The Last Bachelor by Jay McInerney - review by Simon Baker

Simon Baker

Grow Up

The Last Bachelor


Bloomsbury 216pp £12.99

The title of this collection of short stories nods to The Last Tycoon (1941), F Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished, posthumously published novel. Like Fitzgerald, Jay McInerney has always written about the tragic allure of glamour and wealth, and the terrible acts that people are capable of when they see something they want. This volume is filled with writers, producers and bankers (many of whom have escaped to New York from provincial backgrounds) existing on a diet of parties, drugs and illicit trysts, and in each tale someone is causing pain to someone close.

Its key theme is miscommunication between couples. In almost every story the reader can see that the problems besetting the characters arise from words that are either held back or misunderstood. In ‘Invisible Fences’, a pair of suburban swingers live a life of apparently blissful hedonism but, underneath,

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