Onward And Yupward

TITLE: BRIGHTNESS FALLS

AUTHOR: JAY McINERNEY

PUBLISHER: KNOPF; 416 PAGES; $23

THE BOTTOM LINE: McInerney fulfills his early promise with a funny, grownup portrait of a Lost Generation of the '80s.

THE VERY YOUNG GIVE OFFENSE BY displaying frontal lobes as unwrinkled as their rosy cheeks; and in his first novels, Jay McInerney, the very young author, wrote chapters that seemed a little too cute and a little too easy. Bright Lights, Big City tried hard for the "God, how that boy can write" award once owned by Scott Fitzgerald, but McInerney's next two books, Ransom and Story of My Life,...

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