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    Lunar Park Review Thread

    A collection of reviews for Lunar Park.

    Onion AV Club [mixed]
    NY Sun
    Powell's [-]
    NY Times [mixed]
    The Portland Phoenix [-]
    Newsday [-]
    Village Voice [+]
    Sentence for sentence, Lunar Park has some of Ellis's best writing, especially the tour de force elegy closing out the novel.
    Elle Magazine [+]
    Ny Times #2 [mixed -]
    The Globe & Mail [mixed]
    Miami Herald [+]
    Boston Globe [-]
    It is by far the worst novel he has ever written. It may be the worst novel I've ever read
    San Francisco Chronicle [+]
    Time Magazine
    The New Yorker
    Slate and Slate again [+]
    Christian Science Monitor [+]
    Purdue Exponent [mixed]
    Seattle Times [-]
    Rocky Mountain News [+]
    The Book Reporter [+]
    The Flat Hat [-]
    Seattle Times (again)
    The Daily O-Collegian [+]
    The Stranger[+]
    The Portland Mercury [+]
    No matter how self-aware/deprecating Ellis can be, it still feels like he's coming on your face.
    Independent Collegian [+]
    Seattle Weekly [+]
    Washington Times [-]
    Chicago Tribune [+]
    NY Daily News [-]
    LA Weekly [mixed -]
    Santa Cruz Sentinel [+]
    Daily Evergreen [+]
    Sydney Morning Herald [+]
    Diamondback Online [mixed]
    The Bret Easton Ellis in Lunar Park is the first Bret Easton Ellis character I've ever hoped for, making it something I'm inclined to recommend to people, including my mother, who would probably get depressed reading American Psycho.
    Taipei Times [+]
    Arizona Republic [+]
    The New Republic [-]
    Pop Matters [+]
    Decatur Daily [+]
    SF Bay Guardian [mixed]
    Times Online [mixed +]
    Arbiter Online [+] [-]
    City Pages [mixed +]
    Daily Texan [-]
    Portland Tribune [mixed -]
    Philadelphia Inquirer [mixed -]
    Grand Rapids Press [+]
    The Pinocchio Theory [+]
    Hurricane Online [+]
    Fairfield County Weekly [+]
    Guardian Unlimited [mixed]
    Holy Cross Crusader [-]
    Canoe Jam [+]
    Even if you don't know who Mitchell Allen is, or haven't the faintest clue how awful Patrick Bateman's crimes are (though the book doesn't leave much to the imagination), the genius of "Lunar Park" resides in its ability to expose the broken bits of Ellis-the-writer's life that, by the end, coalesce to somehow make him whole.
    Financial Times
    KC Star [-]
    Ultimately, I found parts of the plot to be incoherent. Fathers/sons, drug-induced delusions/facts - I simply couldn't sort it out. When he's good - such as the book's last few pages, which are masterful - Ellis reveals the range of his potential. Unfortunately, the book has just too much going on for it to work.
    Sunday Independent [+]
    News Observer [-]
    Cadenze [+]
    Tennesean [mixed] [+]
    Huntsville Times [+]
    August 14, 2005
    Category: Lunar Park
    Comments: 11
    Comments continued below.

    Previous Comments

    [1] On Aug-15-2005, a reader wrote:

    Hey folks --

    Read the Boston Globe reveiw. It's the most mean-spirited shallow thing I've seen.

    Then do this -- if you are so moved

    Write to Mr. Almond (the reviewer - his website is tell him what you think.

    It's only one review - but it never ceases to amaze me how people who have never written a novel can be so vicious and they are never challenged.

    Challenge him.


    [2] On Aug-15-2005, Alex W wrote:

    Just remeber what Hemingway said about critics:
    "God knows people who are paid to have attitudes toward things, professional critics, make me sick; camp following eunuchs of literature. They won't even whore. They're all virtuous and sterile. And how well meaning and high minded. But they're all camp followers."
    Enough said. This book will be beautiful and we will all love it for that.

    [3] On Aug-15-2005, Andy wrote:

    The website is really picking-up now...I appreciate all the work you put into this thing Bret.

    I'm enjoying reading the reviews even if I don't agree with all of them. When can we read YOUR review of the book??

    [4] On Aug-15-2005, Andrew wrote:

    his review was just horrible. the whole thing was quotes from the book, and then saying 'SEE? IT SUCKS.'

    ummm no i dont see, do you have a valid argument?


    [5] On Aug-15-2005, Jean-Luc Godard wrote:

    It seems to me that everybody, even the positive reviewers, aren't being fair about where they're coming from in terms of their critiques. Sadly enough, Ellis will always be plagued by past success and social "rumors" or "scandals", and every single review seems to abide by these...judging him by what he's done, not what he's doing. How ironic, being what Lunar Park's about, right?

    [6] On Aug-15-2005, Jean-Luc Godard wrote:

    Is it just my region, or does Ellis not have enough respect in the eyes of "Literary Aleitists(sp?)". I mean, my favorite authors are F. Scott Fitzgerald, William S. Burroughs, William Faulkner, and Bret Easton Ellis, and anybody else I know who likes any of the three other authors I mentioned don't really dig Ellis. Those people also have only read one of his books...usually "Less Than Zero"...and they're usually a little older. Is Ellis a young man's writer? I'm 19 and I love him...the only other fans of his I know are within the age group of 17-22. I think Ellis definitely started out a "young man's writer", but as he's gotten older, I figured his fanbase, especially in terms of older people, would enlarge drastically. Book critics are definitely apart of the "Literary Aleitist" category...and almost all of Ellis' books are mixed that's where this came from. Am I generalizing based on the few older people I've talked to about Ellis...or do other people on this site have the same plight?

    [7] On Aug-15-2005, Andy wrote:

    You may be generalizing a bit...I'm outside of the 17-22 yr old range.
    The characters he writes about are young and they resonate with you more at that time, they have a bigger impact on you when you are just starting to experience life. That is not a knock on you or BEE.
    I think Glamorama is one of the best books of the 90's, but his new book (the first 125 pages or so are wonderful) and then it turns into early Steven King and tries to become heartfelt toward the end. It didn't work for me on an emotional level and I think most older critics are just being honest about that...but your talking about how his overall body of work is recieved by critics. Just enjoy his books and remember those other writers you like so much were ripped apart in their day too.

    [8] On Aug-16-2005, KaderZ wrote:

    I found the review very amusing. I'm not familiar with American newspapers, but somewhere in the review he refers to the Boston Globe as a family newspaper. What does he mean by that? Does it have some kind of Christian signature or what? I mean, that would explain why the review is so vicious.

    [9] On Aug-19-2005, Heather Chee wrote:

    this email has been floating around boston:

    Dear Steve,

    I was moved to write this open letter to the Boston writing community after reading your review of LUNAR PARK by Bret Easton Ellis in Sunday’s BOSTON GLOBE.

    While I am a friend of Mr. Ellis’s, I write now as a concerned member of the aforementioned writing community.

    For a number of years, I’ve watched and cheered as your writing career has flourished with the publication of your short story collections and memoir. One of the things I love about writing is that there is room for everyone at the top and your ascendancy has been no less a pleasure than the trajectory of Mr. Ellis’s successful career. Further complicating matters is that you and I are social acquaintances and have many friends in common; however, if someone had treated you and your work in the manner you've treated Mr. Ellis, the chains of armor would've rattled in your defense, too.

    My concern is this passage from your review:

    Ellis has made a career out of lazy nihilism and gratuitous viscera, and ''Lunar Park" marks the apotheosis of that career. It is by far the worst novel he has ever written. It may be the worst novel I've ever read.

    This sort of soundbyting eerily echoes the “desperate, cynical” (to borrow a phrase from your review) catcalling that Dale Peck used to elevate himself into the national papers at the expense of a more “famous” (again, to use your word) writer, Rick Moody. At the very least, it is a reckless attempt to malign an entire career with one broad stroke. All of which is a surprise considering your take on Dale Peck's attack as posted here:

    In your review, you lament the passing of “the declining standards of intellectual depth and compassion in America” and label Ellis’s work “the literary equivalent of the tabloid stories that are now a staple of the mainstream media.” I submit that your review is written with the same tone and in the same vein that you claim to abhor and I petition you to use a measure of the “intellectual depth” and “compassion” you hold so dear as you continue to stake out your territory within the Boston writing community with this plea: please refrain from doing so at the expense of other writers.

    Jaime Clarke

    [10] On Aug-19-2005, Anonymous wrote:

    Well done, Jaime.
    And thanks Heather for finding and sharing this.

    [11] On Oct-23-2005, Anonymous wrote:

    Bret will wear Trussardi for his italian tour.

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