Fantasy casting: Story of My Life

I don’t know if anybody else does this, but when I read a book I imagine it as a movie in my head. I start casting actors and directors and before you know it I’m playing my own version of Fantasy Baseball.

One of my new favorite books right now is Story of My Life by Jay McInerney. It was written in 1989, but it felt so fresh. It takes place in 1980s New York from the perspective of Alison Poole, a rich 20-something acting student that is struggling to pay her rent when her estranged father forgets to pay her bills. The novel has been called a modern cross between Gossip Girl and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Alison’s voice is so real that you can imagine her regaling her escapades to you with a cigarette in hand. Amidst all the sex, drugs and parties is a young girl that’s lost her way. It’s hilarious and terribly sad at the same time.

Here’s the weird part: On his website, McInerney confesses that Alison was inspired by his ex-girlfriend, Lisa Druck. When they broke up, she changed her name to Rielle Hunter… Yes, the one that had an affair with John Edwards, former Democratic presidential candidate.

McInerney and Hunter, courtesy of iGossip

He told Page Six (via New York magazine) “When she wasn't out at nightclubs, she was taking acting classes. We dated for only a few months, but in that period, I spent a lot of time with her and her friends, whose behavior intrigued and appalled me to such an extent that I ended up basing a novel on the experience.”

It gets weirder: McInerney’s friend, Bret Easton Ellis loved the character so much, he incorporated Alison Poole in his books, American Psycho and Glamorama.

I recommended this book to my sister several times but she still has not read it. If anybody reads this post and gives Story of My Life a go, I would love to know what you think of it. Now that I know what I know, I’m not sure if I will see Alison the same way again.

I could imagine Chloë Moretz as Alison in my Fantasy Cast. I have a feeling some producer might think of Blake Lively, but I can’t imagine her as obnoxious. Jennifer Lawrence is the new hot ticket in town, and wouldn’t be off the mark. I love this book so much I’m worried a film adaptation wouldn’t live up to my expectations. That’s why I need to make friends in the movie industry, so I can persuade them to let me produce this.

For more on Rielle Hunter’s inspiration for Alison Poole, click here.

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