The Bridges of Why Am I Reading This Crap

So, I’ve got this little disorder. Just this one: Once I begin reading a book, I am compelled to finish it. Regardless of how much I dislike it, I continue to pick up the book… continue to read.

After finishing Brett Easton Ellis’ excellent Lunar Park (see previous post), I wanted to read something by Jay Mcinerny. Jay is a character in Lunar Park and is best known for his breakthrough novel Bright Lights, Big City. Not sure what posessed me, but rather than going for the easy bet and reading BL, BC, I made the error of picking out The Good Life, Jay’s latest.


The Good Life reads like Bridges of Madison County for the middle-aged urbanite. Set in NY, NY around the time of 9/11, the novel tells the story of a couple of priveledged New Yorkers too lazy to work at their own marriages that fall easily into illicit love amongst the Ground Zero soup kitchens. If “illicit love” makes you think “Harlequin Romance”, then you’ve got the right idea: there’s enough trashy bodice-ripping in there to satisfy the requirements of the genre.

There’s also a large helping of grief porn if you’re into that sort of thing. The jumpers, the flee-ers, the diggers and the body bags… Jay’s got it covered.

Learn from my mistake. Read Bright Lights, Big City. It really is as good as you’ve heard.

One Comment

  1. Posted June 1, 2006 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Atrocious! Disgusting! It’s worse than chewing tobacco! I give a book twenty five pages to prove itself, afterwards it becomes kindling. Jay Mcinerny? Further proof that there is no connection between the size of ones hair and their literary merit. BL BC must have been a fluke. I remember his follow up to it, Ransom, it definitely made me want to commit seppuku. Now, grief porn. What sad days we live in.