After the frustration with Bret Easton Ellis’s Less Than Zero, I have been recommended Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney, a new author to me. Upon a closer look, the book is written in second-person narrative, and it deals with decadent cycle of sex, drugs, and hustling. I think I’m done for this subject for a while, but I picked up another book by McInerney: The Good Life. It’s by no means a light and pleasant novel, but it’s got some comic moments.
“You know,” Russell said, “one of my authors—a well-known, critically acclaimed novelist—he plays golf every weekend with a bunch of doctors. One Saturday, this brain surgeon, top of his class at Johns Hopkins, he turns to him between holes and says, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about writing a novel in my spare time. Maybe you could give me a few pointers.’ My guy stops the cart and says, ‘You know, that’s a hell of a coincidence. Because I’ve always wanted to see what brain surgery is really like. Maybe you could show me the basics, help me get started.'”
“I feel the same way,” Carlo said, “when some fucking editor asks me how to make pesto.”
“I’m not trying to, like, write Anna Karamazov,” Hilary said. “It’s more commercial . . . kind of Valley of the Dolls, a girl in Hollywood kind of story.”
“Just stick to the West Coast,” said Nancy. “I don’t need any competition.”
“And don’t let her fuck the writer,” Jim said. “Unless she’s Polish.”
Then, about 140 pages later, back to our aspiring Hollywood-girl writer, we find out:
“I don’t want to take Hilary. What would she do at a book party? I’d have to spend an hour and a half explaining to her what a book is.”