Book Review: Bright Lights, Big City – Jay McInerney

I ran through this book in an entire sitting where I couldn’t sleep because I’m a dip shit who won’t buy A/C. Fuck You, I live in a city where winter last 9  months out of the year. I figured the odds were in my favor.

I started with page 1 and almost gave up aster the first paragraph. It’s all in 2nd person.  It’s not that I’m against 2nd person but it sometimes feel too much like someone yelling at me. It’s like writing in all commands all the time. I mean who the fuck am I, some one first year Army Recruit? I can think for myself.

No. I’m a reader. I’m not going to do all the things that the Michael does. Then again, he talks to a punk rock girl with a shaved head at a club when it’s 6:00am. That sounds like me.

You clever fuck you, Jay.

So I kept going. Screw it, it’s 6am , 90 degrees and only going to get hotter.

A hundred pages in I WAS HOOKED!

This man is compensating. The boose, the women, the parties, the coke. We all know it. It’s like a six sense that comes out as you turn the page. I don’t acknowledge it. You don’t acknowledge it. But it’s there and it bothers us.

When he realizes a he loves the girl that he always forgets to buy shit for and she tells him to fuck off, I realized I was this man. My friend Jen will call me tomorrow. She gorgeous, has depth, but unless I’m in a super self loathing mood, I probably won’t give a shit.

The majority of the book is centered around this idea of him and his exe wife Amanda. He remembers all these vivid emotional gems throughout the story. But towards the end he realizes he never really knew Amanda at all. It’s a simple story you can hear in line at Starbucks, but Jay paces it quite masterfully. I found myself realizing it just as Micheal did. Well done.

I won’t give away the ending, but it’s where you lost me Jay. I’ve had my fair share of break ups. Sometimes they end before they begin, but very seldom does anyone just “win” in a big way like that. Sure is the main character living in his own world, you bet your ass he his. Does this lead to everything changing, and him not recognizing it? Damn right. But all that kinda sounds like his fault, not hers.

Things seem to work out a little too perfect for Michael. Plus he gets a little needy to Tad’s sister. Why call her at the end, when it’s in the early am during the week and say a bunch of shit that doesn’t matter because you’re hopped up on Coke? We learned in a previous chapter y’all hit it off. A little bit over kill for me.

Overall, I loved this fucking book.

9 out of 10

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