Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis (CBR-IV #35)

Cannonball Read IV: Book #35/52
Published: 2005
Pages: 404
Genre: Fiction

Apparently this book wasn't very well received by most Bret Easton Ellis fans and I can see why. It's definitely different. I've only slightly familiar with Ellis' work, having read American Psycho back in college and The Informers just recently. Strangely, Lunar Park is probably my favorite of the three.

The book follows a very well-known author named Bret Ellis (sound familiar?) as we marries a famous actress and they move to the suburbs with their family (they have a son together and she has a daughter). The first half of the book is almost an autobiography of Ellis' career. I'm not super familiar with his real life history, so I'm not sure how much is true and how much was fictionalized for the story. The fiction Bret Ellis in the book also wrote American Psycho, Less than Zero, etc. 

The second half of the book is where everything gets kind of weird. I think this is where Ellis lost some of his audience. I went into this without having read most of his other novels, so it wasn't such a divergence to me for him to start writing about hauntings and such. I can see how that would be hard to swallow to a huge BEE fan. Kind of like if Stephen King started writing romance novels or something. 

Anyways, I liked this part of the book. It's definitely weird, but it was super creepy as well. The daughter's Ferby doll coming to life was creepy as heck. Those things always kind of disturbed me. The tension really built up as more and more weird things start happening and more mysteries pop up. Why does Bret's son seem to be involved in a bunch of teen disappearances? Why is there a serial killer replicating Patrick Bateman's murders from American Psycho? What the hell is going on with that creepy Furby?? 

I thought the book was great. It's a slow burning mystery, but definitely still a page-turner. I also liked the ending. It fit well without being cliche or some completely nuts twist ending. People generally wouldn't recommend Lunar Park as a first Ellis novel to try out, but I actually think it might work better if you're not a huge Ellis fan already. Maybe check out American Psycho first though so you have some background on Patrick Bateman.

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