>If you only read one collection of contemporary short stories this year, How It Ended is a great bet.
Jay McInerney’s first novel, Bright Lights, Big City, came to embody the frenzied, cocaine-fueled excesses of New York’s young and hip of the 1980s, although the book’s reputation largely ignores the serious soul of the book.
How It Ended, the author’s newly released collection of short stories, zigs and zags through the author’s 26-year writing career, including stories in which characters from some of his novels first appeared. The jaded, jangly narrator of Bright Lights, Big City first appeared in the story, It’s Six A.M. Do You Know Where You Are?, which opens the collection.
The audio version of How It Ended, read by Ray Porter, is done so well that as soon as the last story ended I wanted to listen to it all over again from the beginning. Skip this book if you have no patience for flawed young people, but if you want to hear some good writing read aloud – especially if you came of age in the 80s and don’t mind some “dirty bits” – you need to listen to this amazing collection.
Even if you think you don’t like short stories.
The New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin has somewhat grudgingly said it best:
Mr. McInerney was a callow, facile and extremely entertaining writer from the very first. He had a smart student’s command of technical virtues and an eagerness to show them off. He also had such a tiresome infatuation with 1980s-style decadence that it lingers sentimentally even now. But his stories have grown more elegant, subtle, shapely and reflective over time, to the point where some of the recent works are perfect specimens.He has quietly achieved the literary stature to which he once so noisily laid claim.
Listen to a short sample at www.blackstoneaudio.com.
>It’s not too late to rise to the challenge laid down by “endurance bibliophiles around the world” to read David Foster Wallace’s 1000+-page novel Infinite Jest and post your comments on the Infinite Summer blog.
If you’re looking for something postmodern, but a little shorter to tackle this summer, check out the Los Angeles Times list of 61 Essential Postmodern Reads on its Jacket Copy blog. I’ve only read 11 on the list, and confess to having started and given up on a couple of others, including Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
Author Lisa Lutz has created a winning new private eye in Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, the 28-year-old daughter with a checkered past in a family that thinks it’s normal, although they’re almost all private eyes who have no respect for privacy. Izzy and Rae, her much younger sister, have the business in their blood–Rae has to be reined in from her recreational tailing and shadowing while she’s still in elementary school. Izzy’s older brother David escapes the family business and become a high-powered lawyer, but can’t avoid occasional professional and personal contact with his family, who — sneaky and intensely curious — are very good at what they do.
Recorded Books narrator Christina Moore does a fantastic job with Izzy’s detailing of her life story thus far, including Rae’s troubling disappearance, Uncle Ray’s drinking benders, Izzy’s string of ex-boyfriends, and the cold case that is meant to be Izzy’s final investigation.
First in series of three so far, The Spellman Files will be a hit with Janet Evanovich readers.
Watch a video interview with author Lisa Lutz from Simon & Schuster, publisher of the abridged audio edition.
Check availability of this title in Old Colony Library Network catalog here: http://navigator.ocln.org/?hreciid=%7clibrary%2fmarc%2focln-dynix%7c1148914