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Book Review
'Lunar Park' by Bret Easton Ellis (2005)


I've had an obsession with Bret Easton Ellis for sometime, once minor, but slowly growing, perhaps now to dangerous levels with the meta-fictional work 'Lunar Park'.

The movie version of 'American Psycho' (2000, based on a 1991 book), a genius critique of Reagan era Wall Street all the more relevant today, was what first garnered my serious attention. But it was his relatively minor 1987 work 'Rules of Attraction' released to the big screen in 2002 that began the obsession - based loosely on his time at the small radical college Bennington the story reminded me closely of my own experience at the very similar Hampshire College. The fact that I had been involved in a personally impactful triangle that included a Bennington student as a third in a fashion not unlike those of the book sunk that particular 'hook'.

And as I learned more about the similarities of our lives the obsession began to reach levels one might consider inappropriate. We had in fact started college in exactly the same year and given that Bennington only has 600 students it was almost guaranteed that Mr. Ellis was acquainted with that aforementioned 'third'. Suddenly it was looking like in the quantum social multi-verse that I was very close to the reality of Mr. Ellis.

Also, like Ellis, I hailed from Suburban L.A, though we left for the Pacific Northwest in the interim - likely, in part, to avoid a future for myself like that of his 1985 book, 'Less than Zero'. (Those of us heading East to be radicals during the Reagan era were a relatively small group, notably including Richard Rushfield.)

1985, the year of Mr. Ellis' young success was the year I got kicked out of Hampshire College - curiously being portrayed as a lesser Patrick Bateman, in my opinion in retaliation for my 'real' work criticizing Reagan era Wall Street via promoting S. African Divestiture nationally. Truth to be told there were drugs involved in this fall. That is one of my best stories, as yet untold.

In 'Lunar Park' Mr. Easton Ellis brings these semi-autobiographical fictional characters to a story where the author himself stars in his own Stephen Kingesque horror story.

Meta-Fiction indeed! Methinks it is time for some derivative non-fiction...


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