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The Rules Of Attraction (Contemporary American Fiction)

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Through vignettes told in each of the characters's voices, readers have a kaleidoscopic view of clashing expectations and crushing frustrations, of adolescent dreams fueled by inchoate desires. The Rules of Attraction is a poignant--and sometimes hilarious--evocation of college life in the 1980s.


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Through vignettes told in each of the characters's voices, readers have a kaleidoscopic view of clashing expectations and crushing frustrations, of adolescent dreams fueled by inchoate desires. The Rules of Attraction is a poignant--and sometimes hilarious--evocation of college life in the 1980s.

30 review for The Rules Of Attraction (Contemporary American Fiction)

  1. 4 out of 5

    S

    The following is a true story. I was staying over at the boy's house. We were post-coital and all of a sudden he remembered he had to go to a friend's house and party with him for four hours. I opted to wait for him in his bedroom. This was uncommon because whatever, it was just sex, we didn't wait around for each other. But I was in between places, so I didn't have much of a choice. I went down to the kitchen and found The Rules of Attraction on the stove. I opened it up in the middle while eati The following is a true story. I was staying over at the boy's house. We were post-coital and all of a sudden he remembered he had to go to a friend's house and party with him for four hours. I opted to wait for him in his bedroom. This was uncommon because whatever, it was just sex, we didn't wait around for each other. But I was in between places, so I didn't have much of a choice. I went down to the kitchen and found The Rules of Attraction on the stove. I opened it up in the middle while eating a frozen dinner and drinking watermelon flavored Smirnoff. At first I thought the narrator was a girl. What a slut. But then a chapter in I realized it was Paul Denton. The book got sadder and sadder but I loved it. The boy came home and kissed me and noticed I was reading it. The next time he came over he brought it along with him and told me I could borrow it and smiled. I finished the book two weeks later. I'd kept going, then read the back cover and raised my eyebrows when I saw that Brett Easton Ellis was a moralist. I started from the beginning. Everything changed. I finished it. I handed it back to the boy, along with a drawing I made for him. "What are we doing?" I asked him, because I thought he liked me. "Uh, I don't want a relationship right now. Maybe we should end this," he said, and I said, "No. Me neither. Yeah." He hugged me goodbye.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    ”So I stand against the wall, listen to REM, finish the beer, get more, keep my eye on the Freshman girl. Then some other girl, Deidre I think her name is, black spiked hair that already looks dated and trendy, black lipstick, black fingernail polish, black kneesocks, black shoes, nice tits, okay body, Senior, comes over and she’s wearing a black halter top even though it’s like forty below in the room and she’s drunk and coughing like she has T.B., swigging Scotch. I’ve seen her stealing Dante ”So I stand against the wall, listen to REM, finish the beer, get more, keep my eye on the Freshman girl. Then some other girl, Deidre I think her name is, black spiked hair that already looks dated and trendy, black lipstick, black fingernail polish, black kneesocks, black shoes, nice tits, okay body, Senior, comes over and she’s wearing a black halter top even though it’s like forty below in the room and she’s drunk and coughing like she has T.B., swigging Scotch. I’ve seen her stealing Dante in the bookstore.” Bret Easton Ellis, in describing this girl, gives us those extra descriptive terms that make us give Deidre a second look. Coughing, swigging, and stealing. Okay, so she is a bit trashy, a bit goth, a bit too easy, maybe, but any girl that steals Dante would definitely have perked my interest back in the day. The music is loud so I’d have to nuzzle up to her ear. She probably smells faintly still of the perfume she put on earlier, but her skin has probably also started to soak up some of the aromas from the party. I’d tell her, I saw you stealing Dante. Now Sean is way more worried about banging the cute freshman girl.... Why?... because she is garden-fresh, practically just hatched. She hasn’t been initiated into the Camden Liberal Arts college tradition of swill, sweat, and semen. Interesting enough, Camden is probably the most famous college in recent American literary history. Writers Ellis, Jonathan Lethem, and Jill Eisenstadt all attended the very expensive Bennington College in Vermont. All have used Camden as a fictional universe for their Bennington experiences. The author Donna Tartt also attended Bennington, but in her novel The Secret History, she uses the fictional name of Hampden. Camden. Hampden. I do believe there is literary collusion going on. No Russians as far as I can tell were involved. Sean has a stalker, a sweet secret admirer, who leaves him love notes in his mail box. ”It is simple. I watch him. He reveals himself in dark contours. Everything I believe in floats away when I witness him, say, eating or crossing the boundaries of a crowded room. I feel a scourge. I have his name written on a sheet of pale blue paper that is tissue thin.” She is a ghost throughout the book as we whiplash between different narrators who all reveal pieces of what has happened. Sometimes their accounts differ, and sometimes the omission of facts from one narrator, in particular, reveals much about how far they are from understanding what they truly desire. Sometimes they lie. The task for the reader is to evaluate what we are told until the truth becomes a glittering, but tarnished, pearl. So I’ve sort of introduced Sean to you, as he is tucking Deidre into his back pocket in case he needs her while he attempts to catch the eye of cute freshman. As the plot develops, his life becomes more complicated as he finds himself trapped in a confusing, obsessive relationship (sexship) with Lauren. To add more spice to the caldron of lust, he also is having sex with...Paul? Is he? As this triangle acquires more weight, we start to understand the inability of any of these characters to get passed impulsive desires and find any meaning in love. ”’He likes him. He likes her. I think she likes someone else, probably me. That’s all. No logic.’” Ask that same question of these people a week later and the corners of the triangle will point in different or all new directions. It is all fluid and meaningless, but not without psychological mutilation. Remember the stalker? ”The seeds of love have taken hold and if we can’t burn together, I’ll burn alone.” Going to class at Camden seems optional. It is certainly low on the list of priorities. These kids are being washed up on the shores of a hedonistic island, and if anyone is feeling inhibited, soon the copious amounts of alcohol, drugs, and hormonally driven lust have them dancing to the latest Talking Heads album along with the natives. It makes me wonder, after these people are booted off the island, how anyone can reintegrate into regular society. Camden will leave these people morally decimated, distrustful, and with probably more than one nasty habit. Ahhh yes, the ‘80s. Don’t miss the Dressed to Get Screwed party. The highlight of the year. The book jacket says this is a vast departure from Bret Easton Ellis’s first book, Less Than Zero, which for a few chapters I was thinking what the hell are they talking about, but as I got deeper in the book, I started to realize that this book is actually significantly different from his first book. In Less Than Zero, his characters are soulless, people really beyond redemption in my opinion. In this book, he infuses some humor, some legitimate pain, and explores deeper themes about adolescents awkwardly trapped in an extended childhood and with no real idea why anyone would ever want to be an adult. They are rich, spoiled, and lost. LIke a spectre floating behind the scenes, we have the tale of the secret admirer who is the only person who seems to understand real desire, and sustainable love. The poignancy of her situation will make your heart strings tremble. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Ashleigh

    This book may have sounded contrived to some, but to me it was exactly the way I remember being and feeling in college. The dorm, cafeteria and party scenes are brilliant and so are the fast travel sections. When I recently read The Sorrows of Young Mike, it felt like a sequel because the characters were also nihilistic college students, horny and self-involved. It, along with The Rules of Attraction, touches on similar issues that hardly affect the main characters, as they are busy thinking abo This book may have sounded contrived to some, but to me it was exactly the way I remember being and feeling in college. The dorm, cafeteria and party scenes are brilliant and so are the fast travel sections. When I recently read The Sorrows of Young Mike, it felt like a sequel because the characters were also nihilistic college students, horny and self-involved. It, along with The Rules of Attraction, touches on similar issues that hardly affect the main characters, as they are busy thinking about themselves.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fabian

    And so I thought that after college this would be less impressionable & a tad less impressive. Boy was I wrong. I am still completely enraptured by this novel in which characters DON’T change (breaking 1 of the main cardinal rules of all literature—to make protagonists experience change—Ellis is intrepid). The details in this are perfect and absolutely hilarious--80's encapsulated brilliantly. You end up rooting for the sleaziest of antagonists—nobody in Camden deserves redemption and most a And so I thought that after college this would be less impressionable & a tad less impressive. Boy was I wrong. I am still completely enraptured by this novel in which characters DON’T change (breaking 1 of the main cardinal rules of all literature—to make protagonists experience change—Ellis is intrepid). The details in this are perfect and absolutely hilarious--80's encapsulated brilliantly. You end up rooting for the sleaziest of antagonists—nobody in Camden deserves redemption and most actions taken are wholly despicable. Yet—THIS IS college. The confusion, the sex, drugs, alcohol, suicide attempts, abortions, socials… it's all recorded here. I don’t think another writer has influenced me as much in the art of immorality (this includes [up]Chuck Palahniuk and even the Marquis de Sade)—in his use of effective, rapid, stylish, unforgettable prose. A guilty pleasure that's not all too guilty--despite the explicit content & undercurrent of melancholia. An absolutely essential novel.

  5. 5 out of 5

    mark monday

    Ellis is one of those authors that seems to grow in stature as time marches on. i see him on so many Favorite Author lists and i just have to roll my eyes a bit. personally, he'll always be the author i laughed at on a regular basis: hilariously pretentious and embarrassingly convinced that pretension equals depth. American Psycho? sorry, the film version was a better portrait of capitalist consumerism and had the intelligence to re-route the author's misogyny so that it existed solely within th Ellis is one of those authors that seems to grow in stature as time marches on. i see him on so many Favorite Author lists and i just have to roll my eyes a bit. personally, he'll always be the author i laughed at on a regular basis: hilariously pretentious and embarrassingly convinced that pretension equals depth. American Psycho? sorry, the film version was a better portrait of capitalist consumerism and had the intelligence to re-route the author's misogyny so that it existed solely within the central psycho. Less Than Zero? well, it's very hard for me to muster any empathy for spoiled brats who are unhappy with their oversexed, well-fed lives - and who have the lack of tact to complain about their emptiness. gosh i guess this turned out to be a review of 3 books! but The Rules of Attraction is something different, something special. its playfulness with narrative and perspective is actually rather brilliant. i'm not sure i've read another novel where fully one-third of the narrative was a jerk-off fabrication by one of the characters (one who isn't a psychotic serial killer, that is). perhaps prior to Rules, Ellis somehow exorcised all that repulsive self-pity that inundanted Zero and then replaced it with malevolent wit. and better yet, he puts his usual snarkiness in the mouths of characters who - although soulless - still genuinely face more life challenges than his prior student portraits. most surprising of all, the nearly-marginal story of the suicide: bitterly ironic, entirely moving, and wonderfully written. and hey, there's even a teensy little light at the end of the tunnel that didn't feel forced. good job, Ellis. i never thought i'd say that phrase!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Kelsey

    Posted at Heradas Whenever I’m the mood for fiction about first world problems, unloved rich kids and the fucked up lives they lead, I reach for something by Bret Easton Ellis. I get on a serious kick for this kind of stuff sometimes. Transgressive fiction, I’ve heard it called. Maybe it’s soothing to my soul to think that an abundance of money doesn’t necessarily alleviate our problems. Maybe I get a heavy slathering of schadenfreude by reading representations of the most fortunate among us endu Posted at Heradas Whenever I’m the mood for fiction about first world problems, unloved rich kids and the fucked up lives they lead, I reach for something by Bret Easton Ellis. I get on a serious kick for this kind of stuff sometimes. Transgressive fiction, I’ve heard it called. Maybe it’s soothing to my soul to think that an abundance of money doesn’t necessarily alleviate our problems. Maybe I get a heavy slathering of schadenfreude by reading representations of the most fortunate among us enduring harrowing emotional torment. Whatever the cause, when I’m in the mood for this type of stuff, Ellis hits the spot perfectly. As a teenager, Chuck Palahniuk was my go to when I felt the creeping dread of the unfairness of the world, the uncertainty of life and our lot in it. I quickly grew out of Palahniuk after his fourth or fifth book, I can’t remember precisely which one. He hit some truly brilliant highs from time to time that resonated deeply with my angst riddled teenage mind, but it quickly became apparent that he had already said what he came to say and wasn’t working in an interesting space any longer. Anyway, I feel like Bret Easton Ellis is probably who Palahniuk was most inspired by. They touch on a lot of the same themes, but Ellis does it with a lot more subtlety and grace. Where Palahniuk beats the reader over the head with a theme, Ellis writes his way around it, guiding the reader toward the conclusion he’s striving for. “No one will ever know anyone. We just have to deal with each other. You're not ever gonna know me.” The Rules of Attraction is mostly told through a series of short, unfiltered, internal, first person POV narratives that often contradict one another. They read almost like journal entries or summaries of events. Where these disparate points of view don’t quite align, where they butt up against one another, something more interesting is revealed: how subjective everyone’s reality is, how deep the well of self deception runs within us. We simply can’t see through another’s eyes. Our accounts of reality, our retellings of history, will never align with anyone else’s. We are all fully alone within ourselves, but crave social connection and understanding. It’s a sick joke that we cannot escape. I didn’t find this story nearly as disturbing as Ellis' first novel, Less Than Zero, something that I greatly appreciated, however it’s still pretty messed up: The novel begins with what is arguably a date rape, and continues on to accidental overdoses, suicide, suicide attempts, and continual emotional manipulation. The most disturbing element for me though, was that none of these events seem to phase any of the characters involved. They’re all dead inside, lying to themselves, in heavy denial of something or other, and entirely self-centered. Their apathy is palpable, and drips all over every aspect of their lives. My suspicion is that this novel is a reflection on the futility of love and relationships, the improbability of knowing one another well enough to communicate from within the infinite walls of experience and subjectivity that separate us from everyone else. We become trapped in our personal experience of the world, each of us wandering around in our locked down boxes, misunderstanding one another as we inadvertently help to reinforce their own boxes. “What else is there to do in college except drink beer or slit one's wrists?” The unfiltered internal thoughts of these characters highlighted for me a youthful period of my own life, a time where my desire for belonging and acceptance within peer groups was paramount. I cared so much what others thought of me, where I stood in relation to them. These needs, only expressed internally, desperately hidden externally, or so I thought. I loved this glimpse into the characters’ emotional lives. It rings true for anyone who remembers being young and caring so much about things that matter so little. I imagine this book would read a lot differently in your twenties, than your thirties or forties. I enjoy the shared universe in which Ellis’ novels take place. “That kid from LA” that is occasionally referenced in The Rules of Attraction is Clay, the protagonist from Less Than Zero. One of the main POV characters, Sean Bateman, is the younger brother of the titular American Psycho, Patrick Bateman, pro/antagonist of Ellis’ follow-up to The Rules of Attraction. Patrick even narrates his own short chapter near the end of the novel. From what I hear, there are little crossover moments like these peppered throughout all of Ellis’ novels, and the connections are not always limited to his own work, but occasionally those written by his contemporaries such as Donna Tartt or Jay McInerney. I look forward to suffering through all of his stories, along with his coterie of broken, apathetic, wealthy, unloved characters… when I’m in the mood for them that is. Just like a quality psychedelic experience, set and setting are crucial elements with his writing. These novels can be a dreadful, disheartening experience if you’re not in the right state of mind. If you’re up for it though, they’re a blast.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tylah Marie

    My friend lent me this book and I was super excited because we're trying this new thing where we lend each other a book to read every month... and this was the first one of our new little reading adventure. I was bored. Insanely bored. It felt like someone was literally yelling gibberish so fast into my ear that I almost couldn't understand them at all. I tried to enjoy this. I did. I read 50 pages the first day and then I just decided to read the rest of it in one sitting because I knew if I put My friend lent me this book and I was super excited because we're trying this new thing where we lend each other a book to read every month... and this was the first one of our new little reading adventure. I was bored. Insanely bored. It felt like someone was literally yelling gibberish so fast into my ear that I almost couldn't understand them at all. I tried to enjoy this. I did. I read 50 pages the first day and then I just decided to read the rest of it in one sitting because I knew if I put it down I would never pick it back up. I felt like I owed it to my friend to at least complete the first book that she was loaning me. Not much else to say. I didn't like it. Not even a little bit. It didn't captivate me. I feel harsh saying this but... I would quite literally watch grass grow.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maria (Big City Bookworm)

    3.5 Stars The Rules of Attraction is one of those stories that makes you feel slightly uneasy while reading it. It had the feel of both A Clockwork Orange and Trainspotting in the sense that it is so over the top and risqué. The Rules of Attraction is unlike anything that I have ever read before. I had never read anything from Bret Easton Ellis before, although American Psycho has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time now. I came across The Rules of Attraction at a local thrift shop and I r 3.5 Stars The Rules of Attraction is one of those stories that makes you feel slightly uneasy while reading it. It had the feel of both A Clockwork Orange and Trainspotting in the sense that it is so over the top and risqué. The Rules of Attraction is unlike anything that I have ever read before. I had never read anything from Bret Easton Ellis before, although American Psycho has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time now. I came across The Rules of Attraction at a local thrift shop and I recognized the authors name which helped in my decision to pick it up. The Rules of Attraction tells the intersecting stories of three prominent characters (Sean Bateman, Lauren Hyde & Paul Denton) as they experience their college years in the 1980’s. The story is told by jumping back and forth between short vignettes that showcase each of these characters perspectives. Every now and then, a minor character tells their story from their perspective through their own little mini vignette. It is definitely no secret that the 80’s were a wild decade, but holy shit does this story ever make that time period sound completely over the top and insane. I have always been slightly disappointed that I didn’t get to experience the 80’s, mainly because the music during that decade contains some of my favourite songs and artists of all time. After reading The Rules of Attraction however, I’m wondering if I would have ever been able to survive going to college during this era. I loved the idea of hearing the different character’s perspectives, especially when they were describing the same scenes. Rather than have the exact same scene play out repeatedly, each character is so fucked up on either drugs, alcohol or something in between, that their stories are all completely different. For example, when Sean believes that Lauren is in love with him, only to jump to her perspective to find out she just likes to have him around to keep her company while waiting for her “boyfriend” to return from Europe. It’s moments like these that actually make this story more realistic and believable. No two people are going to have the exact same interpretation of a moment. Everyone experiences things differently. I’m still unsure if the relationship between Paul and Sean ever even happened. Not knowing the definite outcome is something that might drive some readers nuts. Hell, it usually drives me nuts, but for whatever reason, it worked perfectly within this story. The characters were all unique from one another. While a lot of their drug and relationship habits were similar, each character had their own individual voice. I can’t say that I particularly enjoyed Lauren’s moments. I found her a little annoying and not that interesting. There was just something about her that I wasn’t very fond of. I felt a little indifferent when it came to Sean. He started out interesting, but as the story went on he started to feel a little redundant. Paul however, was my absolute favourite. He felt real and relatable. While he seemed the most sane out of the three main characters, I think it may be possible that he was the most insane. Like I mentioned earlier, I still can’t tell if his relationship with Sean ever even really happened. In terms of the minor character vignettes, I could have done without a lot of them. The random French paragraphs from Bertrand’s perspective felt out of place. I understood bits of it here and there, but I wasn’t about to go google translate the whole thing. The one vignette that I think was rather awesome and beneficial was that of Patrick, Sean’s older brother. Yes…Patrick as in Patrick Bateman…as in THE Patrick Bateman featured in Bret Easton Ellis’ later novel, American Psycho. I didn’t even realize the two books were connected, regardless of how minor, until I put two and two together and realized that the two characters shared the same last name. One of the main characteristics about The Rules of Attraction that made it so unique was the fact that each character perspective was told using a different writing style. Sean felt very chaotic, Lauren felt very quick and to the point while Paul felt the most sophisticated. The writing was very quick and extremely fast paced to start, however, it kept that steady rhythm throughout the entire novel which started to get old. It was so fast-paced the entire time that there was no peak in the story. When I first opened my copy of The Rules of Attraction, I thought I was missing a page as the first opening paragraph starts mid-sentence. Once I reached the end of the novel, the same things happens again except it ended mid-sentence. Once again, this is something that might piss off a lot of readers, but I found it to be quite memorable and unique. It felt to me as though this represented the idea that we as the reader are just witnessing a little snippet of these character’s lives. We jumped in and we jumped out, just like that. I did enjoy The Rules of Attraction for the most part. It was definitely unlike anything I have ever read before. I enjoyed the quick and fast-paced nature of the writing. I’m really eager to read my copy of American Psycho as soon as possible. I’m curious to know if it will make any connections to the Rules of Attraction or if it is even told in the same writing style. If you are looking for something slightly fucked up and over the top, I would say that The Rules of Attraction is definitely for you. -- Initial Post Reading Thoughts: This is probably one of the most uniquely written novels I have ever read. The overall tone of the story reminded me a lot of A Clockwork Orange and Trainspotting. It's one of those stories that feels a little unsettling for some reason. The Rules of Attraction is definitely very risque and slightly over the top, but that's part of what makes it so alluring.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Misal

    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 a 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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    This was my introduction into the world of Bret Easton Ellis, and I fell hopelessly in love. I couldn't believe that someone could put together a written work, which not only emanates the characters hyper-sexed-over-zealous-self-conscious-unaware-searching-for-love-not-knowing sadness, but uses language to reinforce its themes. It would seem confusing, but at my first read, it was what I was feeling at that moment (minus the drugs, those came later). Rules of Attraction, at its base, is a novel a This was my introduction into the world of Bret Easton Ellis, and I fell hopelessly in love. I couldn't believe that someone could put together a written work, which not only emanates the characters hyper-sexed-over-zealous-self-conscious-unaware-searching-for-love-not-knowing sadness, but uses language to reinforce its themes. It would seem confusing, but at my first read, it was what I was feeling at that moment (minus the drugs, those came later). Rules of Attraction, at its base, is a novel about communication and the inefficiency of words. It is also a meditation on reality, what is it to who? A theme that pops up in Easton Ellis's later works. As Lillian has reminded me, it does start and end mid-sentence, only in the brillance of Easton Ellis's mind should a slice-of-life story cut in like any other voyeur, "mid-action" (just as simple as listening in on a phone conversation or looking through your neighboor's window). Easton Ellis makes the reader a voyeur, and yes, it made me feel dirty as it should, but a good dirty.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Neil Walker

    A tale of hedonism from Bret Easton Ellis, filled with sex and drugs. Bret Easton Ellis is of my biggest influences as an author and this is probably the Bret Easton Ellis novel that most influenced Drug Gang. It contains similar themes and social commentary. To quote from the book itself, “I think we've all lost some sort of feeling.” This postmodern masterwork gives great insight into the possible impact and outcomes of a nihilistic mindset.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    People who did not like this book simply did not understand it. While this book has the ability to stand on it's on, the real genius is how it acts ad a platform that allows ellis's characters (from all other works) to interact with one another outside the narcissism that confines their own stories. Those who complain that this book lacks plot or character growth, have failed to ask why that is. This book is an introspective account, told in first person narrative, from various (mainly three) pe People who did not like this book simply did not understand it. While this book has the ability to stand on it's on, the real genius is how it acts ad a platform that allows ellis's characters (from all other works) to interact with one another outside the narcissism that confines their own stories. Those who complain that this book lacks plot or character growth, have failed to ask why that is. This book is an introspective account, told in first person narrative, from various (mainly three) perspectives. The setting is not Camden college, but in the minds of these young characters. Ellis brilliantly depicts how the events that take place over a few months time, are perceived and interpreted by those involved. The book begins and ends in the middle of a sentence, symbolically stating that perhaps the reader should interpret the work as a whole in the same way. This book is about the here and now, the present moments of these peoples lives. Any beginning or end would provide a context that might and most likely would

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    One of the best books on insight. The setting makes this book even more pleasurable-a college campus in the 80s. We've all contemplated simple questions like "Does my best friend secretly hate me?" or "Does my boyfriend think about someone else when he's sleeping with me?". This book makes your insides squirm with embarrassment in the most hilarious form. There's so many great things about this book-the ending, the graphic sex scenes and how Victor is really a boring piece of shit. You never get One of the best books on insight. The setting makes this book even more pleasurable-a college campus in the 80s. We've all contemplated simple questions like "Does my best friend secretly hate me?" or "Does my boyfriend think about someone else when he's sleeping with me?". This book makes your insides squirm with embarrassment in the most hilarious form. There's so many great things about this book-the ending, the graphic sex scenes and how Victor is really a boring piece of shit. You never get attached to one cahracter, Ellis switches too fast between them, but it's what makes the book so good. You just laugh and feel sorry for all these lost assholes. I will always say "I'm sorry what did you say?" if someone asks me for quesadillas. Rock n' roll. On a side note, if you plan on reading Bret Ellis in the full, read this first. All his characters have books of their own. The L.A. guy, he's in Glamorama. Bateman's brother Patrick, he's in American Psycho. I get upset when I read the best book first, but in this case you should.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ He loves her, but used to do it with him, who used to do it with her, who is still pining away for a different him who is currently in Europe thinking about a different her, or is she still really hung up on the him who used to do it with her current him????? Told in a free association style of rambling diary-like entries, Sean, Lauren and Paul talk about the hits and misses in their respective love lives while attending college in New Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ He loves her, but used to do it with him, who used to do it with her, who is still pining away for a different him who is currently in Europe thinking about a different her, or is she still really hung up on the him who used to do it with her current him????? Told in a free association style of rambling diary-like entries, Sean, Lauren and Paul talk about the hits and misses in their respective love lives while attending college in New England. While the first few pages may have you thinking otherwise, this is a much lighter side of Bret Easton Ellis. Dark comedy is a fine art, and this author does it well. Apparently there is also a movie version that was made into a gazillion years ago, but as I was not a fan of “Dawson” or the Van Der Douche it never hit my radar. However, when doing a little googly-goo of said movie, I found out this happens: Hmmmmm, maybe I should try and track down a copy. Just to see if it maintains the integrity of the book, of course. Blame it on the fact that I have what I’m assuming is an undiagnosed case of Ebola and am unable to take over-the-counter cold medicine without lapsing into a 12-hour coma, I completely glossed over the fact that Sean’s last name was Bateman. It took until Page 237 and a chapter told from his brother Patrick’s perspective to put two and two together. What a deliciously wicked way to help explain the nuttery that was the Sean Bateman character. If you’re looking for something that is disturbing, but not something that requires a barf bag or a trip to the shrink like American Psycho might, this is a good selection.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Catkinson82

    This is the most depressing, nasty book I've read in a long time. I read it all in one go last night, since I have a hard time not finishing books once I start them, but I couldn't stand the thought of having to come back to it. There may be some literary merit to the book that I can't appreciate it because I'm so repulsed by the characters, but I rather doubt it. The book certainly captures the complete lack of affect and total self-absorption of the characters, as well as the compulsive, endle This is the most depressing, nasty book I've read in a long time. I read it all in one go last night, since I have a hard time not finishing books once I start them, but I couldn't stand the thought of having to come back to it. There may be some literary merit to the book that I can't appreciate it because I'm so repulsed by the characters, but I rather doubt it. The book certainly captures the complete lack of affect and total self-absorption of the characters, as well as the compulsive, endless consumption without any enjoyment or desire, which characterized a certain set in the 80's. The description of shared events changes from narrator to narrator because they are all flattering themselves and are thoughtless of others. The narrators almost never describe the setting, the reader gets almost no picture of Camden college, because it doesn't matter to these idiots. Beauty, nature, architecture would fail to move them at all. (Victor's trip through Europe is a prime example of this) Also, everybody they know already knows Camden back to front. The college is taken utterly for granted, certainly has nothing to do with learning, it is just the faded backdrop for their repetitive evenings of drinking and screwing each other. Nobody really has real friends; they aimlessly, reasonlessly do things that should hurt their friends, but the friends don't really care about anything either, so no one is hurt. They are all numb. As a few of them say, "Nobody ever knows anybody." Nobody has goals or direction, no one even gets anywhere by accident, nobody has any hope. They don't even really care if they live or die, as evidenced by the casual attempts at suicide now and again. The fact that there is even the barest trace of a resemblance between my life and the lives of these characters is deeply disturbing. I can't imagine wanting to read this book, if my life was like this, and I can't imagine wanting to read this book if my life was (thankfully) nothing like this. It's all just too ugly.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    Although I've always intended to read Ellis' American Psycho, I read this book today in an entirely unintended way (my Little's fiance brought two books with him to Ohio State University's graduation ceremony and he let me borrow the one he wasn't reading). It's definitely a very interesting book, from its purpose to the way it's executed. The Rules of Attraction mainly follows three members of a love triangle - Lauren, Paul, and Sean - while fleshing out the story with some interjections from ot Although I've always intended to read Ellis' American Psycho, I read this book today in an entirely unintended way (my Little's fiance brought two books with him to Ohio State University's graduation ceremony and he let me borrow the one he wasn't reading). It's definitely a very interesting book, from its purpose to the way it's executed. The Rules of Attraction mainly follows three members of a love triangle - Lauren, Paul, and Sean - while fleshing out the story with some interjections from other characters. It takes place during one semester of college, although going to class takes up very little of the students' time. They're mainly concerned with getting laid, high, and drunk. It's extremely different from any other sort of teen comedy, since characters in movies such as Van Wilder or American Pie are generally pretty likable and often experience poignant moments during their depravity. Lauren, Paul, Sean, and their classmates seem to operate on one level - extreme narcissism. The characters' differences in perspective about the same events sharply highlights how self-absorbed and unable to connect with anyone they are. Everyone is madly in love with someone (and that 'someone' changes weekly), but no one ever talks, and beauty and fuckability are tantamount to being loved. At the end of the novel, each character notes that he or she hasn't changed, which flies in the face of normal fiction, where characters are dynamic and their journeys serve a purpose. Major events - abortions, a suicide, the death of one parent and the divorce of another - have absolutely no effect on these people. This complete unlikability might leave the reader turned off, but the way Ellis handles it redeems it. An unsubtle reading of it might miss the dark humor (which none of the characters are aware of, of course). Ellis seems to be both mocking and mourning the characters as he writes about them, and the fact that Camden College is modeled on his own college suggests he's commenting on things he witnessed firsthand. Two notes - the book both starts and stops in the middle of sentences (which threw me when I opened it, convinced it was a misprint), and Sean's older brother Patrick pops up later as the main character in the well-known American Psycho.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lindz

    This review is coming from my 19/20 year old self. Because that is when I first read it, and when it had the most impact on my tender brain. I guess this was my first big lit read. Jodi Picoult, Marian Keyes (whom I still love), Pauline Simmons, a little bit of Michael Connelly and Patricia Cornwell were my main diet. These are 'nice' authors,they write about love, drama, family, murder, all very plot driven. You read it once put it away and forget about them. 'Rules of Attraction' is not a nice This review is coming from my 19/20 year old self. Because that is when I first read it, and when it had the most impact on my tender brain. I guess this was my first big lit read. Jodi Picoult, Marian Keyes (whom I still love), Pauline Simmons, a little bit of Michael Connelly and Patricia Cornwell were my main diet. These are 'nice' authors,they write about love, drama, family, murder, all very plot driven. You read it once put it away and forget about them. 'Rules of Attraction' is not a nice book. Trying to describe this book is really hard. There isn't a plot, I guess you can say it is a love triangle, but that would give the assumption that Easton Ellis' characters can feel. This is a novel of the 1980's, it is about excess, drugs, sex, and more excess. Characters are driven by their whims and wants, not about what they feel or need. Surprisingly these are not 1 dimensional characters, they are unique onto themselves, and give the novel shape and structure. This was the novel that made me go wow why have I been eating rump when there is scotch fillet here. You do sink into this narcissistic world, you smell the off alcohol from the party the night before, feel the downing hues of what ever drug is making the rounds, go with the pointless sex. It is very hedonistic and self involved, which appealed to my self involved 19 year old self. More importantly 'Rules of Attraction' opened up a whole new world of literature. Jack Kerouac, William, Faulkner, Hunter S Thompson, Michael Chabon, Marilynne Robinson, Simone de beauvior, Albert Camus, Trueman Capote, Vladimir Nabokov, Richard Yates, and the list goes on and on. What Easton Ellis opened up for me, was that a novel wasn't just about the story, but how the story is told, the craft, the language, and how it is used. Brent Easton Ellis you turned me into a book snob.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sanne

    In some books nothing really happens, but it doesn't make the book any less appealing since the characters or situations are so engaging. This, to me, is unfortunately not one of these books. The book is told from the perspectives of various protagonists in a diary-like style on their lives in college over a relatively short period of time (a semester, maybe less). It seems to lean heavily on the 'shock value' of the characters' lives filled with casual sex and drug use. To me, it does not succe In some books nothing really happens, but it doesn't make the book any less appealing since the characters or situations are so engaging. This, to me, is unfortunately not one of these books. The book is told from the perspectives of various protagonists in a diary-like style on their lives in college over a relatively short period of time (a semester, maybe less). It seems to lean heavily on the 'shock value' of the characters' lives filled with casual sex and drug use. To me, it does not succeed in inducing this disturbingly depressing feeling of (the reader's) lost innocence like Easton Ellis' Less than Zero did, nor does it offer any alternative. For the readers who are not easily shocked you are simply left with annoying, priviliged characters lacking any depth and a lackluster story without a purpose.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    I preferred the movie. i never prefer the movie.

  20. 4 out of 5

    John

    Another reader mentions that this book has no center, I'd say he's on target and that it may have been intentional. I enjoyed it. I reads like 20 somethings who are trying hard to be everything they aren't as they try on different attitudes, life philosophies, designer drugs, sexualities. High school and college years tend to spin by too quickly and are remembered in spurts like the friendships made, the crushes that came and went, the crisis of the moment that pales in comparison to anything pr Another reader mentions that this book has no center, I'd say he's on target and that it may have been intentional. I enjoyed it. I reads like 20 somethings who are trying hard to be everything they aren't as they try on different attitudes, life philosophies, designer drugs, sexualities. High school and college years tend to spin by too quickly and are remembered in spurts like the friendships made, the crushes that came and went, the crisis of the moment that pales in comparison to anything pressing after age 27. I don't know many who recall this period of life in much of a linear manner. There are some wonderful moments in this novel, moments I wish I had had the balls or perception to live. But like much of Ellis's writing, the characters leave a lot to be desired in the end, we care about them about as much as they care about anything but their own pleasures. In Rules of Attraction, I attribute it to age and the angst of figuring things out. The center oozes out and congeals into something else - sometimes as in Ellis' The Informists, something not so entirely different than what it was.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}

    I just really love this man's books. Edgy but not sew edgy, dark, creepy, and palate cleansing. His stuff is not for everyone and I can understand that. :)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chase

    Bret Easton Ellis's kaleidoscope novel is frank, belligerent, and exceptionally youthful. Its preponderance of masochism, sex, drugs, addiction, loss, and love are uniquely pinpointed through various characters, each apathetic and malign to any real sense of adulthood. This novel receives three stars thanks to Ellis's fatal flaw, incorporating personal notes from an unknown character who ends up offing herself in the community bathroom - a literary addition that completely takes away from the re Bret Easton Ellis's kaleidoscope novel is frank, belligerent, and exceptionally youthful. Its preponderance of masochism, sex, drugs, addiction, loss, and love are uniquely pinpointed through various characters, each apathetic and malign to any real sense of adulthood. This novel receives three stars thanks to Ellis's fatal flaw, incorporating personal notes from an unknown character who ends up offing herself in the community bathroom - a literary addition that completely takes away from the remarkable and sublime experience of piecing together these many, many conflicting lives. By and large I recommend as a quick pleasure read but surely not a read of excellence.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    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.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    This book made me so glad to be 30… The blurb says that this book is about the “death of romance”… But I feel this is a little bit more complicated than that. Sure “The Rules of Attraction” follows four unspeakably awful undergrads as they get tangled up in the most fucked up love-triangle I’ve ever read. As they agonize childishly over their various experiences, disappointments and mistakes, it’s hard to feel for them: none of them have any moral compass, maturity, honesty or self-awareness. The This book made me so glad to be 30… The blurb says that this book is about the “death of romance”… But I feel this is a little bit more complicated than that. Sure “The Rules of Attraction” follows four unspeakably awful undergrads as they get tangled up in the most fucked up love-triangle I’ve ever read. As they agonize childishly over their various experiences, disappointments and mistakes, it’s hard to feel for them: none of them have any moral compass, maturity, honesty or self-awareness. They project huge, unrealistic expectations on each other, but never vocalize them, then hold bitter grudges against each other for failing tests they didn’t know they were going through… Is this hilarious or sad? I guess that depends on how cynical you are! Ellis knows how to write, so this snapshot of college life and it’s horribly gritty and immoral details is an interesting read, but it is also repulsive. But that’s just his style: if you have never read him before, you should know that vacuous, depraved and apathetic characters are his thing. The lenses of dark humour with which he looks at the college experience can be very funny: but it is only funny because it’s pathetic, and I am not sure I feel inclined to laugh at that. That being said, the multiple POVs of the same events is fascinating and entertaining. I'm always mesmerized by the way people interpret the exact same moment in such a wildly different ways, and these kids being unable to communicate adequately, well... you can imagine how that goes! Several readers and critics have pointed out the realism of what Ellis describes in this book, assuming that everyone to ever set foot on a college campus feel into a bottomless pit of weed, drunk blackouts and awkward sex. Maybe I am a huge nerd, but I went to college to get a degree… If the “Rules of Attraction” is as realistic as they say, I’m very glad I was not in that crowd. Marginally better than “Less Than Zero”, not as good as “American Psycho”. I think my Ellis-reading experiment is over.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    I loved the Roger Avary film version of this book, so I felt like I owed it to myself to read it. That said, the two are very, very different, and as much as it pains the book snob in me to say it, the movie was far superior. Maybe it's because the setting of the book (the mid-80s) feels so obviously dated, or because the characters seem so schizophrenic, but I just felt like the movie was a little more...real. Honestly, it probably hurt to have gone into the book having seen the film many, many I loved the Roger Avary film version of this book, so I felt like I owed it to myself to read it. That said, the two are very, very different, and as much as it pains the book snob in me to say it, the movie was far superior. Maybe it's because the setting of the book (the mid-80s) feels so obviously dated, or because the characters seem so schizophrenic, but I just felt like the movie was a little more...real. Honestly, it probably hurt to have gone into the book having seen the film many, many times (if you haven't seen it, you should; it's quite the underrated gem). I went into it with certain expectations of the characters that were drastically different from Bret Easton Ellis's actual depiction. I kept waiting for the characters to revert back to the way they acted in the movie, or reveal that some of the hook-ups and such were just dreams, and so I wasn't able to appreciate the characters for who they were until halfway through, when I realized what I saw was what I got. That said, the book itself is quite clever. I can't emphasize enough how much I loved the format, and I'm a sucker for the little precious tricks Ellis employs, such as having a chapter written by the French character written completely in French, or having the book start and stop in mid-sentence. So, if for no other reason, it's worth reading and treasuring for the formatting. However, on the whole it feels very much like a product of the era in which it was written, much like some of the films spawned by Ellis books are quintessentially 80s movies (Less Than Zero, American Psycho, which has the 80s yuppie consumerism as it's main theme even though it wasn't filmed until the late 90s). Avary was wise to redevelop the film into something more current, and it paid dividends. However, it shows that there was something to the book's theme--disaffected youth is still very much a part of our country's rich, liberal arts campuses; they just wear better clothes

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    And here I thought all New England had to brag about is the Patriots - turns out they have some really happening colleges - or at least had in the 80s, where Brett Easton Ellis' story of sex, drugs, rape, abortion and suicide takes place. The story is told from a lot of different perspectives, but mainly we follow Lauren, Paul and Sean. Lauren, who has dated Paul but after Paul and Sean are no long dating, dates Sean - but still they all 'see' other people. In the beginning, it's hard to figure o And here I thought all New England had to brag about is the Patriots - turns out they have some really happening colleges - or at least had in the 80s, where Brett Easton Ellis' story of sex, drugs, rape, abortion and suicide takes place. The story is told from a lot of different perspectives, but mainly we follow Lauren, Paul and Sean. Lauren, who has dated Paul but after Paul and Sean are no long dating, dates Sean - but still they all 'see' other people. In the beginning, it's hard to figure out what's going on - who's doing what to whom exactly - but the longer you get in the book, the clearer it gets. That is, as clear as it can get for people who are constantly on something and doing somebody. For me, the strongest point of the book is how the different persons experience totally different things -although they are at the same party or even in the same bed - and how they put different value on the things happening. And how misconceptions arise due to the heave drug intake, most of them are constantly on. But mostly, they just don't really care. About anything. No wonder that these characters could possibly grow up and become Patrick Batemans, of American Psycho fame, and not only little brother Sean Bateman could be heading down this track. None of them really sober up long enough to think about what's actually going on and why that girl tried to kill herself. All they care about is how to get the next lay or the next fix. The story is so well crafted - with an open beginning and an open end - when you finish the book, nothing have really moved or changed but still you feel different, you have caught a glimpse into these people's life and although none of it was pretty, you still care for them even though they are completely self-absorped... Highly recommended for those who can stomach it!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chaunceton Bird

    I liked it. Good sequel to staple Ellis themes.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Seth

    Paul Denton is a senior at Camden College in New Hampshire. Like the rest of the student body, he spends his time going to parties, doing drugs, and hooking up with girls (and guys). He has a fling with Lauren, but he's really interested in Sean, whose cut body and "slutty" good looks make him just Paul's type. So does he get Sean into bed? It depends on whom you believe. The Rules of Attraction is narrated by Paul, Lauren, Sean, and various minor characters. Each short chapter seems to provide an Paul Denton is a senior at Camden College in New Hampshire. Like the rest of the student body, he spends his time going to parties, doing drugs, and hooking up with girls (and guys). He has a fling with Lauren, but he's really interested in Sean, whose cut body and "slutty" good looks make him just Paul's type. So does he get Sean into bed? It depends on whom you believe. The Rules of Attraction is narrated by Paul, Lauren, Sean, and various minor characters. Each short chapter seems to provide another piece of the puzzle - but you soon realize the pieces never quite add up, that there's more (or maybe less) going on than the characters would have us believe. This doesn't mean the novel is pointless. First and foremost, it's a sharp satire on the tacky consumerism of the 1980s and the belief that Greed Is Good. The Camden students drive Saabs and BMWs, wear Swatches and Esprit and Wayfairers, buy Evian and Haagan Dasz, score cocaine and crystal meth and Ritalin, go to parties at Trump Tower, and pay for everything with American Express Gold cards. This frantic consumption is clearly a response to the emptiness of their lives: despite all the fucking, the novel's atmosphere is bleak and sterile and cold. No one communicates with anyone, and every relationship ends in failure. The characters aren't surprised by this, though, and there's a sense of fatalism from the very beginning: "I always knew it would be like this." "I knew something like this was going to happen." "I knew it would happen sooner or later." "It always ends up this way." Did I mention the book is a comedy? Despite the heavy themes, Ellis works in a ridiculous number of laugh-out-loud moments. These range from great one-liners ("They all cackled, reminding me of the witches from MacBeth except better looking and wearing Armani" ) to jokes about academe ("He told me he was majoring in Literature, which was strange since there were no books in his room") to moments that reveal the characters' total cluelessness ("Since, like, when does having sex with someone else mean I'm not faithful to you?") (There's also a great gag involving "Sussudio," surely the worst song of the 1980s.) So where does this leave us? On the surface, The Rules of Attraction is a satirical take on 1980s teen movies, from The Outsiders to John Hughes. It's also - and more importantly - a rewrite of Play It As It Lays, by the great Joan Didion. Both novels deal with similar events and themes: divorce, suicide, abortion, aimlessness, breakdown, failure. But while there's genuine anger at the heart of Didion's novel, Ellis's characters remain happily oblivious to what's going on around them. (To emphasize this, The Rules of Attraction both begins and ends in the middle of a sentence.) Didion, writing in the aftermath of the 1960s, clearly thought the world would end with a bang. By taking her novel's structure and applying it to a bunch of spoiled rich kids, Ellis shows us - in a hilariously deadpan way - that it's far more likely to end with a whimper.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Chung

    This book is so hard to rate. I liked it so it should be a 3 star. But I think I could read it again so that bumps it up to a 4. It was really weird and confusing, but in a good way? I don't know. Rules of Attraction could be considered a New Adult book seeing as the setting is at Camden College in New Hampshire. There are several POV's Lets see if I can get this love web to make sense. Lets start with Victor, Victor is some guy who goes to Europe. Lauren is in love with Victor. She is pining ove This book is so hard to rate. I liked it so it should be a 3 star. But I think I could read it again so that bumps it up to a 4. It was really weird and confusing, but in a good way? I don't know. Rules of Attraction could be considered a New Adult book seeing as the setting is at Camden College in New Hampshire. There are several POV's Lets see if I can get this love web to make sense. Lets start with Victor, Victor is some guy who goes to Europe. Lauren is in love with Victor. She is pining over Victor. They went out or are going out or she has been dumped but wasn't aware of that fact. Doesn't matter she still sleeps with a bunch of people. Sean is in love with Lauren. Sean is Patrick Bateman from American Psycho's little brother. Sean is a druggie? I don't know cause they are all on coke, or pot or acid, ecstasy... xanax. Whatever they can get. Sean is in love with Lauren. Lauren is only tolerating Sean. Paul is in love with Sean. Paul is bi and so is Sean. Most of the guys in this book are bisexual. Which is fine by me but that seems like a lot of people being Bi. Maybe a lot of people are but I just don't know any in real life. Lauren is not gay. All of these people have had sex with each other at least once during this book some more than one time. Lets just say a lot of drunk/drugged out sex has gone on in this book. There is a few suicide attempts, one that worked. A couple of abortions and more sex and drugs. It's the 80's so there is a lot of Phil Collins, Genesis, Springsteen, etc. I know all of these songs and have sung them at one point in time in the shower. The book moves fast. It's linear from what I could tell. It's hard to say. Sometimes I felt that the author was talking to me? But maybe it's because the POV is drugged out and drunk. Sometimes it felt like I was reading a telegram. -I smoked a cigarette (stop) He put his shirt on (stop) He left the door open (stop) I cried (stop) Whatever this book was weird and fast paced for some reason and even though I have no idea what the purpose or point of the book was it was totally entertaining to read. Like really bad gossip. You don't care who it's about just tell me more about these weird people. If you like the way Bret Easton Ellis writes you are going to like this book. If you like nonsense drug/party/drunk movies and or books you will like this one too. It just is. Like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas just is. They don't make any sense. They don't have a point, but are very fun to read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Isa

    Ah Bret Easton Ellis. Honestly actually one of my favourite authors. He truly is a genius, and also very likely insane, but the people who possess that particular combination of traits are usually my favourite sort of people. But let's talk about The Rules of Attraction. As you might have guessed I have read Ellis before, namely Less Than Zero, and Imperial Bedrooms. With these two pieces in my head I stepped into the confusing mess of The Rules of Attraction. With this comparison in mind I was Ah Bret Easton Ellis. Honestly actually one of my favourite authors. He truly is a genius, and also very likely insane, but the people who possess that particular combination of traits are usually my favourite sort of people. But let's talk about The Rules of Attraction. As you might have guessed I have read Ellis before, namely Less Than Zero, and Imperial Bedrooms. With these two pieces in my head I stepped into the confusing mess of The Rules of Attraction. With this comparison in mind I was a bit let down at first. I had expected to be shocked, disgusted, and disturbed to the bone, which didn't exactly happen. The Rules of Attraction is very different from the other books I read before, but this doesn't take away the fact that it is a good book. If you asked me what the plot of the book is, I would frown and think for a very long time, shake my head and tell you to just read the book if you want to know, because I can't explain. This partially has to do with the fact that the book isn't really a story. It is a fragment from the lives of three people, without a clear beginning or a clear ending, illustrated very perfectly by the fact that the book begins and ends mid-sentence. This is what makes the story very real, because in real life stories don't just begin and end, unless you start at birth and end at death. In real life there are fragments, chunks of life tied together in a not very logical way; there is no connecting thread, no distinct theme, just life happening. Another thing that I love about the book, is the clear desire of Ellis to confuse and annoy his readers. Why would you write an entire chapter in French? Because I can. Why do you suddenly write a chapter about the main character from Less Than Zero for no apparent reason? Because I can, isn't it amazingly confusing? If one person says he's in a relationship with someone and the other says he's not, who's the one that's lying? I have no idea, you figure it out. Basically, The Rules of Attraction left me confused, annoyed, unsatisfied and frustrated, and I absolutely loved it.

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