At some point in your professional life as a media person, have you come into contact with Rielle Hunter, mistress of disgraced ex-presidential candidate John Edwards? Now is your chance to cash in! Hunter, as we've learned, has led a long and storied life among artists, writers, and men she sleeps with in the hopes that they're "powerful." One such man was Jay McInerney, who used a thinly fictionalized Hunter as the narrator of one of his "novels" (like Tumblrs but longer and on paper). That novel, the mostly forgotten Story of My Life, has just been reprinted and is fast climbing the Amazon sales charts. It's currently 226 at the internet bookseller. Last week it was, like, nowhere. Will all these voracious new readers enjoy the book? Michiko Kakutani didn't like it that much back in 1988. (Her review is also an awesome early example of her insane obsession with comparing every jaded young protagonist to Holden fucking Caulfield. Haven't you read like a million books, Michiko?? Find one more example of an adolescent narrator please!)
No doubt the reader is supposed to see Alison's flippancy as a defense mechanism, as a desperate attempt to cover over her own unhappiness and fears. Unfortunately, we never believe in her vulnerability, never even like her. She has none of Holly Golightly's waifish, desperate charm, none of the self-deprecating good humor of Mr. McInerney's earlier heroes. She just seems like another bitter and self-deluding hedonist, adrift in a glitzy world - a spoiled princess, who's as careless with her own life as she is with the feelings of others.
But our own in-house McInerney expert, Sheila, says the book is pretty great. She's read it like three times! She raves: "it's much better than some of his other books, like Model Behavior." We've long since past the age when every single book by McInerney and his bro Bret Easton Ellis was optioned for a crappy film, but this is really a golden opportunity for some inspired director, right? Allison Poole (the Hunter-inspired main character) would be a great role for some actress looking to expand into edgier parts. Anna Paquin? Vanessa Hudgens??? Or hell, get Rielle out of retirement to play herself! She tried acting, once. As we speak our own Video Department is ordering the classic Denzel Washinton vehicle Ricochet, which features a young Lisa Hunter, a.k.a. Lisa Druck, a.k.a. Rielle Hunter.