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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
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...
Published on 20 Nov 2001

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fascinating, but ugly picture of youth completely empty of meaning
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...
Published on 27 Dec 2010 by AnnaS


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7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rules of attraction is underrated and best Ellisnovel, 23 Jun 1999
By A Customer
The Rules Of Attraction is overlooked, it is in my opinion the best Bret Easton Ellis novel. The circular nature of the 'story' and pop songs used to 'centre' the chaos (in an almost Proustian fashion)are admirable devices here. It is about Western indulgences, set in the much maligned eighties; it is everything about that decade that lazy journalists attribute to Tom Wolfe's slab of boredom, The Bonfire Of The Vanities. If you like eighties pop references:REM, The Smiths, Talking Heads etc-THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU. The Rules...feels like Joyce on ecstasy, pissing over the one-trick pony world of Irvine Welsh. It is the lit equivalent of Prince's 'Sign O the times', predicting now, today, the next or last ten years. You'll love the queer reading of Springsteens 'Backstreets' or the unrequited love of a nameless suicidal girl. This is honed chaos, better than the dull American Psycho, better than the excellent Less Than Zero. It also makes you want to read The Informers and Glamorama- various characters recur there also. As an added bonus Patrick Bateman makes his first appearance. Salman Rushdie recently said that only The Commitments and his new tome of magical realism captured the world of pop music. Rubbish, the characters of The Rules live in a world charted by pop music, as we do. This is a history, of the moment just gone. Of nothing. Of everything.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Number of crowns is relative to Ellis' normal high level, 13 Sep 1999
By A Customer
I am really unsatisfied by this book.
The careers and talents of Ellis and Scott Fitzgerald are often correctly compared: both hit the literary scene young, both write about youth, money and high crime etc.
This Side of Paradise, is very autobiographical, although F denied this; Less than Zero is very autobiographical, although E denies this, to an extent. American Psycho and The Great Gatsby are their both third novels and their finest hours. Tender is the Night and Glamorama are both sophisticated difficult novels which show different sides of their respective scribes, however they fail to satisfy as I, and this is just my personal view, feel that the writers have become too ambitious.
So, if this had been apparent before, Ellis would have never published TRoA as it is his The Beautiful and The Damned. Both novels stray from youth and study romance. Emotion is a strong point of either of their styles.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The beginnings of great things., 10 May 2002
If, like me, you've read his more recent works first, don't expect anything along the lines of his modern classics 'Glamorama' and 'American Psycho'. Instead, put it in context with his catalogue of work - released after the disturbing 'Less Than Zero' and before the equally bleak and nihilistic 'The Informers' - and marvel at Ellis' literary evolution from infective, late-teen angst-ridden drama, through to the polished novels of the aforementioned.
'The Rules of Attraction' is essentially a tense, confused, sexually liberated look at life on college campus during the 80's America - fuelled by a cocktail of alcohol, drugs, sex, 80's music and angst. The narrative is first-person, and Ellis flits from character to character, giving us alternate perspectives of the same events - often with both hilarious and disturbing paradoxes. As if life for the characters here.
The book focuses around Paul Denton, a bi-sexual student; Lauren Hyde (Yes, Lauren from 'Glamorama'); and Shaun Bateman (a moody, not-so-open bi-sexual), in a full blooded love-triangle. There are also fleeting appearances from Victor Ward (Glamorama), Pat Bateman (American Psycho), and Clay (Less Than Zero) - the forst two showing they're potential (particularly Victor); the latter showing that he's Ellis has moved on by remaining secondary through out.
Not quite as good as 'LTZ', but still definitely worth a read if you're into Ellis...
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars still waiting for a plot, 27 Oct 2003
By A Customer
OK, because the film came out on DVD and I wanted to see Ian Somerhalder (?) with very few clothes on, I watched it against my better judgement, and also against my better judgement decided to reread the book.
Its been almost three years since I read it first, and I still can't find a discernible plot. I am sure it must be hidden in there somewhere, but as far as I can see its just a load of waffle about students doing....well, what students do. So, if you have been hiding under your duvet for the last forty years, you may find the revelations about sex and drugs and rock and roll startling. However, if you have had some semblence of a life yourself, I can bet you have had some more amusing and remarkable experiences of life yourself than these intolerably bland muppets.
Don't waste your time.
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4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Was this the most broing book I ever read, 30 April 2003
By A Customer
Yes it was, I kept skimming pages to try and find the plot that never materialised. If you want sex, drugs and rock & roll you will find it here. If you want a good read as well try another book. The three main characters had no redeeming features and were all totally boring people. The last two chapters contain a mistake regarding a motorcycle and a car, if you get that far in the book maybe you will spot it too.
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5 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring people, boring time (early 80's) no plot, avoid., 20 July 2001
By A Customer
This book is so boring I was tempted to stop reading halfway through. The tediously boring lives of some early 80's American college students makes dull reading. Each chapter is seen through the eyes of one three main characters all as tedious, spoilt and dull as the next. Nothing happens, the end. That's it basically. Maybe it's because I'm an 90's kid but the 80's sure were dull. Why write a book about youth set at a time when youth culture was at it's lowest ebb?
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The Rules of Attraction
The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis (Paperback - 1 April 2011)
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