Customer Reviews for

Brightness Falls

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2004

    A Book About Loss...McInerney at His Best.

    ``Brightness Falls'' tracks the lives of book editor Russell Calloway, his wife Corrine and their friends in New York in the 1980s. Most of the book is set in the months before the stock market crash of 1987. Russell is likable throughout. Even when Russell is neglecting his wife he's doing it for the ``right'' reasons. As the market and their friends' incomes soar so does Russell's ambition. Russell swims with the sharks in organizing a hostile takeover of the publishing house he works for. This puts even greater strain on his marriage to Corrine, who is weary from the pace of New York and the Wall Street job she despises. McInerney is masterful in his use of symbols and echo. Party guests and news stories surface and resurface to make the buzz of New York and the pain of the characters very real. Loss comes to the couple through the descent of their best friend into drug use. Jeff Pierce and Russell, college literary friends who turned pro together, are fascinated with each other and secretly would like to exchange lives. This exchange theme is expanded upon by McInerney in ``The Last of the Savages,'' a later work. Loss through marital infidelity is also explored. Russell opens the way to infidelity and apparently commits adultery. (McInerney leaves you wondering whether the deed actually occurred. But the main point is that Russell feels unfaithful in his heart). Russell is later shaken when he learns Corrine had an affair years earlier. Russell has to deal with loss of wife, friends, job and money. Yet, at book's end, amid the tatters, Russell is quietly and bravely facing the future. And you can't help but admire that. Jay McInerney is a superb writer and ``Brightness Falls'' is his best work. I recommend it be read as a companion to his innovative ``Bright Lights, Big City.''

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2010

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