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Bret Easton Ellis - 2/5/2008 9:26:21 PM   
Diggler


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After watching American Psycho again I wanted to read the book. Before ordering I wiki'd the author, Bret Easton Ellis, and read a little about him. As he re-introduces characters from previous novels I decided to start with his first, Less Than Zero. I found the book ok but I found his style pretty difficult to follow at times. He seems to write in long paragraphs without using many comma's.

Has anyone read any of his other novels such as American Psycho and Rules of Attraction? Does he always write in the same style or was this reflective of the type of language his teenage character, Clay, would have used?  

< Message edited by Diggler -- 2/5/2008 9:27:34 PM >


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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 2/5/2008 11:44:09 PM   
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hmm it's a tough one with Ellis, I love him to bits and have read all of his books, I even waded through Glamorama.  I supposeit's best to start with Less than Zero but his best book is easily American Psycho and you don't have to have read Rules of Attraction to see why this is so.  His style matures, if you think he wrote Less Than Zero when he was 21 etc.  He can be quite inaccessible at times, but I'd say this is more down to the subject matter than his actual writing style, because I never found it hard to work out was was happening in AP but that didn't make it any less hard to read.

He is unflinching in his descriptions and also I find very emotionally detached, which I think is the key to why people find his books hard to read, he can describe the most gruesome act but put no form of morality (good or bad) on it.  Like in Less Than Zero the main character, I found, was very emotionless, he could describe his friend killing himself with drugs etc and that was it, it was done, his feeling about it were pretty much irrelevant.  This be very hard for a reader because it forces us to draw our own conclusions, and also it makes our "hero" an rather unsympathetic character, which again can be very unsettling and frustrating as a reader.  This is mainly the reason why I think he is such an amazing author! Love him!

Hope this made sense, i have had a few glasses o' wine....    

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 2/5/2008 11:55:45 PM   
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I think it got a mixed reception, but I really enjoyed Lunar Park from a couple of years ago.

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 3/5/2008 12:42:24 AM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Boring Prophet

I think it got a mixed reception, but I really enjoyed Lunar Park from a couple of years ago.


oh yes, I loved it, especially the first bit! Couldn't reccommend it more

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 3/5/2008 1:49:32 PM   
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Well I've read Less Than Zero, American Psycho, and Lunar Park, and I have to say that I enjoyed American Psycho least out of the three. I still thought it was ok, but I doubt I will ever go back to it, whereas I could see myself reading either of the other two again. If I had to pick a favourite then it would probably be Less Than Zero. That is the only book I have ever read from start to finish in one sitting (the length probably had something to do with that though!).

Incidently, I did hear a year or two back that Lunar Park was being adapted for film. Not sure how true this is, but if done right it could make for a very creepy, darkly comic film.

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 3/5/2008 2:32:57 PM   
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Is this the guy that wrote the Dexter novels?

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 3/5/2008 3:26:52 PM   
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I've only read American Psycho, which I really enjoyed. It makes the film seems a bit lacklustre, but the film definitely improves the book when you can apply the outstanding performance of Bale to Bateman. I read it a couple of times, before and after the film.

Will have to check out Lunar Park and Less Than Zero (Bit of a rubbish film for that one though!)


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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 3/5/2008 3:32:51 PM   
Amelie_Scotland


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quote:

ORIGINAL: paul_ie86

Is this the guy that wrote the Dexter novels?


No, that's Jeff Lindsay if I remember correctly.
American Psycho was a hard book for me to read, it was the closest I've ever come to being ill when reading something (but Haunred by Chuck Palahniuk came pretty close too) but despite that it's a very funny book too. It's a satricial masterpiece in my opinion and Bateman is an excellent villain/anti-hero.

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 6/5/2008 6:56:06 PM   
Rotary Ten


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I've read Less Than Zero, American Psycho, The Rules of Attraction (in that order) and I'm reading Lunar Park at the moment. The Rules of Attraction would be my favourite read of those, I enjoyed the way he split the narrative between all the different characters. I think the film version is underrated as well, even if it does alter the plot a bit too much, it retains the character of the novel. I wasn't too impressed with Less Than Zero, other than being a promising debut novel, I didn't enjoy it as much, although it would be worth rereading it. American Psycho is the best written of the three, the bits in between the violence (which was near-impossible to read) are usually very funny and makes Patrick Bateman a fascinating, even sympathetic character. The film version is obviously trimmed down a bit, but is excellent and remains Christian Bale's best performance to date (which is saying something).

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 7/5/2008 9:47:32 AM   
BigKovacs


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Amelie_Scotland

quote:

ORIGINAL: paul_ie86

Is this the guy that wrote the Dexter novels?


No, that's Jeff Lindsay if I remember correctly.
American Psycho was a hard book for me to read, it was the closest I've ever come to being ill when reading something (but Haunred by Chuck Palahniuk came pretty close too) but despite that it's a very funny book too. It's a satricial masterpiece in my opinion and Bateman is an excellent villain/anti-hero.


I totally agree, it was the first book I ever read which had thrown usual narrative out of the window and really did read like the diary of a mad man. Brilliant.

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 7/9/2009 11:25:39 PM   
Piles


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Ellis is probably my favourite author right now. I still have Glamorama and Lunar Park to read, but I've  gone through everything else he's done like that *clicks fingers*. Certainly both an entertaining and an intelligent author.

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 8/9/2009 8:51:32 AM   
Super Hans


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I read The Rules Of Attraction and Lunar Park a few years back. I enjoyed both of them although thinking back I don't really remember a great deal of Lunar Park but I did like the way it was kind of a weird mix of autobiography and supernatural-type fiction.

I've tried and given up on American Psycho twice (I think the furthest I got was about a 3rd of the way through) but it was the first of his books I attempted so maybe I might try again and be patient with it.

I've also had Glamorama sat on my shelf for 3 or 3 years. I did read a few chapters ages ago but wasn't sure if it was really going to be my cup of tea - seemed more like American Psycho than the two that I read & finished. I'll probably read it eventually!

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 8/9/2009 5:27:14 PM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Amelie_Scotland

.
American Psycho was a hard book for me to read, it was the closest I've ever come to being ill when reading something (but Haunred by Chuck Palahniuk came pretty close too) but despite that it's a very funny book too. It's a satricial masterpiece in my opinion and Bateman is an excellent villain/anti-hero.


I don't think he can be considered an anti-hero as, as far as I can remember, Bateman has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I'm not a huge fan of it myself, a bit overrated. Elli's books are hard to like in general as they are filled with so many shallow narcissists. and a lot of characters are more or less carbon copies of each other.

On a side note has anyone heard of the magazine Peaches Geldof created called 'Disappear here'? (famous line from Less Than Zero). She has failed to realise that she is exactly the type of vacuous idiot the book seems so critical of.

< Message edited by Pat_Mustard -- 8/9/2009 5:28:38 PM >


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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 8/9/2009 5:32:33 PM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pat_Mustard

quote:

ORIGINAL: Amelie_Scotland

.
American Psycho was a hard book for me to read, it was the closest I've ever come to being ill when reading something (but Haunred by Chuck Palahniuk came pretty close too) but despite that it's a very funny book too. It's a satricial masterpiece in my opinion and Bateman is an excellent villain/anti-hero.


I don't think he can be considered an anti-hero as, as far as I can remember, Bateman has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I'm not a huge fan of it myself, a bit overrated. Elli's books are hard to like in general as they are filled with so many shallow narcissists. and a lot of characters are more or less carbon copies of each other.


I'd argue he is an anti hero. When reading the book, despite all the sickening things Bateman did i actually wanted him to come out of it all ok. I was rooting for him which is quiet shocking when looking at his actions but i couldn't help it. I'm certain loads of other people feel the same.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pat_Mustard
On a side note has anyone heard of the magazine Peaches Geldof created called 'Disappear here'? (famous line from Less Than Zero). She has failed to realise that she is exactly the type of vacuous idiot the book seems so critical of.


Wow, she is even more idiotic than i thought she was.

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 8/9/2009 6:05:52 PM   
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American Psycho is probably THE most uncomfortable book ive ever read (actually still reading it at the moment) but there's no denying the fact is is EXTREMELY readable. As put earlier, having seen the film, it does make it a little easier to get into.

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 10/9/2009 4:26:51 PM   
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Got American Psycho a few days ago, about 100 pages into it. Not much killing yet, some bits are very funny but he can over do the clothing descriptions. You can really see the influence on the Ross O'Carroll Kelly books (an Irish series, imagine a rich kid cross between Bateman and Gordon Gecko).

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 14/9/2009 9:53:49 AM   
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Cut straight to Psycho. It definitely falls high on my favourite books list but any attempts to read anything else by him I've found fall short. I'm currently struggling through The Informers but I have quite a lack of interest in it. It does get graphic, but someone in the thread mentioned earlier the book "Haunted" by Chuck Palahniuk, you could prep yourself by reading this first (or at least the short story "Guts") and I feel American Psycho would come off a little tame after that.

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RE: Bret Easton Ellis - 15/9/2009 12:02:52 PM   
BigKovacs


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From: Textile Street.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc


quote:

ORIGINAL: Pat_Mustard

quote:

ORIGINAL: Amelie_Scotland

.
American Psycho was a hard book for me to read, it was the closest I've ever come to being ill when reading something (but Haunred by Chuck Palahniuk came pretty close too) but despite that it's a very funny book too. It's a satricial masterpiece in my opinion and Bateman is an excellent villain/anti-hero.


I don't think he can be considered an anti-hero as, as far as I can remember, Bateman has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I'm not a huge fan of it myself, a bit overrated. Elli's books are hard to like in general as they are filled with so many shallow narcissists. and a lot of characters are more or less carbon copies of each other.


I'd argue he is an anti hero. When reading the book, despite all the sickening things Bateman did i actually wanted him to come out of it all ok. I was rooting for him which is quiet shocking when looking at his actions but i couldn't help it. I'm certain loads of other people feel the same.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pat_Mustard
On a side note has anyone heard of the magazine Peaches Geldof created called 'Disappear here'? (famous line from Less Than Zero). She has failed to realise that she is exactly the type of vacuous idiot the book seems so critical of.


Wow, she is even more idiotic than i thought she was.


I don't think Bateman is an anti-hero. He's not anything really and that's the point, American Psycho is a moral dead zone.

And yeah, Peaches really did miss the point there... unless she was being ironic. Eurgh.

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