Jay McInerney’s latest anthology, “How It Ended: New and Collected Stories,” gathers McInerney’s new and previously published work from nearly 30 years of writing. And while the book pulls from multiple decades, the mark of a great fiction writer consistently shines through. The Oregonian writes:
Without losing his early jokey way with language or his ironic wit, he finds new depths of understanding… smart-alecky but wise, straight up but enamored with the clever turn of phrase, a keen observer living up to the classic Henry James definition of a writer: a person upon whom nothing is lost.
But as any reader familiar with McInerney knows, many of the stories probe the lowest points of the human experience, prompting Barnes & Noble Review to write that McInerney “seems stubbornly determined to write about cocaine, infidelity, and cigarette smoking for the rest of his career; if, that is, he’s not writing about money, models, and wanton fame seekers.” Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing; instead of an unhealthy fascination with the horrifying, this pattern might more accurately reflect the author’s familiarity with the culture that surrounds him. “How It Ended’ reminds us how impressively broad McInerney’s scope has been and how confidently he has ranged across wide swaths of our national experience,” says the New York Times.”