Bright Lights, Big City

Bright Lights, Big City

4.3 49
by Jay McInerney
     
 

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With the publication of Bright Lights, Big City in 1984, Jay McInerney became a literary sensation, heralded as the voice of a generation. The novel follows a young man, living in Manhattan as if he owned it, through nightclubs, fashion shows, editorial offices, and loft parties as he attempts to outstrip mortality and the recurring approach of dawn. With

Overview

With the publication of Bright Lights, Big City in 1984, Jay McInerney became a literary sensation, heralded as the voice of a generation. The novel follows a young man, living in Manhattan as if he owned it, through nightclubs, fashion shows, editorial offices, and loft parties as he attempts to outstrip mortality and the recurring approach of dawn. With nothing but goodwill, controlled substances, and wit to sustain him in this anti-quest, he runs until he reaches his reckoning point, where he is forced to acknowledge loss and, possibly, to rediscover his better instincts. This remarkable novel of youth and New York remains one of the most beloved, imitated, and iconic novels in America.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bright Lights, Big City is a brilliant and moving work—unique, refreshing, imaginatively powerful and authentically conceived."
The New York Times

"Bright Lights, Big City defined, and even determined, the mood of this whole town."
Vanity Fair

"Short, sleek and very funny.... Beneath it's surface, though, a heart's cry for a saner, sweeter, more thoughtful and restrained existence."
Chicago Tribune

"Each generation needs its Manhattan novel, and many ache to write it. But it was McInerney who succeeded."
The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394726410
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/1984
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries Series
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
109,270
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.55(d)

What People are saying about this

Tobias Wolff
In its depiction of youth striving mightily to amuse itself, in the exuberance of its language and the antic shamelessness of its tale, Jay MacInerney's novel calls to mind such classics of knight-errantry as The Ginger Man and The Bushwacked Piano. It's a dazzling debut, smart, heartfelt, and very, very funny.
Barry Hannah
Jay MacInerney's voice is a lot of us, whether young New Yorkers or not -- coolly accurate but sobbing inside a little. Bright Lights, Big City makes eerie beauty out of that old-dog truth.
Cullen Plintton
The author is one of those rare writers who catches the mood, nuances, and manners of a subculture with humor, finesse, skill, and accuracy. A born stylist and a remarkable discovery!

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Bright Lights, Big City 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
BRIGHT LIGHTS was one of the first ¿New York¿ books I ever read. It wasn¿t the last. It has been said that those flames that burn the brightest fade the most quickly. It has also been argued that an extension of this maxim to literature provides a quick dismissal of all topical, works of and in a moment. Bright Lights, Big City serves as an eloquent riposte to this critique of topicality though it is very much a book about a moment within a subculture within a place (and it rejoices in its rootedness), more importantly it is about a person, and the details which seem to date it provide no more a detriment to its universality than those that Fitzgerald reveled in. Likened to McCrae's 'KATZENJAMMER' this book is a ¿bright¿ spot in the literary firmament.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel is unified, with form matching the content, in ways that most are not. The 2nd-person point-of-view is brilliant, since the narrator feels outside of himself, made distant not because of drugs, not really, not initially, but because of loss and denial. Too often people dismiss McInerney's choice of 2nd as gimmicky and impertinent, like the Coma Baby riff, but the Coma Baby riff isn't gimmicky and impertinent either, since it helps the reader solve the mystery of why the self-destructive narrator is doing cocaine and running from his brother in the first place (and foreshadows his own rebirth). Bright Lights, Big City is a fun, easy read, but it's a smart read, too. Very clever and, at the end, very touching.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel falls just short of the American classics Huck Finn, Sun Also Rises, Gatsby, Holden Caufield, True Grit. MacInerney captured being young in New York in the 80's which means he captured being young and confused for all times. The smell of bread in the beginning brings you to the smell of bread at the end. The people and situations are as true to the rules of reality as fiction can be. And the walk that you and Tad's cousin take through the Village is most fetching indeed. The bricks and wooden Dutch shoes at the end of the book point beautifully to the Dutch sailor's eyes that first contemplated this continent at the end of Gatsby. The only problem I have with the book is it's a little too New Yorker, polished fiction--he never let loose the reins. There's many ways to be wicked but you don't know one little thing about love.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Boo
LoLong More than 1 year ago
The story was interesting and very intriguing; the life of the main character made me feel uncomfortable, in a good way. I wish that the story has been a little longer and dove deeper in to the character's realization of himself in the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Last year you started a police dog rp right? Well i dont know if you remember but i was Pharaoh,you dog. I think i was a german sheperd or something. Just saying hey and all that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey
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My bio is at may lee seventh result if you wanna know what I look like.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Alrighty! Sounds fun! I took acting classes in high school. What am I supposed to do?" ~Nikki
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Me t
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Hi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in ( post)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lands in the park looking for fish
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She held out a dog biscuit~Gemma
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She smiled.
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Im locked out of firt rdult.
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