Imagine becoming a bestselling novelist while still in college and almost immediately famous and wealthy, and then seeing your insufferable father reduced to a bag of ashes in a safety-deposit box, even as your celebrity drowns in a sea of vilification, booze, and drugs. Imagine having a second chance, as the Bret Easton Ellis of this remarkable ...
Imagine becoming a bestselling novelist while still in college and almost immediately famous and wealthy, and then seeing your insufferable father reduced to a bag of ashes in a safety-deposit box, even as your celebrity drowns in a sea of vilification, booze, and drugs. Imagine having a second chance, as the Bret Easton Ellis of this remarkable novel is given. Now married to the mother of his previously unacknowledged son and living in the suburban hinterlands, Ellis here recounts the unraveling of this new life. He glimpses a disturbing (fictional) character at his fateful Halloween party, and a car identical to his late father's; his stepdaughter's doll violently 'malfunctions', and their house undergoes bizarre transformations. Connecting these aberrations to graver events - a series of grotesque murders, and the epidemic disappearance of young boys - Ellis struggles to defend his family even as his wife, their therapists, and the police insist that his apprehensions are rooted instead in substance abuse and egomania. "Lunar Park" confounds one expectation after another, passing through comedy and mounting psychological and supernatural horror toward an astonishing resolution - about love and loss, fathers and sons - in what is surely the most powerfully original and moving novel of an extraordinary career.
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Lunar Park is a unique twist of fact and fiction. Elis crafts a fictitious life around the basic truths in his life. In Lunar Park the main character is Bret Easton Ellis who has written Less Than Zero, American Psycho, and Glamorama. When a personal tragedy occurs ellis is forced to grow up and move to the suburbs and become a family man. Not long into this lifestyle bizzare events seem to be haunting ellis. Basically a tale of relationships and forgiveness with the common ellis style attached to it this novel falls short of his previous work. I definately see some influence from Danielewski's House Of Leaves intentional or not it is in there. If you are looking for the same shocking scenes you experienced in American Psycho you will not find them here. Still worth reading i emjoyed the change of pace for an ellis book.
May 17, 2007
Ellis writing horror? I'm not buying it.
Lunar Park reads like a cross between House of Leaves and The Dark Half. Whereas those were both very chiling reads, Lunar Park is not and instead comes across as an indulgent self promoting gimic. Ellis casts himself as the protagonist and after a compelling first chapter the novel falls flat under it's ridiculously unbelievable plot. I'm not sure if it's unbelievable because it's horror and I don't think Ellis is a good horror writer or because it was just plan bad. Maybe it's a combination of both. Don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan of Ellis and his writing is as crisp and breezy and enjoyable as ever but the story stinks. The plot in a nutshell: Ellis' house is morphing into another house, his daughter's stuffed bird is haunted, he's receiving blank emails from his dead father, Patrick Bateman (crazy guy from American Psycho) is real and recreating the murders from American Psycho and young boys are coming up missing. Bret is constantly drunk and drugged up so we're unsure if it's real or all in his head. Ellis is a great yet stagnant writer who has essentially been rewritng the same story over and over again. I can understand wanting to branch out but this novel is disappointing, convoluted and collapses under the weight of it's ambition. Since Glamorama, Ellis is hitting a downward spiral in nonsensical bloated egomaniacal novels and Lunar Park is no exception. At one point in the novel Bret proclaims this will be his last novel. Let's hope that's true if he plans on writing more drivel like this.
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