A review of

Lunar Park

by Bret Easton Ellis

Central question: Does a son always grow up to be his father?
Format: 309 pp., hardcover; Size: 6 ¼” x 9 ¼”; Price: $24.95; Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; Editor: Gary Fisketjon; Jacket designer: Chip Kidd; Typeface: Electra; Setting of the novel: Present-day suburbia; Name of the ’80s New Wave band in which author played keyboard: The Parents; Representative passage: “‘You screwed that up sometime last night between your second gallon of sangria and the pot you smoked and then racing around this house with a gun.’ A desperate sadness passed over her face before she turned off the lights. ‘You screwed that up with your big Jack Torrance routine.’”

Those critics who find Bret Easton Ellis’s world overly craven aren’t going to be too pleased by his acrid fifth novel, Lunar Park. About Glamorama, Ellis’s prescient 1998 satire of terrorism and dot-com-era Manhattan, it’s “hard to understand,” the New York Times’s Michiko Kakutani wrote, why he “wants to spend so much time (in this novel and every other book he’s written) chronicling a world he seems to recognize as shallow, mercenary, cynical, and meaningless.” Ellisland is a place of designer labels, pornography, ephemeral celebrity, nightlife ennui, and a disregard for the safety of others. It’s a place where everyone wants to be sedated. Ostensibly in Lunar Park our author repents. But only the tone deaf could fail to hear his distinctively laconic sarcasm, equal parts Joan Didion and Jane Austen.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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—Benjamin Strong

Benjamin Strong lives in Brooklyn, and is working, sometimes, on a novel.

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