Beginning 14 years ago with Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney has proven himself many times over "a superb and humane social critic (with) a sharp but forgiving eye for human frailty, and a considerable gift for comic mastery" (Newsweek).
With Model Behavior, McInerney's sixth novel, that comic mastery is on full, hilarious display. Connor McKnight is a man whose avocations -- film, Zen, and Japanese literature -- are wildly remote from his current employ in celebrity journalism in contemporary Manhattan. Moreover, his longtime girlfriend, the fashion model Philomena, suddenly seems remote herself. None of his flirting obsessions -- a gorgeous stripper, a meaningful future, the sister with whom he survived a fantastically addled childhood -- can assuage his anxieties; nor can his only ally, a heroically neurotic writer with problems all his own. And so, with the holidays bearing down on him, Connor gropes his hapless way toward the right things even as he is relentlessly pursued by all the wrong.
The seven stories also included span McInerney's career and, in their exploration of the varieties of delusion, fame, and experience, demonstrate his rare ability to capture the manic flux of our society.