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.

Bleh.

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.

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