written in such a way that the reader also refuses to acknowledge this brokenness. This story is also written in second person which is interesting and atypical.
Yes. I didn't, but it was short enough that I could. It was very drawing.
Great for those who liked anything by Bret Easton Ellis or Catcher in the Rye.
Some may become uncomfortable with the story line, the frequent use of drugs, and the treatment of women.
Yes, beacuse of the period, the city, the partys, the laughs and Amanda.
The Hotest State.
Did notice him as I was listening, which is good.
Even though my life didn't parallel the main characters, i could really understand him.
I thought I was just going to be annoyed with this story but McInerney's self obsessed, obliviously addicted character grows on you as he struggles with his talents and being his own worst enemy. I kind of live vicariously through characters like this since I've never lived in NY. You kind of want to slap him around and say hey cant you see how great you have it but that's the beauty and the device of the story. Just be warned- it's about living in NYC in the early days of Friends and Seinfeld without all the annoying friends and success.
I understand the author told the story in second person to make some point about the difficultly of climbing in other people's heads and truly experiencing what they feel. But the narrator was so self-absorbed it was distracting. He only relates to people by their opinion of him. Even his fond memories of his mother were her talking about him. If you really want to hear yet another struggling writer-who-never-actually-writes' stream-of-consciousness about what a struggle it is to find out he isn't a special snowflake and life is hard in a world where apparently "hey wanna do some coke?" is a natural conversation starter, this is your book. Reminded me of @guyinyourmfa but...not funny
loved the book. The symbolism, the story, and the view of contemporary society. I really enjoyed.
The book's a bit dated now, but I was surprised that it held up as well as it did. I listened to it on my first trip to New York, as I walked around the upper east side. A special word of commendation for the reader – Passer has a lovely, youthful voice, with just the right mixture of irony, cynicism, and naiveté. He gets the tone of the novel exactly right, and gives it just the mixture of pathos and comedy it needs. A pleasure to listen to.
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