Review from a Transgressive Fiction Fan
At first glance, this book is pointless. It’s an endless loop of drugs, sex, and parties. It has no plot, it begins and ends in the middle of a sentence, there are too many characters strewn about, too many labels, too many songs, too many places. You finish the book and for a moment you think ‘wait – what? That’s it?’ but you realize yes, that is, in fact, ‘it’. The apathy Ellis invokes in his readers, shows in his characters, is still masterfully done. He breezes past topics like suicide and abortion which, when you give the way they’re treated some thought, make you sick. His narrative choices may seem haphazard with the shifting first person perspective, the shifting tenses (AND THE RANDOM PASSAGE IN FRENCH WHICH I STILL CANNOT UNDERSTAND AFTER GOOGLE TRANSLATE), but it allows him to show how self absorbed his characters are and how differently they view the same things, the same people. He slips in little clues that tie in with events that are mentioned in passing and if you’re paying attention to seemingly random paragraphs and details, you get a greater sense of what Ellis is trying to get across to the reader. I am constantly left wanting to read more of his work.
“Insightful” Review from a Mainstream Reader
I hate Bret Easton Ellis. This book isn’t the only reason, but it was the beginning of my distate for his pretentious observations on terrible people who do terrible things with societies blessing. Whether I’m missing the point or just not the intended audience for his tripe, I ask you why anyone would want to spend the time it takes to read his novels with these characters.