Bret Easton Ellis
- I didn’t think anyone outside of LA would read Less Than Zero. I thought The Rules of Attraction would be a huge hit. I assumed people would react to American Psycho as a comedy. I thought I showcased some of my best writing in The Informers. And I was totally caught off-guard by the amount of good reviews and bad reviews Glamorama elicited. I’ve stopped guessing because I’m always wrong. And quite honestly: I don’t care. Writing the book is the main thing. Waiting for a reaction: a waste of time. But, obviously, I hope people respond to the book in a favorable way. I don’t want people to dislike it. But I don’t really mind if they do.
- I read it for the first time in about 20 years this year–-recently. It wasn't so bad. I get it. I get fan mail now from people who weren't really born yet when the book came out. I don't think it's a perfect book by any means, but it's valid. I get where it comes from. I get what it is. I know that sounds so ambiguous. It's sort of out of my hands and it has its reputation so what can you do about it? There's a lot of it that I wish was slightly more elegantly written. Overall, I was pretty shocked. It was pretty good writing for someone who was 19. I was pretty surprised by the level of writing.
- On Less Than Zero
- It might be my favorite book of mine. It was a very exciting time in my life. I was writing that book while I was at college. Sort of like the best of times, the worst of times. There was a lot of elation, there was a lot of despair. It was just a really fun book to write. I loved mimicking all the different voices. The stream of conscious does get a little out of hand. I kind of like that about the book. It's kind of all over the place. It's casual. It's scruffy. That's the one book of mine that I have a very, very soft spot for.
- On The Rules of Attraction
- I reread that book in the summer of '03. . . . And I hadn't looked at that book either since '91. And I was dreading it. I thought it was going to be a really terrible novel. Everything everyone had ever said about it was going to be true. . . . And I started reading it... and I was surprised. It was good. It was fun. It was not nearly as pretentious as I remember I wanted it to be when I was writing it. Not nearly as weighted down with the importance that I thought I was investing it with. I found it really fast-moving. I found it really funny. And I liked it a lot. The violence was... it made my toes curl. I really freaked out. I couldn't believe how violent it was. It was truly upsetting. I had to steel myself to reread those passages.
- On American Psycho
- It's definitely the book that I can tell—I don't know if other people can tell but I can tell as a writer–-is probably the most divisive that I've written. It has an equal number of detractors as it does fans. It doesn't really hold true with the other books. It was the one that took the longest to write, and the one that seemed the most important at the time. It's an unwieldy book... I like it.
- On Glamorama
Less Than Zero (1985)
- People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles.
- Disappear here.
The Rules of Attraction (1987)
- ...and it's a story that might bore you but you don't have to listen, she told me, because she always knew it was going to be like that, and it was, she thinks, her first year, or actually weekend, really a Friday, in September, at Camden, and this was three or four years ago, and she got so drunk that she ended up in bed, lost her virginity (late, she was eighteen) in Lorna Slavin's room, because she was a Freshman and had a roommate and Lorna was, she remembers, a Senior or Junior and usually somestimes at her boyfriend's place off-campus, to who she thought was a Sophomore Ceramics major but who was actually either some guy from N.Y.U., a film student, and up in New Hampshire just for The Dressed to Get Screwed party, or a townie.
American Psycho (1991)
- ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE is scrawled in blood red lettering on the side of the Chemical Bank near the corner of Eleventh and First and is in print large enough to be seen from the backseat of the cab as it lurches forward in the traffic leaving Wall Street and just as Timothy Price notices the words a bus pulls up, the advertisement for Les Miserables on its side blocking his view, but Price who is with Pierce & Pierce and twenty-six doesn't seem to care because he tells the driver he will give him five dollars to turn up the radio, "Be My Baby" on WYNN, and the driver, black, not American, does so.
- pg. 3; the opening of the book.
- "Wait," she gasps.
"What?" I moan, puzzled but almost there.
"Luis is a despicable twit," she gasps, trying to push me out of her.
"Yes," I say, leaning on top of her, tonguing her ear. "Luis is a despicable twit. I hate him too," and now, spurred on by her disgust for her wimp boyfriend, I start moving faster, my climax approaching.
"No, you idiot," she groans. "I said Is it a receptacle tip? Not 'Is Luis a despicable twit.' Is it a receptacle tip? Get off me."
"Is what a what? I moan.
"Pull out," she groans, struggling.
"I'm ignoring you," I say, moving my mouth down on her small perfect nipples, both of them stiff, sitting on hard, big tits.
"Pull out, goddamnit!" she screams.
"What do you want, Courtney?" I grunt, slowing my thrusts down until I finally straighten up and then I'm just kneeling over her, my cock still half inside. She hunches back against the headboard and my dick slides out.
- pg. 103; Patrick is sleeping with Courtney, the fiancee of his associate Luis Carruthers, whom he despises and later finds has a homosexual attraction towards him. The dispute is over what type of condom he is wearing.
- Specks—-specks all over the third panel, see?—-no, that one—-the second one up from the floor and I wanted to point this out to someone yesterday but a photo shoot intervened and Yaki Nakamari or whatever the hell the designer's name is—-a master craftsman not—-mistook me for someone else so I couldn't register the complaint, but, gentlemen—-and ladies—-there they are: specks, annoying, tiny specks, and they don't look accidental but like they were somehow done by a machine—-so I don't want a lot of description, just the story, streamlined, no frills, the lowdown: who, what, where, when and don't leave out why, though I'm getting the distinct impression by the looks on your sorry faces that why won't get answered—-now, come on, goddamnit, what's the story?
"We'll slide down the surface of things..."
"'As a genereal rule you shouldn't expect too much from people darling,' and then i kiss her on the cheek.
'I just had my makeup done, so you can't make me cry.'"
Lunar Park (2005)
- You do an awfully good impression of yourself.
- "I hear today's college women are 'prodigious.'"
"Prodigious? Is that what you heard?"
"Well, I read it in a magazine. It was something I wanted to believe."
"The Jayster. Always a dreamer."
- That doesn't sound like...the Jayster.
About Bret Easton Ellis
- A case could be made for Mr. Ellis as a covert moralist and closet sentimentalist, the best kind, the kind who leaves you space in which to respond as your predispositions nudge you, whether as a commissar or hand-wringer or, like me, as an admirer of his intelligence and craft.
- George Stade, The New York Times Book Review.