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Creator / Bret Easton Ellis

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"The whole point of [Ellis's books] is 'Look how terrible these people are. Don't do the things these people do. Don't be like these rich, cool, sexy people.'"

Bret Easton Ellis (born March 7, 1964) is a Los Angeles-born writer who rose to fame in The '80s as one of the "Literary Brat Pack"— and probably the most successful of this group. Works include:

  • Less Than Zero (1985)
  • The Rules of Attraction (1987)
  • American Psycho (1991)
  • The Informers (1994) (short story anthology)
  • Glamorama (1998)
  • Lunar Park (2005)
  • Imperial Bedrooms (2010) (a sequel to Less Than Zero revisiting the characters in current times)
  • White (2019) (His first non-fiction book)
  • The Shards (2023)

Ellis has also written/produced two films:

  • The Informers (2008) (based on his short story anthology of the same name)
  • The Canyons (2013)

Alongside the controversy of his books, Ellis is a fairly public figure whose Twitter account and public quotes skirt the edges of what has been referred to on misogyny and misanthropy.

Ellis also has a podcast on which updates every Monday.

This author's works with their own pages include:

Other works by this author provide examples of:

  • Black Comedy: As pitch black as it gets. All of his books, no matter how violent or full of Squick, contain at least three laugh out loud moments and lots of sly dialogue.
  • Crapsack World: In his works, pretty much everybody is completely shallow and selfish, and they're usually too dense to notice how empty and meaningless their lives are.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Every male in The Informers would appear to be a shallow, blonde, Californian bisexual boytoy who is possibly a vampire.
  • The Film of the Book: The opening of Imperial Bedrooms (the sequel to Less Than Zero) gets very meta with this, and has the characters commenting on how little the film of Less Than Zero had to do with their experiences.
  • Homage: Imperial Bedrooms was an extended one to classic hard-boiled detective fiction, in the Raymond Chandler/James M. Cain tradition.
  • Horrible Hollywood: All the characters of Imperial Bedrooms are members of the Hollywood machine.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Main characters in his stories are often described as holding some kind of occupation or important responsibility but never seen engaging in anything related to that activity. For instance, all the main characters in The Rules of Attraction are college students living on campus in the middle a school semester, but no one apparently attends any courses; many main characters in American Psycho have cushy office jobs on Wall Street but don't seem to do any kind of business work.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: "The Secrets of Summer" in The Informers: vampires here can (and do) eat raw meat or drink animal blood— and when they consume the blood of drug users they get the effects whether they want them or not.
  • Popular Is Dumb: Both perspective and secondary characters in his novels tend to be well connected and have wide social circles... and be shown in dialogue and narration to be offensively, scarily illiterate about anything going on in the real world (usually Played for Laughs).
  • Postmodernism: His books started to feature more and more postmodern elements from American Psycho onwards, with Lunar Park the most striking example.
  • Shared Universe: All Of Bret Easton Ellis’s stories are tied together primarily through their protagonists - Clay, Sean, Patrick, and Victor - who all attended Camden College. As they all know each other, they often share acquaintances who then also pop up in multiple stories.
  • Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: Entirely deliberate on Bret Easton Ellis's part. All his works focus on the shallowness and emptiness of these deliberately unlikable, completely unsympathetic and borderline sociopathic rich people who engage in self-destructive behavior such as drug and alcohol usage, constant sex, and in worse cases, murder. This is all to drive home the message Easton Ellis puts in his stories, the message being that we should NOT be anything like these so-called "Cool" people who are rich and successful because all they do is engage in debauchery to fill up the emptiness inside them.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • Has said that his abusive father was the basis for Patrick Bateman as well as the father in Glamorama.
    • Patrick Bateman's Wicked Pretentious attitude was also his roundabout way of showing off his own highbrow tastes, deliberately writing Patrick in such a manner that he appears Wicked Cultured to readers who don't know any better but comes off as a shallow, shabbily-dressed clown to somebody who's actually familiar with all the exclusive fashion labels and Snooty Haute Cuisine he namedrops.
    • He's also been on the receiving end, as Bunny Corcoran from The Secret History, written by his college friend Donna Tartt, is heavily based on him.