the good life?

Posted on July 24, 2006. Filed under: Books, Family |

I finished listening to The Good Life by Jay McInerney last week. It took me a while to get into it because I really didn’t care about the characters living the rich life in NYCat first. I then realized that you aren’t supposed to because, not too far into the story the World Trade Centre comes down and you are instantly bonded to the characters in an almost haunting fashion. The author, having lived so close to the site had watched the people jump from the building and details it so vividly in the book. Every detail sticks with you.

There was one beautiful excerpt from the book, which I wish I had the printed copy of so I could give a direct quote, but two of the characters who are having an affair are talking about the house they are getting away to and he is describing it as a constant — one that will always be there and they will haunt it as memories or as ghosts. As lovers. Forever. It was such a shockingly vivid image, and with moving into my grandparents’ house this week, I was instantly in tears thinking of the two of them and their life together. Then I was thinking of my life together with Brian and how my grandmother always asked me about any fellows I was interested in. I was thinking about if I do have a wedding (which I’m actualy liking the idea of now) and how I would go and tell her all about it at the cemetary. And tears were now flowing as I drove down the highway all because of that image.

The Good Life is a story of quashed hope throughout. Any faint glimmer of perceived reality and hope and desire become mere memories.

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4 Responses to “the good life?”

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Oy. I’m verklempt!

My Granny in Scotland always used to ask me about my boyfriends and of course I never had any! I think your Grandparents are watching over you. Exciting!

“Think of it this way, ” he said. “You can’t really own a house like this. A hundred years from now, Casey and her children will be dead and gone, and this house will still be standing on this dune, and we’ll be a part of its history. And as long as one of us is alive, it will be part of ours. And afterward, we’ll wander its halls as wraiths, calling out to each other and making ghostly love, scaring the hell out of the people who think they own it with our unearthly moaning and yelping. A house like this needs a great love story.”

I stumbled on your site while looking for a quote myself in this novel. So I figured I’d look for both, and I did.

I had this same initial feeling about this novel. I recommend reading The Kite Runner — great novel!

Okay I took a look around your site and it seems you’ve already read Kite Runner!

Oh my goodness daren, you are fantastic! It’s such a beautiful quote — brought tears to my eyes to read it. You made my day!

I also loved The Kite Runner — but it was a different kind of emotional involvement. I guess, though, now that I think about it, I was attached to characters because of the tragedies they faced. The fragility of hope and the reality of despair. I wonder what it is that makes me, or I think a lot of people, become attracted to these characters. Their desperation.

I just started listening to The Myth of You and Me, and I was instantly attached. Kind of wish I was reading it instead, but glad to have been involved with the story so far. I find similarities between myself and the main character, so I’m interested in seeing where the story leads.

Thanks again!


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