Monday, April 16, 2007

The Good Life

Title: The Good Life
Author: Jay McInerney
Bloomsbury, 2007

In this novel we meet two New York families who are ripe for change. We meet them in the aftermath of the attack on the Twin Towers and the catastrophe turns out to present the family members with new options in terms of love, career and life styles.

The 9/11 perspective is interesting and this theme has taken a while to break through in literature although we will pr0bably see more of it in the future. The novel says something about the way New Yorkers reacted to the attacks: some burrowed, some fled. Infidelity is another (unintentional?) theme but it is presented in a shallow, careless manner. It is made very clear that the spoiled socialite's canoodling with a billionaire magnate is "bad" while her husband's love affair with a stay-at-home-mom is "profound", "real" and, therefore, excused. There is a double standard here that taints the story.

Furthermore, the sex scenes should have been left to our imagination since it was just badly written, with tired expressions such as "she explored his mouth with her tongue." On the other hand, other parts of the book contained beautiful language. On the whole, this was a worthwhile reading experience, but if I had had other books waiting in the to-read-pile this one would have been abandoned.

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