How It Ended
New and Collected Stories
From the writer whose first novel, Bright Lights, Big City, defined a generation and whose seventh and most recent, The Good Life, was an acclaimed national best seller, a collection of stories new and old that trace the arc of his career over nearly three decades. In fact, the short story, as A. O. Scott wrote in The New York Times Book Review, shows “McInerney in full command of his gifts . . . These stories, with their bold, clean characterizations, their emphatic ironies and their disciplined adherence to sound storytelling principles, reminded me of, well, Fitzgerald and also of Hemingway—of classic stories like ‘Babylon Revisited’ and ‘The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.’ They are models of the form.” Only seven of these stories have ever been collected in a book, but all twenty-six unveil and re-create the manic flux of our society. Whether set in New England, Los Angeles, New York or the South, they capture various stages of adulthood, from early to budding to entrenched to resentful: a young man confronting the class system at a summer resort; a young woman holed up in a remote cabin while her (married) boyfriend campaigns for the highest office of all; a couple whose experiments in sexuality cross every line imaginable; an actor visiting his wife in rehab; a doctor contending with both convicts and his own criminal past; a youthful socialite returning home to nurse her mother; an older one scheming for her next husband; a family celebrating the holidays while mired in loss year after year; even Russell and Corrine Calloway, whom we first met in McInerney's novel Brightness Falls. A manifold exploration of delusion, experience and transformation, these stories display a preeminent writer of our time at the very top of his form.