on the shelf: The Rules of Attraction



The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis
ISBN-13: 9780679781486

Synopsis: Set at a small, affluent liberal-arts college in New England at the height of the Reagan 80s, The Rules of Attraction is a startlingly funny, kaleidoscopic novel about three students with no plans for the future—or even the present—who become entangled in a curious romantic triangle. Bret Easton Ellis trains his incisive gaze on the kids at self-consciously bohemian Camden College and treats their sexual posturings and agonies with a mixture of acrid hilarity and compassion while exposing the moral vacuum at the center of their lives.
Lauren changes boyfriends every time she changes majors and still pines for Victor who split for Europe months ago and she might or might not be writing anonymous love letter to ambivalent, hard-drinking Sean, a hopeless romantic who only has eyes for Lauren, even if he ends up in bed with half the campus, and Paul, Lauren's ex, forthrightly bisexual and whose passion masks a shrewd pragmatism. They waste time getting wasted, race from Thirsty Thursday Happy Hours to Dressed To Get Screwed parties to drinks at The Edge of the World or The Graveyard. The Rules of Attraction is a poignant, hilarious take on the death of romance.

Review: The second book I have read by Ellis actually features a relative of the infamous Patrick Bateman. It is his little brother, Sean. The story revolves mostly around Sean Bateman, Paul Denton, and Lauren Hynde. At certain points in the book, Paul was an unlikeable character. I dreaded his chapters because he was such a drag. Everybody else, it seemed, had issues that shaped their characters. Paul was just there to stir the pot with a little bit of crazy, but other than that, he was kind of useless.

Player Sean had some redeeming qualities. He seemed mysterious. As the reader, though, I got a good sense of what kind of guy he was. He wasn't terrible and of the three main characters, he was the most thought out and likable.

Lauren was kind of scattered and erratic. She changed majors every time she changed boyfriends! However, she always pined for Victor as she bedded other men. Victor seemed like a weiner so I don't get Lauren's fascination.

All in all, this was another good book by Ellis. I am excited when the time comes to read American Psycho. I know a tiny bit about it, but I've never seen the movie so it'll all be fresh.

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