The Fuckup

Young: a starstruck dunderhead panting to get Into A-list parties
photo: Sylvia Plachy
Young: a starstruck dunderhead panting to get Into A-list parties

At the end of How to Lose Friends, he gets engaged (he's now married) and returns to live in London—a Hollywood-style happy ending that's already garnered him a big movie deal, with Young writing the script. (Hugh Grant turned down the lead, but Young is now dreaming of Ewan McGregor.) This "narrative arc" suggests that all he really had to do was escape the wicked ways of American culture. But the book is more evidence—if more were needed—that Young is still too busy finding himself endlessly fascinating to turn his intelligence outward. "A lot of people who know me believe the book all the way up to the conclusion in which I claim to be this more mature, more modest human being. They go, yeah, right, you haven't changed—you just wanted an ending."

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