Publishers Weekly is running a short preview of their examination of Bret Easton Ellis‚Äôs new novel Lunar Park. I‚Äôve called in some favors and I‚Äôm expecting a review copy soon so keep an eye out for our own detailed review, but in the meantime, here‚Äôs this to whet your appetite.
PW states ‚ÄúHaving ridden to fame as the laureate of Reagan-era excesses, Ellis serves up a self-eviscerating apologia for all the awful things (wanton drug use, reckless promiscuity, serial murder) he worked so hard to glamorize.‚Äù This character moves into a house where a spirit begins demanding that he atone for what he‚Äôs done. ‚ÄúI want you to reflect on your life. I want you to be aware of all the terrible things you have done. I want you to face the disaster that is Bret Easton Ellis.‚Äù
The review, or at least the snippet that is presented on the website (the full text will appear next week) seems to say that the book‚Äôs success depends on your opinion of the author‚Äôs body of work. ‚ÄúThe closest contemporary comparison is, perhaps, the work of Philip Roth, who went for such thinly veiled self-criticism earlier in his career, but Roth‚Äôs writing succeeded on its own merits, whereas Lunar Park begs a knowledge of Ellis‚Äôs celebrity and the casual misanthropy his books espoused. Yet for those familiar with Ellis‚Äôs reputation, the book is mesmerizing, easily his best since Less than Zero‚Ä¶ As a novel by anyone else, Lunar Park would be hokum, but in context, it is a fascinating look at a once controversial celebrity as a middle-aged man.‚Äù