“Short, sleek and very funny…. Beneath it’s surface, though, a heart’s cry for a saner, sweeter, more thoughtful and restrained existence.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
” You consider calling in sick. She would call up sometime during the day to say you were fired and you could hang up before she got abusive.
But the magazine goes to press tomorrow and your absence would put pressure on your colleagues.
And hiding would rob your failure of dignity.
You think of Socrates, the kind of guy who accepted his cup and drank it down. More than this, you cling to the hope that you will somehow escape your fate. “
For the last few days I’ve been thinking about the narrator more than I have about the very book.
Which to some extent makes sense to me- second person narrative has always felt the most personal one to me.
I expected it all to be more about the life of the Big Apple, all the bright lights; all this glamour,beautiful people and money, right? We’re all on top of the world.
But this is not all this wasted potential Irvine Welsh talks about, or the arrogance of Bret Easton Ellis. It’s not Trainspotting and it’s not Less Than Zero.
In stead, it’s much more intimate. It makes overall criticizing so much more difficult.
McInerne’s character is disappointed and disappointing; cruel to himself, but not to those around; both a damn coward at times and too brave at others.
He’s admirable and pitiful. He’s someone I feel like I know, and at the same time a complete stranger.
A person I wish I could help, or rather I didn’t- because he can lead his own battles and win in the end.
I’ve loved Jay McInerne since I saw Gia, the film which screenplay he co-wrote.
Bright Lights, Big City is his first novel and this book is worth reading, if only for the last scene alone and the great narration.
It’s six am. Do you know where you are?
Added 15th August 2018