Bret Easton Ellis : No walk in the ‘Lunar Park’

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By Corinne Love

By Corinne Love

Bret Easton Ellis is one of those ‘great American writers’ an author deserving of a title that forces students to read those literary anthologies.

Yet, it will be a while before Ellis is even included in that sort of anthology.

Hardly anthology material, Ellis’s work subjects range between substance and drug abuse, promiscuity, narcissism and nihilism.

Ellis’s works never “sweeten” up; his rhetorical weapon of choice is heavy satire.

For those unacquainted with Bret Easton Ellis, think these two words: “American Psycho.”

Yes, Ellis was the writer who gave the media a new type of villian, stock broker serial murderer, Patrick Bateman.

Devoid of morality and ethics, Ellis’s characters exist in a sort of cultural vacuum.

The characters live in a culture where it is OK to be self absorbed and oblivious.

In fact, Ellis’s characters mock themselves and everyone around them with highly stylized convention.For instance, Ellis’s novel “Glamorama” is centered on fashion models as global terrorists.

Scholars and critics do not see the humor often overlooked in his works, often saying that he is forever stuck in the ’80s.

The Washington Post panned “American Psycho” stating that it was the literary equivalent of a snuff film.

Which brings us to Ellis’s novel “Lunar Park.”

“Lunar Park” is Ellis’s latest conception of waxing philisophical standpoints on the true evil of all places, suburbia.

“Lunar Park” however is a new type of Ellis fiction.

The core of “Lunar Park” is written around Ellis’s protagonist, Bret Easton Ellis.

That is correct, Bret Easton Ellis is the subject of his own novel.

Before you say egomaniac, “Lunar Park” relishes every misconception of Bret Easton Ellis and dramatizes it to the brink of comedy.

Ellis eventually became his own character, enjoying a life of excess and bratty behavior through the ’80’s.

The center of “Lunar Park” deals with Ellis’s approaching middle age ( he’s 42) and his adjustment to living life as devoted father and husband.

Yet the demon of his literary past, a Patrick Bateman impostor extraordinaire, will not allow him the sanity of a life full of adulterous affairs and writing workshops.

As Ellis’s life unravels so does a cumulation of grisly murders inspired by ” American Psycho.”

Not to mention his son is being abducted, his wife is losing her mind, and “Terby” the stuffed creature is tormenting the already fragmented Ellis.

It’s truly horrifying. “Lunar Park” addresses Ellis’s fears up close and personal.

In a November online CPNews link conference, Ellis retorts to his stereotypes ,”Should they be scared of me? Yes – but for a whole other list of reasons.”

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