Bright, Precious Days : A Novel

0042049f_medium Author Jay McInerney
Isbn 9781101948002
File size 2.88MB
Year 2016
Pages 416
Language English
File format PDF
Category Other

Book Description:

I wish I could rate this more highly since I liked McInerney's previous books about the Calloways. But this one became a slog over time, although there were a few good bits scattered throughout. The more I read, the less I liked it, but I was curious enough to finish it to see if I could figure out the author's intentions ( couldn't). It is easy reading, in the manner of New York Magazine or Vanity Fair -- stuffed with brand names and the exploits of the rich and mildly famous -- but for me, it seemed McInerney (a good writer) was "phoning it in" on this novel, taking the easy and most cliched way through his story of New York, post the financial crash.

I searched in vain for signs of satire (Bonfire of the Vanities-style), but found none. The tone and style present Russell and Corrine as serious characters with serious issues -- keeping up with their vastly richer friends while maintaining their commitment to "art and love" over "power and money." Could anything be sillier? Could the characters be any more vapid and pretentious? The whole novel is really about the Calloways seeking power and money while pretending they are above it all (which should work as satire, but oddly did not). That made it impossible to like them, but equally impossible to take them seriously. As a native New Yorker, I didn't see my city in this depiction. The idea of Russell having a fit about living anywhere but Tribeca was hilarious, as was his devotion to trendy food, restaurants and big wines. Nice to have friends with money and power who can bail you out of all tough situations; a paean to the 1% yet again.

Ultimately, I have no idea what the author was trying to say or do with this novel, other than put New York on display, along with its least attractive denizens. As noted, the book goes down easy -- like a rich dessert or cream puff -- but the last few bites feel treacly and you wind up sorry you bothered to eat the thing in the first place.


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