December 07, 2004

The Rules of Attraction

3 out of 5 stars

Not too sure about this one…

I picked it as a trashy novel to read when I couldn't be arsed with my set English Lit texts… But it's not really that trashy. It's a bit confusing if I'm honest.

It's writen from the perspectives of the three main characters, Sean, a terminally handsome cynic, Paul, an almost-romantic bisexual, and Lauren, hopelessly obsessed with an ex in Europe. It's set in an Eightys American college, complete with drugs, alcoholics and mindless sex. It's kinda wired. It's really hard to get your head round the plot when it's told from the view points of (at least) three different people, sometimes unnamed.

Despite that, it is quite good, and must be pretty memorable for me to be writing a review on it…

Anyone else read it, enjoyed it, hated it???

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. I'm a fan of Bret Easton Ellis and I enjoyed it. If you read any of his other works you will find them of a similar vein. He doesn't really tell stories in a conventional sense. He presents characters at a point in their lives who do some things and then he just stops the novel. Characters don't really change or learn anything about themselves. His works are a sort of bleak depiction of people who are disillusioned with life.

    A lot of the characters have intertwining stories across his novels and I enjoyed picking out the references he makes. Camden features heavily as a central focal point where characters know each other from. Many of the novels are set in the 80s and poke fun at the culture of the time, American Pyscho especially so.

    A small warning if you have never read Ellis' other works such as American Psycho or Glamorama. They tend to contain a lot of explicit and graphically described sexual violence which some people may find offensive. The Rules of Attraction is quite moderate in its content. Don't let that put you off though. I have found his books brilliantly funny in a dark and acerbic way.

    07 Dec 2004, 21:21

  2. Cool…

    I did enjoy it, it just struck me as odd, perhaps because I was expecting more of a conventional story, rather than, as you say, a presentation of characters.

    I'm going to read American Psycho, as soon as I can get my hands on a copy… it's a very popular book!

    08 Dec 2004, 19:55

  3. hannah

    i read it. i really like it, the film's not bad either. if you enjoyed the rules of attraction then you'd probably enjoy the secret history by donna tartt, she went to college with easton-ellis and they were friends. i think one of them dedicated a book to the other. [i'm not sure which book or which way round]. and you can tell that they probably helped each othger out with the writing process, or share similar ways of thinking through how their books are written. the secret history is one of my favourite books, you can tell it's a first novel and some of it is slightly off but it's an amazing plot and the characterisation is good too.

    09 Dec 2004, 14:18

  4. Jaroslav

    I'm a fellow student of Literature a few miles down the road and came upon your blog quite by accident but thought it worth a post to say that The Rules of Attraction is indeed serious literature. Ellis' sardonic tone seems vacuous and hollow but that's only because it mirrors the characters he portrays. Me and many other fans consider him as important and in a similar vein to Dostoevsky. Happy reading, hope you get into his stuff

    10 Jan 2005, 18:43

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