Brightness Falls Jay McInerney


Published: 1992


416 pages


Brightness Falls  by  Jay McInerney

Brightness Falls by Jay McInerney
1992 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 416 pages | ISBN: | 5.28 Mb

Brightness Falls is a great American novel, which owes a great deal to F. Scott Fitzgerald and his Gatsby. At times, it seems as if McInerney wants to re-tell the Gatsby tale on Wall Street during the Crash of 87. McInerneys Nick Carraway is, after all, Crash Galloway. However, the meaning of this novel transcends this decade and its hideous greed is good mantra: its not simply a period piece.

The story is about the mad pursuit of wealth, the shallowness of the great Faustian trade and the price paid in unintended consequences. The story replays time after time and has done so since Helen of Troy and it always will stand as a poignant, cyclical, cautionary tale about those with unfettered ambition blindly seeking wealth and power.

For all the apparent allure and trappings of wealth in New York high society and in big business, Russell Galloway is engaged in a zero-sum game. The writing in this novel is exquisite: I know this is absolute heresy but, at times, McInerney out-Fitzgeralds Fitzgerald. The main characters are round, full, human, distinctive and complex: I found myself intrigued by all of them. The dialogue is witty, funny, honest, real and each character spoke with a distinctive voice. The story-line was unexpected, credible and ambitious in its scale. The final chapter is one of the great closes among 20th century, literary novels.

Having worked for global corporations during this time, I was deeply impressed with how well McInerney captured the essence of the era and then rendered his depiction timeless. I really cant say enough about this truly great American novel as the greed, arrogance and quotidian materialism of the late 80s just keeps on re-playing in the 90s of the day trader and in this decade as hedge funds are about to free-fall below the zero-line in their forthcoming decadent, dizzying downside.

I was moved by the closing allusions to redemption in this prophetic novel and the optimism inherent in the premise that salvation can be experienced even after epic catastrophe and transcend it through the beauty of love and forgiveness -- even as brightness falls from the air.

Enter the sum

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