| ABOUT THE BOOK
In The Good Life, Jay McInerney unveils a story of love, family, conflicting desires, and catastrophic loss in his most powerfully searing work thus far.
Clinging to a semiprecarious existence in TriBeCa, Corrine and Russell Calloway have survived a separation and are wonderstruck by young twins whose provenance is nothing less than miraculous. Several miles uptown and perched near the top of the Upper East Side's social register, Luke McGavock has postponed his accumulation of wealth in an attempt to recover the sense of purpose now lacking in a life that often gives him pause. But on a September morning, brightness falls horribly from the sky, and people worlds apart suddenly find themselves working side by side at the devastated site.
Wise, surprising, and, ultimately, heart-stoppingly redemptive, The Good Life captures lives that allow us to see—through personal, social, and moral complexity—more clearly into the heart of things.
"A real love story . . . with a sympathy and depth new to McInerney's fiction."
—The New York Times
"The Good Life is McInerney's most fully imagined novel as it is his most ambitious and elegiac."
—The New York Review of Books
"A Triumph. . . . His finest novel since Brightness Falls. . . . McInerney's genius is
to eschew the sweeping assumption that we were united rather
than alone in our confusion; that there was a single collective experience
of grief rather than millions of individual ones. . . .
McInerney's filigreed, butter-thick prose and Chekhovian plotting
also bear comparison to the Updike of Couples (1968), a
novel about countercultural eroticism seeping into suburban
mores. Like Updike, McInerney wants to know just how much
history really changes us."
—The Village Voice
"McInerney at his narrative best."
"Ambitious. . . . It's about loss, and it's about hope. They're neck-and-
neck for a long time, but it looks like hope is pulling ahead."
—The Buffalo News
"The Good Life is a . . . thoughtful elegy for a gilded age smashed
"McInerney's elegantly expressed compassion lifts The Good Life
toward real literary authority."
—The Baltimore Sun
"Intelligent, heartfelt and acutely observed . . . and better than
practically anything he's written."
"Rich with engaging narration, telling observations and dialogue
conveyed in virtuoso Manhattanese. . . . McInerney remains one
of the most incisive commentators of our time."
—The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
"A bulwark, a monument to remind us all of what is important in
"A satisfying addition to a growing genre that deploys the imagination
to capture the unimaginable."
—The Miami Herald
"A novel that is both tender and
entertaining . . . about shallowness and what might replace
it [in a] relentlessly secular world, where there are no easy
sources of redemption . . . McInerney's concern is not terrorism
or politics but love: how relationships can disintegrate through
children and routine, the tension between love and sex and
what can keep a union alive, [and he] delivers it with grace
—Alain de Botton, Publishers Weekly
"McInerney probes the human response to tragedy, and
the complexity of human desire, with both precision and empathy.
He is a master at finding the truths we barely admit even
to ourselves; without moralizing, he explores the ways we
use disaster to our own emotional ends, and above all, whether
we're really capable of change. A day that most people said
would change us all forever seems now to have provided only
a vacation from our bad habits. Like the marriages in this
novel, the intensity of feeling just can't last. There have
been a number of 9/11 novels lately, as writers grapple with
what that terrible day means to us. This one is essential."
—Keir Graff, Booklist, starred review
"[McInerney's] New York takes on a life of its own,
becoming as much a character as any of the two-legged kind
. . . Inveterate Gothamites will especially appreciate this
love story between kindred spirits and between city dwellers
and their wounded mecca."
—Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal
"McInerney spurns sanctimony as he beholds tragedies large and small . . . The Good Life is a tinselly but thoughtful elegy for a gilded age smashed to dust."—Alexandra Jacobs, Elle
"One of the sexiest books of the season."—Donald Harington, Paste
"His best book since Bright Lights, Big City . . . a very
subtle, incredibly insightful, heartbreaking story about life
in New York, about marriage, about children and the choices
they force us to make, about love and longing, about the search
for meaning in our lives. It's a book about hope and how we
find it, sustain and lose it, and it's a book about loss and
how we deal with it . . . People wonder what kind of writer
Fitzgerald might have been had he lived. McInerney, his closest
successor, is starting to show us."