Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Book Review: Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney

Now a quarter of a centry old, Bright Lights, Big City does occasionally come across as a little dated in 2010, but this does nothing to diminish the humor and sharpness of the writing. If anything, the pure 80s atmosphere lends an unintended level of humor to the narrative.  However, some of the references may be lost on Gen Y readers; for example, The New Yorker is regarded differently now than it was when McInerney worked there and the openness of the New York drug culture of the 1980s may seem a little absurd to the post "Just Say No" generation.  The unusual use of the 2nd person voice lends a sense of immediacy and mild sense of discomfort to the reader, giving the reader a vicarious feeling of being out of control that is consistent with the main character's drug use and life in general. A good, quick read; McInerney's first book does not disappoint.  It is not surprising that Bright Lights, Big City is in its 45+ printing.

1 comment:

  1. I will have to get my hands on this. I am currently reading Winesburg, Ohio.