Sunday, September 16, 2007

Jay McInerney/HOW IT ENDED

This is Jay McInerney's short-story collection, an out-of-print hardcover that's difficult to come by, published in 2000 by Bloomsbury (U.K.). The ten well-crafted stories examine relationships in the light of modern culture, in McInerney's usual (wry, often witty) fashion. Controlled substances, of one kind or another, figure significantly in most of them. I especially enjoyed "Smoke," about a married couple who resolve to give up cigarettes, and how the idea of cheating develops a whole new meaning as a result. Two of the stories were atypical for this author, I thought: "Con Doctor" is told from the perspective of a physician who holds a daily clinic at the local penetentiary, and "The Queen and I" takes the point-of-view of a drug addict who befriends a transvestite hooker. All in all, an interesting collection, particularly for readers who are interested in this author and in short stories.

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