It's official: the 90s are history. In his new memoir, Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (Algonquin), David Goodwillie waxes bittersweet on a decade spent drifting through dot-com-crazy NYC. It's a familiar story--young, privileged writer full of idealism and promise succumbs to the lure of easy money and even easier drugs--that drops a lot of familiar names. But Goodwillie's tale is refreshingly free of moralizing--the worst effect of a staggering coke habit appears to have been an embarrassing nosebleed at the Four Seasons--and of the rhetorical excesses that mark more gonzo contributions to the genre (cf. Toby Young, also reading this week). Instead, he spins a candid story about good luck, bad decisions, and missed opportunities. At times Goodwillie can be dorkily sincere, but the book is a revealing document of an electric, preposterous moment that slipped away as fast as the NASDAQ fell. Thu 7/13, 7:30 PM, Barnes & Noble, 1441 W. Webster, 773-871-3610.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Alexandra Rowley.