The Good Life, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Ten years on from Brightness Falls, Russell Calloway is still a literary editor although in a diminished capacity; his wife, Corrine, has sacrificed her career to watch anxiously over their children.

Across town Luke McGavock, a wealthy ex-investment banker, is taking a sabbatical from making money, struggling to reconnect with his socially resplendent wife, Sasha, and their angst-ridden teenage daughter, Ashley.

These two Manhattan families are teetering on the brink of change when 9/11 happens.

The "Good Life" explores through the lens of catastrophe that territory between hope and despair, love and loss, regret and fulfilment.

But, ultimately, this is Jay McInerney doing what he does best, presenting us with the life of New York City in all its moral complexity.




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At first the veneer of ultra-privileged Manhattanites annoyed me. Where, in mocking itself in too much world-weariness and too much cynicism, the authorial voice threatened to undercut sympathy, instead replacing it with the reader's impatience. But starting from the second part, it grew on me, and yes, the soul-searching of a fund manager got better. Smarter, I think, than Claire Messud's 9/11 novel The Emperor's Children.

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