John Dugdale

Brightness Revisited

The Good Life

By

Bloomsbury 354pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Set in 1987 and published in 1992, Brightness Falls was Jay McInerney’s attempt to emulate Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities by pinning down 1980s Manhattan. It depicts editor Russell Calloway leading a coup at his publishing house with the backing of the financial mogul Bernie Melman; on the verge of success, he’s foiled by that year’s Wall Street crash, which causes Melman, a twentieth-century replica of Trollope’s Melmotte, to pull out.

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