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Lunar Park


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About the Author

Bret Easton Ellis is the author of four previous novels and a collection of stories, which have been translated into twenty-seven languages.He divides his time between Los Angeles and New York City."


Patrick Bateman, the sociopath of American Psycho, is back, or at least Bret Easton Ellis thinks so. That's Bret Easton Ellis the character, not Bret Easton Ellis the author, except the character is also the author of American Psycho. The truth is, it's hard to sort truth from fiction in Ellis' latest novel. Van Der Beek (who starred as Sean Bateman, Patrick's younger brother in the film adaptation of Ellis's Rules of Attraction) does a fabulous job of playing a nihilistic, bored, paranoid and endlessly irresponsible writer. Though the character is drug-addled for a large portion of the book, Van Der Beek does not portray the stupor in his voice; instead he recounts Ellis's keen observations with the perfect sense of removal and lack of ownership. This distance serves well the horror genre that Ellis flirts with: the listener experiences everything through the main character's eyes, though that character has a reputation for being less than reliable. The Ellis character is done so smoothly that one may think that we are hearing Van Der Beek's natural tone. It is not until hearing him read the smaller roles of the other characters that the listener realizes the range of his capabilities. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, June 27). (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Presented as a novel rather than a faux memoir, Lunar Park, read by James Van Der Beek, attempts to be satirical but is so self-reverential of the lead character/author's flaws, it often sounds like the worst cheap gossip columns or blog. Ellis may be disproving Socrates's proclamation that "an unexamined life is not worth living," be this fiction or not. The prolog sets the mood, dragging on indicatively as the rambling drug-riddled tale swings between fits of semiapologetic smarminess and potential horror. As his own lead character and narrator, Ellis calls on all his past real and fictional demons and creates a privileged world out of familiar pop culture celebrities in a horror mystery that may or may not be purely delusional. There is an audience for this work among the author's fans, but it may be a rather select group. Not recommended.-Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"[Ellis's] most enjoyable novel . . . The story of a doomed marriage blends with a satirical take on upscale suburban angst, a campy horror story about a haunted house, a Frankenstein-like case of a monster unchained and a serious rumination on the damage fathers can do to sons. Ellis stirs these elements into a steamy witches' brew and works his way through to a marvelously elegiac ending, displaying real artistic discipline . . . Even his harshest critics may now have to acknowledge that this versatile, resourceful writer has formidable skills." --"Kirkus, "starred review

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