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Download How It Ended: New and Collected Stories Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample How It Ended: New and Collected Stories, by Jay McInerney Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (504 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jay McInerney Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the writer whose first novel, Bright Lights, Big City, defined a generation comes a collection of stories drawn from his nearly three-decade career. Whether set in New England, Los Angeles, New York, or the South, they unveil the manic flux of our society as they capture various stages of adulthood: a young man confronting the class system at a summer resort; a young woman holed up in a remote cabin while her boyfriend campaigns for the highest office; a couple whose experiments in sexuality cross every line; a doctor who treats convicts and is coming to terms with his own criminal past; a youthful socialite returning home to nurse her mother; a family celebrating the holidays while mired in loss; and more.

A manifold exploration of delusion, experience, and transformation, these stories display a preeminent writer at the very top of his form.

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Quotes & Awards

  • How It Ended reminds us how impressively broad McInerney’s scope has been and how confidently he has ranged across wide swaths of our national experience…McInerney’s contribution—and it is a major one—is to have revitalized the Irish Catholic expiatory tradition of F. Scott Fitzgerald and John O’Hara…McInerney’s gifts have never been in question. He possesses the literary naturalist’s full tool kit: empathy and curiosity, a peeled eye and a well-tuned ear, a talent for building narratives at once intimate and expansive, plausible and inventive.”

    New York Times Book Review (front page)

  • “[McInerney’s] stories have grown more elegant, subtle, shapely and reflective over time, to the point where some of the recent works are perfect specimens.”

    New York Times

  • “[McInerney] has the storyteller’s gift of making the familiar seem strange, of casting new light on old ground. The results are funny, shocking, and moving.”

    Sunday Telegraph

  • “[McInerney’s] best writing to date, combining a quiet household realism with his gift for pinpointing moments of awkward bafflement.”

    Times Literary Supplement

  • “Despite the sexual mayhem in McInerney’s stories, a stubborn moral reckoning hovers over the writing…[His] openings hook and reel in the reader with a catchy first line [and] the narration moves speedily over familiar territory with the economy of Raymond Carver and the breathless pace of Stephen Dixon. With language this precise, McInerney possesses the skill to be invisible: he refuse to draw the reader’s attention to himself but instead to the stories.”

    Financial Times

  • “Proof that McInerney’s star burns as bright as ever.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “The short story is the perfect measure for [McInerney’s] brand of beautifully distilled prose and dry sophistication.”

    Independent on Sunday

  • “Nobody can channel urban strivers and their shallow pursuits as well as McInerney.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A splendid short-story writer, [McInerney’s] stories are reminiscent of those of F. Scott Fitzgerald, John O’Hara, and Irwin Shaw…A very compelling collection.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Narrator Ray Porter blends sarcasm, wit, unfiltered emotion, and compassion to create a series of tales so realistic and believable they ring true from start to finish. McInerney’s knack for recreating the reality that surrounds us everyday is a perfect fit for Porter’s performance ability. Together they craft stories that reveal the underbelly of society while never failing to entertain.”


  • “Whether it was Edith Wharton at the turn of the 20th century or John Cheever in the 1950s and ’60s, New York City has never lacked for chroniclers of its mores. Perhaps a century from now, cultural historians will plump the works of Jay McInerney to discern what life was like there in the two decades between the explosion of Wall Street wealth and the grim aftermath of 9/11. His keen-eyed depiction of that period is generously displayed in How it Ended…his dark depiction of a slice of modern American life that may be passing away in front of our eyes, as the title of this volume ironically suggests, is no less perceptive and real.”


  • A 2009 Booklist Editors’ Choice for Fiction
  • One of the 2009 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Snem | 2/13/2014

    " It was entertaining but if asked to summarize one of the stories if I said " drugs, adultery, New York" I would be covering like 20 of the stories. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Mike Lindgren | 2/10/2014

    " For a quarter-century now, Jay McInerney has been telling fundamentally the same story: Innocent newcomer to the neon jungle gains the world -- or at least a book contract, a bespoke suit and a gorgeous girlfriend -- only to lose his soul. "How It Ended" presents a dozen amusing but ultimately self-indulgent variations on that theme. The short story is perhaps not the best display case for McInerney's gifts. His characters need narrative time for their world-weary carapaces to crack, revealing hidden depths and vulnerabilities; in the shorter format, their sardonic defense mechanisms come across as shallow and bitchy. (From the WASHINGTON POST, July 8, 2009) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jennifer | 2/9/2014

    " my rating is based on having read just a few of the stories. i will get around to the rest someday, though not soon enough. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ricky | 2/3/2014

    " Where 'The Good Life' left off, McInerney brings it back together with his collection of short stories he's written since the early 80's. I put 'How It Ended' right up there with 'Girls' by Nic Kellman and 'Drown' by Junot Diaz as the best collection of short stories under one cover. With each story being 8-12 pages in length, McInerney does an impressive job of tieing together his normal themes of Bright Light Big City and The Good Life ala his stint as the 80's literary prat pack w/ Bret Easton Ellis. "

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