Brightness Falls (Vintage Contemporaries) by Jay McInerney

By Jay McInerney

Combining the lyrical statement of F. Scott Fitzgerald with the laser-bright social satire of Evelyn Waugh, Jay McInerney offers us a singular that's stunningly finished and profoundly affecting. 

As he maps the fault traces spreading during the once-impenetrable marriage of Russell and Corrine Calloway and chronicles Russell's wildly bold scheme to grab keep watch over of the publishing condominium at which he works, Jay McInerney creates an elegy for brand new York within the Nineteen Eighties. From the literary chimeras and company raiders to these dispossessed through the pandemonium of cash and tool, Brightness Falls captures a rash period at its second of reckoning and provides truth again to a time that now turns out decidedly unreal.

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Additional info for Brightness Falls (Vintage Contemporaries)

Sample text

The Crown of Thorns crawls over the reef on thousands of tiny podia – tube-feet, through which it also breathes, that extend and flex like hydraulic parts as they fill and empty with fluid from sacs inside the animal’s arms. Gliding along about as fast as the minute hand on a clock (a little faster if it puts on a turn of speed), it moves more like a millipede than (as one might suppose) a severed human hand pulling itself by the fingers over the seabed. Once it gets into position around its favourite food of freshly growing coral, the Crown of Thorns wraps its arms around its object of desire in a grip of death, extrudes one of its two stomachs through its mouth and spews digestive juices over the polyps, turning them into a gooey mess which it sucks back inside itself.

Nearly-trees, sporting ferns fronds rather then needles or leaves, arranged in odd, symmetrical umbrella-shapes. There are also stumpy things that look like green traffic bollards in various stages of emerging from the ground. And there are shrub-sized clubmosses, their stems close-packed with green scales, looking like bendy policeman’s truncheons. You see some strange insects on the ground 12 T H E B O O K O F B A R E LY I M A G I N E D B E I N G S and the plant stems, but there are none buzzing in the air – flying insects will not evolve for another sixty millions years.

And they can do this repeatedly, regardless of how many times the part is amputated, and without a scar (sometimes, two will grow where one was before). They can even regrow parts of internal organs, including eyes and parts of the brain. Axolotls have the good fortune to be the easiest salamanders to breed, maintain and study in lab conditions. These properties, and others, make them ideal for the study of vertebrate limb development but, more than that, they have played a valuable role in the development of regenerative biology.

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