HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Story of My Life by Jay McInerney
Loading...

Story of My Life (original 1988; edition 2010)

by Jay McInerney

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5781025,133 (3.36)3
Member:dina
Title:Story of My Life
Authors:Jay McInerney
Info:Grove Press (2010), Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Story of My Life by Jay McInerney (1988)

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)


Published originally as part of the American Vintage Contemporaries series, Jay McInerney’s high octane novel is written from the point of view of a young woman, specifically 21-year old Alison Poole, a rich gorgeous aspiring actress living the cocaine-fueled revved-up life in 1980s Manhattan, a gal who tells her friends how after meeting and spending a night in bed with Dean, her new boyfriend, she is totally in lust. Her friends demand details: length and width.

Every page offers penetrating insight into a sociology of identity: all the subtle tricks these rich, beautiful men and women employ to make certain everyone in their elite clique adheres to their embraced surface values. No depth of character or personality, thank you. At one point Alison tell us, “My parents have seven marriages between them and any time I’ve been with a guy for more than a few weeks I find myself looking out the window during sex.” Life as a whirlwind of instant gratification, one hit of skin-tingling pleasure after the other. “Just give me direct contact and you can keep true love.”

And we listen as Alison speaks her mind on the significance of family: “These old novels and plays that always start out with orphans, in the end they find their parents – I want to say, don’t look for them, you’re better off without. Believe me. Get a dog instead. That’s one of my big ambitions in life – to be an orphan. With a trust fund, of course”

She also shares her reflections on men: “Sometimes I think there must be some kind of secret ritual like circumcision where all boys have three-quarters of their brain removed at adolescence, or sense they just have to promise that they’ll act and talk like they’ve been lobotomized, grunt in monosyllables like cavemen, and limit their emotions to the range between A and B. Still, they’re the only other sex we’ve got. And they can make you feel so good sometimes you want to scream.” Alison, you are such a sweetie – too bad our needy human nature requires us to seek fulfillment through others. What a bummer.

One of my favorite scenes: when a group of schoolchildren have the temerity to block Alison’s path “Coming out of the store I got caught in this horrible preteen pedestrian traffic jam from the school down the street. Gremlins. I practically get run over by this tiny kid with a T-shirt that says REALITY IS AN ILLUSION PRODUCED BY ALCOHOL DEFICIENCY. Where was Planned Parenthood when we really needed them?”

A point of heightened drama occurs when a former drug dealer by the name of Mannie, knife in hand, crashes one of their parties to proclaim his love to Alison’s sister Rebecca, who at the moment is leaning over a mirror and snorting a line of cocaine. Mannie screams that he will hurt himself if Rebecca doesn’t come with him. Rebecca simply replies, “Be my guest.” Following a violent exchange between Mannie and the other guys at the party, Mannie flings himself out the 6th floor window. Rebecca and all the others get really pissed off since they have to stop taking drugs and clean up in preparation for the police knocking at their door.

What I find so fascinating about this novel is not only Alison’s numerous one-liners - “It’s like nothing can touch us as long as we stay high” - but how life dedicated to pleasure-seeking plays itself out among the super-wealthy, uninhibited sexually-obsessed. Such a philosophy of bold sensual hedonism hearkens back to a school of ancient Greek philosophy - the Cyrenaics, who valued a person’s own physical and bodily pleasure as the highest good.

Returning to our first-person narrator Alison, are we being completely fair if we hurl harsh judgements her way? Toward the end of the novel, she reports how her father’s key business associate attempted to rape her as a young girl and how when she reported this incident to her father, he told her to simply forget it. Sadly, Alison also recollects how her father would walk into her bedroom and join her in bed. It is only one short line in the novel (perhaps a revealing narrative slip?) but it speaks volumes to the probability of sexual abuse and its devastating psychological consequences. ( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
Meh, a really juicy tale, but not my favorite work of literature.
I think it was good writing, not great, but just good. I know that I ventured in knowing exactly what it was and there were no surprises, it was exactly as expected. I felt cheap and hungover afterwards, blah.
Basically its a short glimpse into an exaggerated tale of my own early drunken 2o's past of regrets (minus the coke details, never got into it)
There were no tricks or plot twists, this was a plainly written story about sexually charged shallow rich white drug addicted people. I am not sure I will read more from this author anytime soon. I am not really into overly sexual shallow rich white addicted people tales. ( )
  XoVictoryXo | Jun 28, 2017 |
FINAL REVIEW


Published originally as part of the American Vintage Contemporaries series, Jay McInerney’s high octane novel is written from the point of view of a young woman, specifically 21-year old Alison Poole, a rich gorgeous aspiring actress living the cocaine-fueled revved-up life in 1980s Manhattan, a gal who tells her friends how after meeting and spending a night in bed with Dean, her new boyfriend, she is totally in lust. Her friends demand details: length and width.

Every page offers penetrating insight into a sociology of identity: all the subtle tricks these rich, beautiful men and women employ to make certain everyone in their elite clique adheres to their embraced surface values. No depth of character or personality, thank you. At one point Alison tell us, “My parents have seven marriages between them and any time I’ve been with a guy for more than a few weeks I find myself looking out the window during sex.” Life as a whirlwind of instant gratification, one hit of skin-tingling pleasure after the other. “Just give me direct contact and you can keep true love.”

And we listen as Alison speaks her mind on the significance of family: “These old novels and plays that always start out with orphans, in the end they find their parents – I want to say, don’t look for them, you’re better off without. Believe me. Get a dog instead. That’s one of my big ambitions in life – to be an orphan. With a trust fund, of course”

She also shares her reflections on men: “Sometimes I think there must be some kind of secret ritual like circumcision where all boys have three-quarters of their brain removed at adolescence, or sense they just have to promise that they’ll act and talk like they’ve been lobotomized, grunt in monosyllables like cavemen, and limit their emotions to the range between A and B. Still, they’re the only other sex we’ve got. And they can make you feel so good sometimes you want to scream.” Alison, you are such a sweetie – too bad our needy human nature requires us to seek fulfillment through others. What a bummer.

One of my favorite scenes: when a group of schoolchildren have the temerity to block Alison’s path “Coming out of the store I got caught in this horrible preteen pedestrian traffic jam from the school down the street. Gremlins. I practically get run over by this tiny kid with a T-shirt that says REALITY IS AN ILLUSION PRODUCED BY ALCOHOL DEFICIENCY. Where was Planned Parenthood when we really needed them?”

A point of heightened drama occurs when a former drug dealer by the name of Mannie, knife in hand, crashes one of their parties to proclaim his love to Alison’s sister Rebecca, who at the moment is leaning over a mirror and snorting a line of cocaine. Mannie screams that he will hurt himself if Rebecca doesn’t come with him. Rebecca simply replies, “Be my guest.” Following a violent exchange between Mannie and the other guys at the party, Mannie flings himself out the 6th floor window. Rebecca and all the others get really pissed off since they have to stop taking drugs and clean up in preparation for the police knocking at their door.

What I find so fascinating about this novel is not only Alison’s numerous one-liners - “It’s like nothing can touch us as long as we stay high” - but how life dedicated to pleasure-seeking plays itself out among the super-wealthy, uninhibited sexually-obsessed. Such a philosophy of bold sensual hedonism hearkens back to a school of ancient Greek philosophy - the Cyrenaics, who valued a person’s own physical and bodily pleasure as the highest good.

Returning to our first-person narrator Alison, are we being completely fair if we hurl harsh judgements her way? Toward the end of the novel, she reports how her father’s key business associate attempted to rape her as a young girl and how when she reported this incident to her father, he told her to simply forget it. Sadly, Alison also recollects how her father would walk into her bedroom and join her in bed. It is only one short line in the novel (perhaps a revealing narrative slip?) but it speaks volumes to the probability of sexual abuse and its devastating psychological consequences. ( )
  GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
A perfect sibling (sister) novel to [b:Bright Lights Big City|86147|Bright Lights, Big City|Jay McInerney|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1223018233s/86147.jpg|144128]. It's funny, smart, fast, drug-fueled, introspective, somber, depressing, and ultimately the perfect sort of escapism for somebody like me. The people are terrible, the drugs are plentiful, the sex is always good (but could be better) and mostly? There's just the right amount of existential despair. And Alison Poole lived on my block, I think. Now, roll up that fifty, babe - we've got a few more parties to hit tonight...




A far more somber and reflective look into the book is available at Raging Biblioholism: http://wp.me/pGVzJ-oU ( )
  drewsof | Jul 9, 2013 |
A girl narrator, and a better story. But it is still just a bunch of drugs and pointless sex. ( )
  Darrol | Sep 12, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For Gary
First words
I'm like, I don't believe this shit.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679722572, Paperback)

In his breathlessly paced new novel Jay McInerney revisits the nocturnal New York of Bright Lights, Big City. Alison Poole, twenty going on 40,000, is a budding actress already fatally well versed in hopping the clubs, shopping Chanel falling in and out of, lust, and abusing other people's credit cards. As Alison races toward emotional breakdown, McInerney gives us a hilarious yet oddly touching portrait of a postmodern Holly Golightly coming to terms with a world in which everything is permitted and nothing really matters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:51 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Supported by her father's money, Alison Poole lives on New York's Upper East Side, spending her days visiting the tanning salon, inhaling cocaine and searching for true love--until life in the fast lane spins out of control! The long-awaited new novel from the author of Bright Lights, Big City.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.36)
0.5 1
1 3
1.5 1
2 22
2.5 3
3 43
3.5 9
4 39
4.5 5
5 17

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 131,699,502 books! | Top bar: Always visible