Review of "Lunar Park"


"Lunar Park"

by Brett Easton Ellis

Alfred A. Knopf

308 Pages




So here this writer sits as if an upwardly flowing odalisque and on his futon types on his laptop in order to compare Jonathan Safran Foer's "Everything is illuminated" (as further illuminated by the movie version directed by Leiv Schreiber and starring Toby Maguire { a piece in which the author refers to himself as the writer or Jonathan Safran Foer who is a character in the story itself in the third person via the voice of a narrator a young Ukrainian man named Alex who travels with a dog) (a bitch he calls her) named Sammy Davis jr. jr.} to Brett Easton Ellis's "Lunar Park" (where the writer himself is the character in the first person living his life in what might have been or a duplicate reality (a what if?) which then is seamlessly blended in with strains based on reality and a chaser of a couple of shots of that which is otherwise embellished as well).


Well, I have never in my span which almost mimics B.E.E's read an entire Ellis novel before. For conversational of cultural reference this sometimes social presence would go forth when ruminating on Ellis's work by piecing together his knowledge of the writer; the small sections of his books he had scanned, what has been written about the Bennington grad and his oeuvre in the press , brief interactions with the actual person, and movies of his stuff. So picking up "Lunar Park" to review was keenly interesting not only because I was now walking into a room after it had been fully decorated, but, because certain events intersect my own.


Early on it became apparent to this by now very hesitant reviewer that this work was a passage or a way for the author of seeing his life onwards or of not staying moribund while inhabiting the image of who he was. Here Ellis attempts through catharsis or exorcism (literal or figurative?) not to stay who he is or was forever. (While George W Bush announcing that the United States is addicted to oil is tantamount to a man missing half of his teeth on the orange, blue, and white corrections bus to Rikers announcing that he's a crackhead Brett Easton Ellis's "Lunar Park" is supposed to read as necessary exorcism).


The real Ellis's actuality as a public personality is convoluted. Is he heterosexual, bisexual, or gay? Many put two and two together for him in that the rage towards women as manifested in his infamous gore fest "American Psycho" it is natural that he hated women and was gay. However, looking at his work his sexual cosmography is more complicated than that (in fact he comes from a subset of the moneyed elite where at least in youth bisexuality is tolerated if not celebrated or allowed as long as quieted). Our author then turns the tables by inserting himself into a familial landscape where he moves to suburbia and his past moves him out from his brief tenure in normalcy anyhow. He has got to get past that which is in his past and yet his past comes back to haunt him and comes back to haunt his house.



His character duplicate in name (the self-referential doppelgangerish Brett Easton Ellis) gets back together with a famous actress with whom he has fathered a child. Subsequently, he moves in with her; their son together Robbie, and her daughter by a record executive. This all arises after a fabled spin through drugs and alcohol and his lackluster agreement to stay straight.


All through the volume's introductory summing up of his fabled literary life, and events which follow such as a brief affair he has with a student, a wild Halloween party which he hosts in the suburban house in which he now lives, soirees he and his wife attend at a neighbors house, and a parent-teacher conference his faux state of stasis gradually unwinds.


Further. Then the Ellis clone Ellis has created strictly for the purpose of prose tries to have a friendship with his son (this fails and meanwhile he is haunted by the memory of his father) as yet another clone yet to be unmasked turns out to be a younger version of the writer himself (which is originally a young man named Clayton) stalks Ellis. This young man and his father eventually merge into one mini-poltergeist and a demonologist has to be brought in to exorcize them.


Furthermore, a murder spree in the area ensues where the victims follow an order form "American Psycho" as he is threatened by a deranged stuffed animal doll toy which flies and young boys in the area are disappearing. Through all these multiple traumas which in the end seem comic this work is about self as transferred between fathers and sons.


Towards the end in what could easily be construed to be a variation upon Safran Foer's literary experiments the personality of the main character splits into two parts Easton Ellis and the writer. The writer takes the form of a running narrative who attempts to do the dividing in the splitting in half of the fictitious Easton Ellis. Though it is "the writer" who is drives the action it is Ellis the person who through the power of two can sit back and decide what course to pursue. But in the end this book takes you to a place which is about fathers and sons and where it just might on the final page as it did mine turnaround and break your heart.