Newest Review: ... of a non-fictional life; that of the author himself, Brett Easton Ellis. The way that he portrays himself, or his fictional, supposedl... more
A walk in Lunar Park for this superb novelist
Lunar Park - Bret Easton Ellis
Member Name: Jojoborne
Lunar Park - Bret Easton Ellis
Advantages: Great read. Page turner. A must for Ellis or Bateman fans.
Disadvantages: Not to be left around for young children to pick up.
Published by Picador in 2005. 453 pages.
Although not an immediate sequel to 'American Psycho', Lunar Park is undoubtedly a follow-up of sorts to one of the most controversial novels of all time.
One either hated American Psycho or loved it. I was one of the smutty romantics who loved the bestselling novel, which was a stark look at the yuppie uprising of the eighties and a damn fine read to boot. The novel garnered even more attention through the notoriety of being banned; that and the fact that it contained explicit scenes of sex and violence.
So it was with great relish that I looked forward to reading Lunar Park.
I was also a little apprehensive as well as curious because although American Psycho was a brilliantly crafted sudo-seductive rant on life seen through the eyes of a would-be serial killer, it was also, at times, a little heavy going; Ellis fastidiously labeling and listing each character's likes and dislikes throughout. It left the reader feeling a little bogged down at times as there are only so many things I need to know about an Armani suit or tie.
So, I was obviously concerned that Lunar Park would contain much of the same. I was gladly wrong about that.
Lunar Park contains much of the same brilliant writing as American Psycho and alludes to the main character from that novel, namely Patrick Bateman. Lunar Park however, doesn't dwell on lists and description. To be fair to its predecessor the lists and descriptions were a big part of that whole 'I want to be the best of the best' yuppie status and way of life. Lunar Park is actually a fictional account of a non-fictional life; that of the author himself, Brett Easton Ellis.
The way that he portrays himself, or his fictional, supposedly real self, is so well crafted that it does have you questioning yourself as to whether it is fiction or not. Of course this is what Brett Easton Ellis wanted. He pokes fun at the media and press and gets his own back on the critics while still managing a tongue in cheek dig at himself.
In my opinion he is one of the most underrated writers in modern fiction and although Lunar Park does differ somewhat from his other works it is, in a fashion, a celebration of them all and a damn fine read and shows just how much this man was born to tell a good yarn.
The Fictional Brett Easton Ellis of this novel becomes a bestselling author at a very tender age, while still trawling his way through college. He witnesses the demise of his father and is at odds to come to terms with his feelings as the relationship was never based on anything solid. Brett descends into a life of drink, drugs and depression.
Married to a famous actress and father to her son, a son who does not acknowledge Brett as his father, his life begins to fall apart with some devastating repercussions. He is soon spiraling in and out of reality and becomes convinced his demons have come to life in order to put an end to his suffering. The story takes on a supernatural twist as the lead character struggles to decipher fiction from fantasy.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I kind of knew, or hoped, that I would but it surprised me in the fact that I found it so enjoyable. It was a pleasant surprise because I found it immensely entertaining and rewarding.
The novel is a character study in the life of a struggling writer and his relationship with a son who has long given up on him and also the relationship with his own father.
The fact that he starts to become so paranoid in the belief that Patrick Bateman (the nasty lead character from American Psycho) may be coming after him is a nice twist to the story. The fact that Bateman is a fictional character from one of our supposed fictional characters novels who comes to life to haunt his real life creator who is a fictional character based on a real life character himself is nothing short of genius.
Ellis makes the reader feel both empathy and hate for his main character and he does it in such a believable way that you do forget that this is fiction. You forget that is, up until the last quarter of the book when the story takes on a supernatural turn and becomes a thrilling horror story that were it a rollercoaster would garner the white knuckle status without any problems.
I found it both deep and yet subtly smooth and engaging. I felt myself flowing along with this character and thinking how much more can he fail and how can he mend his life. I almost felt as if I wanted him to fail more to keep the story plunging into the abyss of madness but secretly hoping he would win out in the end as all anti-heroes do.
If you've read Brett East Ellis before or not, you would enjoy this novel, but I will say that it would be one hundred percent in your favour to have read American Psycho first as it helps to know all the little nuances and references that appear throughout and it also makes you appreciate just how clever it is.
I love the fact that the last line of the blurb on the back cover reads...'And remember as you hold this book in your hands: all of it really happened, every word is true'.
Praise for Lunar Park
'The year's most interesting novel... A triumphant piece of storytelling from a rebel whose work is controversial precisely because its sinister themes are so dexterously written...Lunar Park is haunting because its many ghosts deceive us with such urgent honesty' - Christopher Cleave, The Sunday Telegraph.
'Lunar Park is an unnerving and funny puzzle of a book: undoubtedly the real thing, as it were' - Mark Lawson, The Guardian.
'As always Ellis is superb...Lunar park demonstrates a reinvigorated talent that is all the more impressive for its funny and frightening portrayal of failure' -Siddhartha Deb, The Daily Telegraph.
'Great emotional complexity and depth...it is a very interesting ride by an always interesting novelist - and, as such, is one worth taking' - Douglas Kennedy, The Times.
'An enormously entertaining novel, powered by a celebrity fun entirely absent in the writing of the generation of American writers who succeeded this' - Matt Thorne, The Independent.
Other works by Brett Easton Ellis
The Rules of Attraction
Less Than Zero
A definite recommended read from me but I would insist that you read American Psycho first and not pre-judge Lunar Park in doing so. Hope someone gets to enjoy this book as much as I did.
Summary: A fictional account of a non fictional world lost in fiction.