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Bret Easton Ellis: American Psycho, Glamorama, Lunar Park (Continuum Studies in Contemporary North America Fiction) Hardcover – 18 Nov 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Continnuum-3PL (18 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826446485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826446480
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,747,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"Naomi Mandel's exceedingly well edited collection of essays on Bret Easton Ellis's three major novels American Psycho, Glamorama, and Lunar Park provides us with the first, long overdue, book-length account of one of the most controversial and reviled of all American authors. A brave undertaking that goes against the received wisdom of much academic and middle-brow literary criticism, this volume offers many surprising insights through close, lucid, frequently ingenious, and always astute encounters with Ellis's work. Despite or perhaps better because of the broad scope of approaches featured, this volume presents readers with a remarkably coherent critical conversation; no doubt to the chagrin of the author's many detractors, this collection of essays ultimately puts forth a convincing counter-canonical argument by positioning Bret Easton Ellis as one of the major American writers of the last thirty years. As such, Bret Easton Ellis proves to be not only an indispensable, and immensely teachable, resource for anyone interested in Ellis's work but also provocative for the study of contemporary literary culture in general."--Sanford Lakoff

"If Ellis's fiction is notoriously said to be about "surface, surface, surface," this collection of essays duly traces the terrestrial details and faultlines of his prose, to interpret how he diagnoses, reveals and often anticipates the most acute contemporary anxieties, from psychological consequences of materialism through the injunction between politics and media to current questions of literary authorship. What is more, the volume offers, probably for the first time, an overview of Ellis's later career as a novelist from American Psycho to Lunar Park. A must for any scholar and, indeed, with the editor's introduction, for any student or reader of contemporary American literature."--Sanford Lakoff

This collection of essays on Bret Easton Ellis's "mature work" (American Psycho, 1991; Glamorama, 1999, LunarPark, 2005) is long overdue. Part of the literary "brat pack" of the 1980s (together with Janowitz and McInerney), Ellis has long stepped outside the genre fiction of his early works, becoming one of the most acknowledged critics of U.S. American lifestyle. The main targets of Ellis's biting critiques - postmodern consumer culture, the "celebrity discourse," and the omnipresence of violence are examined in this anthology in ten persuasive essays. With good reason, the book concentrates on three central novels, which are representative of both thewide range of topicsnegotiated in Ellis's works and the "brand Ellis" (that is, the writer's self-construction in his writings). The anthology is equipped with an excellent introduction on the "value and values of Bret Easton Ellis" as well as introductory articles to each of the three discussed texts. This anthology is not only a wonderful overview of Ellis's oeuvre. It also offers a number of witty and theoretically challenging accounts of the author's most provocative texts. All in all, this book represents an important look at the work of this still active author, covering a basic void in previous criticismof Ellis. This anthology is an indispensable study book for academic discussions of postmodern American literature.--Sanford Lakoff

'Mandel's collection fills a glaring lacuna in contemporary criticism. Ellis's work deserves a book-length study and this collection largely succeeds in providing sober discussion that is necessarily contextual but free of the hysteria occasioned by the extremity of the source material.'--Sanford Lakoff

About the Author

Naomi Mandel is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Rhode Island, USA.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although this collection may not include some of what I would call the most interesting and thought provoking essays to be published on Ellis in recent years, this text certainly provides a great overview of contemporary criticism on this culturally significant writer. Moving beyond earlier arguments linked to American Psycho (morally infused social criticism vs romanticisation of horrific violence), this edited collection provides a more rounded look at this infamous novel within context of Ellis's later comparably experimental texts, including essays by scholars noted for their previous work on this author (perhaps most notably Mandel and Annesley). Not only does this contextualise his thematic and stylistic tropes within the development of his textual ouvre, but points towards why these novels inparticular address societal concerns that remain pertinent today. Not really comprehensive enough to view in isolation when assessing the critical discussions related to these novels, but an important starting point for anyone wanting to get to grips with Ellis's more demanding novels.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ****½ - Very Insightful Look Into the Works of an Extremely Polarizing Writer 13 Oct. 2011
By Todd H - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have you ever really wanted to begin grappling with the themes that Ellis' novels talk about below all of the "surface, surface, surface?" This collection of essays are incredibly enlightening, and I am so glad that I took the time to study them. Three of Ellis' mature period novels are covered through lots of critical analysis by some very bright people in this collection.

Granted, some of the themes could be a stretch, these essays made me think about all three of the books on a whole new level. If you're an Ellis fan, you will love this. If you hate Ellis, you should read this to get a better grip on what he's actually talking about.

*****___(Perfection) The highest degree of enjoyment / fulfillment I've personally experienced with reading
****½___(Excellent) Only lower than five stars due to falling short on any number of "subjective" categories
****____(Influential) A very satisfying experience and has me looking for more from this writer/genre
***½____(Good) Keeps me engaged but unlikely to look for more by this writer unless highly recommended
***_____(Average) Could take it or leave it and will not be looking for more by the same writer
**______(Poor) Constantly asking myself, "How much worse can this get?" every few minutes
*_______(Terrible) Belongs in the dumpster... I mean, the recycling bin
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