Bright Lights, Big CityPosted: 16.03.2010
I’ve been on a bit of a reading bender recently, reading everything I can get my hands on… books, magazines, cereal packets, it gets like that sometimes. Anyhow, although I’ve probably read myself to a state of borderline blindness, it’s been worth it, as I’ve stumbled across a couple of absolutely brilliant books. Jay McInerney has been on my must-read list for a really, really long time now, so when I happened upon a copy of Bright Lights, Big City (1984) lurking about in the clearance section of Chapters for the measley sum of €1.99, it was too much to resist (there’s still a couple of copies left in Chapters if you get there quick enough).
The novel is set in 1980s New York, and the plot revolves around the narrator whose life has fallen apart since his glamourous wife left him, and wanders about the city in a cocaine-induced daze. I’ve read the obligatory dose of Hunter S. Thompson, and while you could make comparisons between the two, in that they’re both writing in the anti-Great American Novel genre, McInerney’s style was far more sophisticated than I had been anticipating – it’s his descriptions of New York that really stand out, they’re so vivid and sharp – quite like Paul Auster’s style of writing. In any case, I should probably wrap this up, I’m in danger of embarking on a 2,000 word essay on McInerney at this rate. Suffice it to say, if you’re looking for a good book, and are a bit stuck for ideas, then it’s definitely worth checking out Bright Lights, Big City.