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The Rules of Attraction [Paperback]

Bret Easton Ellis
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

1 April 2011

Incisive, controversial and startlingly funny, The Rules of Attraction examines a group of affluent students at a small, self-consciously bohemian, liberal-arts college on America’s East Coast.

Lauren, who changes the man in her bed even more often than she changes course, is dating Victor but sleeping with Sean. Sean – cool, ambivalent and deeply cynical – might be in love with Lauren, but he’s not going to let that stop him from bedding Paul. Paul, as shrewd as he is passionate, is Lauren’s ex-lover and the final point in this curious triangle. This is a breathtaking tale of sex, expectation, desire and frustration.

‘A tour of the heart of darkness, a moral armageddon’ The Times

‘Compelling . . . sympathetic to his “lost generation” the way only Fitzgerald was about his’ Vanity Fair

‘One of the primary inside sources in upper-middle-class America’s continuing investigation of what has happened to its children’ New York Times

‘Inspired. A wonderfully comic novel’ Gore Vidal

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The Rules of Attraction + Less Than Zero + Imperial Bedrooms
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (1 April 2011)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0330536346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330536349
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bret Easton Ellis is also the author of Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, The Informers, Glamorama, Lunar Park and Imperial Bedrooms, and his work has been translated into twenty-seven languages. He lives in Los Angeles.

Product Description


"Inspired. A wonderfully comic novel." --Gore Vidal
"Ellis is, first and last, a moralist. Under cover of his laconic voice, every word in his [novels] springs from grieving outrage at our spiritual condition." --"Los Angeles Times Book Review"
"Serves to establish Mr. Ellis's reputation further as one of the primary inside sources in upper-middle-class America's continuing investigation of what has happened to its children." --"The New York Times Book Review"

Book Description

In The Rules of Attraction Bret Easton Ellis trains his incisive gaze on the kids at self-consciously bohemian Camden College, a small, affluent liberal-arts college in New England at the height of the Reagan 80s. He treats their sexual posturings and agonies with a mixture of acrid hilarity and compassion while exposing the moral vacuum at the centre of their lives. Racing from Thirsty Thursday Happy Hours to Dressed To Get Screwed parties to drinks at The Edge of the World, this is a poignant take on the death of romance. ‘Inspired. A wonderfully comic novel’ Gore Vidal ‘Compelling . . . sympathetic to his “lost generation” the way only Fitzgerald was about his’ Vanity Fair ‘One of the primary inside sources in upper-middle-class America’s continuing investigation of what has happened to its children’ New York Times ‘Ellis has always been regarded as the bad boy of contemporary American letters’ Douglas Kennedy ‘A tour of the heart of darkness, a moral armageddon’ The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 20 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Having read all of BEE's work, I believe this is the best example of his misunderstood genius. A complex, subtle and strangely poignant account of American college life in the 1980's, played out through three first-person narrators who show us the world through disillusioned, disaffected eyes. The characterisation is expertly done, and in the end we are left feeling a strange empathy with these hollow lives. It begins in the middle of a sentence and ends in the middle of a sentence, and true, nothing much happens in between, but this is a book about characters, not plot. Style truly reflects content, and the effect is to immerse you totally in the world being portrayed...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great insight 13 Feb 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was the first Bret Easton Ellis book I'd read, so I wasn't sure on what to expect, but the book didn't disappoint. In fact it has made me stick a few more of his books in my Amazon wish list.

The start of the book sets the tone for the characters. It starts mid-sentence like your just dropping in on the book, and it ends mid-sentence, as if you just drift off not really caring about what has happened. This juxtaposition works very well and helps show the characters true essence.

Are money and drugs ruining the world? After reading "The Rules of Attraction" you will certainly believe so. The wild times, out-of-control students and disregard for anything other than oneself, doesn't paint a very pretty picture.

The story revolves around three main characters, Sean, Paul and Lauren. All rich, beautiful and delusional. Which attribute describes them best is hard to tell. As you go deeper the characters become entangled in various situations, some more serious than others. But all with the same terrible, depressing & soul-less attitude.

As the old cliche goes, after I started I didn't want to stop. A great read.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked gem 26 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Ellis' second novel, sandwiched between scathing debut "Less than Zero" and the hard-hitting "American Psycho", was always going to be somewhat overlooked. However, it is just as involving and affecting , albeit subtler than A.P. It is the literary equivalent of creeping up on someone, tapping them on the shoulder and putting a mirror up to their face the instant they turn around. For a few seconds they are shocked by their own appearance... This novel is not about "them", the characters, the situations, it's about you. People you know, things you've done, or thought, or thought you've done but can't remember. An examination of a generation so bored with itself and its preoccupations that it's forgotten it was bored at all, and is simply floating from one pointless event to the next, one partner to the next, one drug to the next. It works on so many levels - outwardly shallow, but it's the superficiality that leads you to look deeper into the characters actions and motives. I personally would not criticise either the novel itself or Ellis style, but it has been mentioned elsewhere that he has been criticised for leaving a page blank, with accusations of pretentiousness for this. However, for me this was one of the most powerful moments of the story - the absence of Lauren's contribution for that day says more about her feelings then than she would ever spell out herself...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By AnnaS
I understand those who say it is a completely meaningsless book, because it really is a book about nothing and I completely get those who say that it is absolutely brilliant, because it is about nothing and still leaves you with something. Reading The Rules of Attraction is like listening to a friend who tells you too much of what you don't want to hear and while he/she is talking and talking you realize that he/she got it all wrong, everything, the whole life, but you really can't do much about it because he/she is too far off for you to even bother.

Bret Easton Ellis lets a couple of college students (mostly Sean, Paul and Lauren) talk about their completely meaningless existance of sex, drugs and parties. What is fascinating here is to get the different perspectives of different people involved in the same love triangle and to see how the same situations, words and actions are perscieved completely differenty depending on what the person wants it to be. As the satirical elements were too hidden for me to find the book funny and the characters too unengaging to find it tragic, it were exactly those glimpses of hope and complete denial that made the book interesting to me.

Would I recommend The Rules of Attraction to my friends? Not really. But maybe I don't have the right kind of friends.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
We all know the masterpiece of that author, viz. American Psycho (please watch the uncut unrated video version: the extra five minutes make a real difference), and I was curious to see what he had become with time and age. This novel is situated in the same period as the one that made his fame, the mid 80s, under Ronald Reagan, the time of the emergence of financial capitalism, or shouldn't I say the emergence of speculative stock exchange financial greedy deregulated adventure. We are dealing here with the children of the first generation of these speculators who were inventing that golden boy and yippy/yuppy age that was just being born under our eyes. The children are all in college doing anything you may think of from drama to poetry, from art to just nothing. They do not plan on getting any real competence or skill in the social field of productivity and the economy. They are just expressing, satisfying and even trying to satiate their unfathomable hunger and thirst for anything that is not advised by moral and ethical authorities in the American world or what's more that is heavily not recommended and harshly rejected, i.e. drugs from cocaine to mushroom and all kinds of other grass, substance or concoction that could get you high or just wasted; then alcohol for the very purpose of being drunk as long as possible, forever if possible (And there they are creative like champagne on the rocks or rum diet coke, and some other barbaric mixtures); and of course sex, sex and sex. The book is in fact detailed only at that level and explores all kinds of possible orientations from plain gay to plain straight and all the variations, nuances, hues and other shades in-between for both girls and boys. In fact the book is becoming obsessive about male homosexuality with a few characters. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
Not as good as American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
, but I enjoyed reading this. Quick and easy reading.
Published 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock and Roll - Deal With It
Having read American Psycho and Glamorama, I'm on a mission to read all Brett Easton Ellis's works, because they're the most gripping, thought provoking novels I've read in a long... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jenny
2.0 out of 5 stars A long howl of Emptiness
Bret Easton Ellis' novel of the shallow, superficial world of self-obsessed, self-indulgent privileged preppies in an 80's American college setting is itself a perfectly mirrored... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lady Fancifull
4.0 out of 5 stars Hmm!
Weirdly, I prefered the film adaptation! But still, enjoyed the book and it kept me entertained. The ending is very frustrating. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Megan
4.0 out of 5 stars The rules of attraction
Really enjoyable read enjoy the way the characters reveal the empty lifestyles that rich kids can live in yet to the outside world appear to have it all.
Published 10 months ago by Jason Allan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight into the mindless musings of the mind
Absolutely loved the mindlessness of the thoughts of the various characters. Found the differences between each characters interpretation of a situation hilarious. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Alex
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent condition, great book
Fast delivery, excellent price, good condition all as hoped. Great book, although like the rest of Brett Easton Ellis' work very much to a taste.
Published 14 months ago by Charlie
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure what the fuss is about
Having been recommended this book by numerous people I have to say I was not that impressed.

Easton Ellis is clearly not aiming to tell an actual story or anything plot... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Julius
4.0 out of 5 stars Nihilistic romp
The multi-perspective nature of this novel keeps it fresh and at times creates delicious dramatic irony that merges humour and heartbreak. Read more
Published 18 months ago by MR PHILIP J BAYLEY
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
The book was fantastic. Great narrative, characters and plot. Thoroughly entertaining and i would recommend this to anyone. Well worth the price.
Published 20 months ago by SRbuyer
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