John's Reviews > Bright Lights, Big City

Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
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's review
Feb 13, 2009

really liked it
Read in February, 2009

You decide to read this book because it was written in the second person. This is interesting to you. You've never read a book written in that manner, at least you can't remember if you have. This seems like a pretentious idea to you, but you are curious. You like the book more than you expected to. It isn't all that dated. Sure, lots of NYC landmarks have changed, but the gist is still the same. You identify with the main character. You decide that if you lived in NYC in 1984, this would probably have been your life. You ignore the fact that dance clubs and cocaine still exist, and you could actually choose this life if you wanted but you actively avoid it.
McInerney, you realize, actually wrote that book that every 20 or 30 something guy with a liberal arts degree who spends their time wandering the city imagines they are constantly on the verge of writing. And it turned out pretty good. You are a little jealous. Except for the dialogue. Once again, it glares. You wonder if this is the most common problem with writing. Bad dialogue. People saying too much. Too much information in what would be a briefer conversation. Fictional people always seem to have too many words to say. That's why Cormac McCarthy did such a good job in his book. He doesn't make people say too much.
You consider writing a review in the second person. You decide this would be REALLY pretentious. That makes you happy, for some reason. You don't have anything better to do. You check the other reviews of the book. You realize that lots of other people have done the same exact thing. You decide you don't want to be a bandwagon reviewer. You are wittier than that. Then you realize that you actually are lazy and unoriginal and that's why McInerney had already worked at the New Yorker and published this book by 29 and you haven't written or published a damn thing and you're almost 31. You decide to leave the review as written.

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Reading Progress

01/29 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by B (new)

B You laugh out loud at your friend's review of the book and are compelled to leave him a comment stating such.


message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate Ha ha hahahahahaha.


message 3: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Henley Awesome, just awesome.


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