Books: The Rich Are Different

Jay McInerney writes about the impact of 9/11 on two affluent couples. Why is it so hard to care?

You can absolutely, 100% see why this book seemed like a good idea at the time. Two Manhattan couples are busily glossing over the structural flaws in their marriages and in their personal value systems, minding their own business, when Sept. 11 arrives to smack them upside their well-coiffed heads. And who better to snap the reaction shot than Jay McInerney, novelist to the cool and moneyed, author of Bright Lights, Big City? Midlife epiphanies, check. Astute social observation, check. Reality check, check.

So why isn't The Good Life (Knopf; 368 pages) a better book? McInerney's eye is indisputably keen--witness such...

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