I recall reading "Story of my life" and loving it, and this was McInerney follow-up book. No doubt about it - a far more ambitious project. Deeper characters, richer settings, more complex and intrincate story development and vocabulary. And I do not think McInerney got near enough literary credit for his switcharoo, for I think ths to be an admirable book. It still packs in the witticisms that were expected in a follow-up to a flippant tour de force such as Story of my Life, yet there is also far more depth to everything. And, again, I was a captive of McInerney's prose. Though not as easy to read, it is a still a delight. McInerney's writing is elegant and alive. The characters are all flawed and quite real, and the occasional stereotype allows the reader to feel somewhat smart in a book that otherwise woud possibly be too erudite and Oscar-Wildish for our century. In Story of my Life, McInerney was a musician that solo'd in a jazz bar and simply had fun. In Brightness Falls, he puts on the tux and directs a complete orchestra through a far more complex piece. He does an admirabe job. As far as I am concerned, Story of My Life and Brightness Falls represent his best 2 books to this day.