|Published April 2009|
How it Ended is Jay McInerney's outstanding collection of twenty-six short stories that span from 1982 to 2008. Prior to this expansive short story collection I had never read McInerney, despite the success of Bright Lights, Big City, Story of My Life, and The Good Life. Now that I have finished How it Ended (which contains some stories that tie into the aforementioned works) I seriously regret not reading him sooner. These stories were exactly what I had hoped they would be - smart, edgy, and bittersweet. In a 2009 New York Times article, "Generation of Benders, Some Tabs Paid in Full," journalist Janet Maslin wrote that McInerney had, " A party-guy reputation borne out by the elements (drugs, infidelity, name dropping and social climbing) that loom large in his fiction. And an etiquette that dictates that when a woman is about to snort cocaine, a gentleman helps by holding back her hair." That sentiment, along with a keen sense of relational awareness is what makes these stories so humanistic and entertaining. Recommended.