Wednesday, 24 March 2010

"I'm fizzy with excitement"

Yesterday I began reading my fifth Bret Easton Ellis book in the past fortnight, Glamorama. Perhaps I should have read them in published order (his characters often reappear in subsequent novels). So far I have gone through American Psycho, Lunar Park, Less Than Zero and The Informers. American Psycho is, of course, the best, even though large portions of the book are physically nauseating (you try and read a chapter about a woman literally being chewed apart while you're trying to eat your lunch. Unpleasant). It helps that when reading it I can picture Christian Bale (who, incidentally, was utterly perfect for the part).

The thing about Ellis' writing that's so captivating though, is that it's real. Not real in the 'oh yeah, we're all multi-million dollar earning models/actors/Wall Street bastards' sense, but real in the style of the writing. The dialogue is real. If you've never spoken to someone doped up to the eyeballs, maybe you can't imagine how nece
ssary those little ...'s are that Ellis uses. And as corny as it might sound, the pain that Ellis writes into his characters - or, as the case often is, the lack of emotion entirely - is completely visual. It's beautiful.

But the thing that my friend Hayley and I decided was the most perfect thing about Ellis' writing was his use of sarcasm. His books - especially American Psycho and Lunar Park - are brimming with sarcasm. It is, I think, what makes his characters so believable, the same way that Clare and Henry are in (my favourite novel of all time) The Time Traveller's Wife. The conversations they have are written like real conversations, not like book conversations. The language used is how a person would really speak, and that is the mark of a really talented writer.

Hayley has written her own Ellis-loving post on her blog ( which is what inspired me to write mine - I wanted to explain somewhere how much this author has affected me.

Roll on June 2010 and Ellis' new novel, Imperial Bedrooms.


  1. :') you doll. I knew I was friends with you for a reason, soul sista.

  2. apart from my wit, generosity and charm, of course? xxxx


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