Customer Reviews for

The Rules of Attraction

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

All I can say is - amazing.

I first read this book when I was twelve years old. The book was rather dark, but I thought that was a plus. I fell in love with all of the characters, and connected to all of them. Easton Ellis can capture emotion, and come up with three beautiful and out-of-the-ordi...
I first read this book when I was twelve years old. The book was rather dark, but I thought that was a plus. I fell in love with all of the characters, and connected to all of them. Easton Ellis can capture emotion, and come up with three beautiful and out-of-the-ordinary characters that are easy to see yourself in. After reading, I saw relationships from a different perspective, and I still do. Buy this book now.

posted by Katanahun on September 23, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A prototype for the masterworks to come from Ellis.

In this novel, Ellis establishes the universe of characters for his more gruesome and surreal novels, "Amecian Psycho" and "Glamorama." Considered his most lighthearted novel, "The Rules of Attraction" still manages a level of darkness and inevitability.
Each chapter ...
In this novel, Ellis establishes the universe of characters for his more gruesome and surreal novels, "Amecian Psycho" and "Glamorama." Considered his most lighthearted novel, "The Rules of Attraction" still manages a level of darkness and inevitability.
Each chapter is written from different perspectives of students at Camden college, the fictional analogue to Ellis' own East Coast alma mater. The three main characters constitute a twisted romantic triangle that's both petty and destructive. Sean Bateman (the brother of American Psycho's Patric Bateman) is infatuated with Lauren (the Lauren Hynde from Glamorama). Lauren fails to get over her love for Victor (the same Victor that's Glamorama's protagonist) while getting involved with Sean... and several others. Paul adds another layer to the conflict, sharing history with Lauren and becoming infatuated with Sean.
Like with "Less Than Zero," the characters in this novel fail to learn from their moral shortcomings. While a "heroic" story will have morally flawed characters learn and grow from their trials, such is not the case in an Ellis novel. This story starts out reprehensible and just gets more destructive from there. Conflicts and pathologies totally lack resolution throughout and the novel ends with a broken, unfinished sentence, underscoring the finality of their collective drama.
Despite the darkness of the plot structure, "The Rules Of Attraction" boasts some extremely funny chapters, including a chapter by Sean's French roommate written entirely in French. Getting a translation is well worth it, as his whining and arrogant love letter to Lauren is genuinely funny. Sean also has a chapter where he discusses a relationship with a hippie that I laughed out loud at several times.
Both the moral depravity and the black humor of this novel are something of an embryonic necessity for this young author, suggesting the greater works of American Psycho and Glamorama that will follow this novel. While not "great" on it's own, I recommend that anyone interested in Ellis read this short novel before trying to tackle the gut-wrenching masterpiece of "American Psycho" or the existential nightmare of "Glamorama."

posted by Ninja_Dog on September 3, 2009

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  • Posted September 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    All I can say is - amazing.

    I first read this book when I was twelve years old. The book was rather dark, but I thought that was a plus. I fell in love with all of the characters, and connected to all of them. Easton Ellis can capture emotion, and come up with three beautiful and out-of-the-ordinary characters that are easy to see yourself in. After reading, I saw relationships from a different perspective, and I still do. Buy this book now.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Dark Romantic Comedy

    This hilariously realistic story is about as dark as they get, but in this depressive college dating story you find a tapestry of interesting characters leading entertaining lives and telling intertwining stories. In this story, the people who want to hook up with each other rarely do, and when they do it isn't usually what they thought it would be. Very few other romance stories actually leave you feeling that it is a believable story. This one people can relate to. Another good one is Christmas at Sibyl's. A friend bought it for me and it's now one of my favorite Christmas stories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2007

    Hell is Other People.

    Uninhibited drug use, demoralizing sexual encounters and an ironic portrait of 80s campus life for the American upper crust---these things make for a great read, but there's much more to this book than sex and drugs. The inherent inability of one human being to 'know' another takes on poignant and hilarious overtones under Ellis' pen. Framing the story through the minds of its characters shows their utter obsessions, misunderstandings and pathetic illusions. Kudos.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2005

    Amazing: Dark, Funny, Wonderful, Depressing

    I read this book in two days, and I couldn't put it down the entire time. From the first words introducing each character from their perspectives, I was hooked. Like a college soap opera, but without the cheese, only reality. TROA is an incredible look at the lives of the youths of modern America, and the pain they often endure. All I can say is, I both look forward to, and fear, college next year.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2004

    A College Reality Check

    I felt that this book was amazing. It gives such a vivid picture of college students. As a high schools senior, it's odd to think that i'll soon be entering situations like those in the novel. The characters are outlined and detailed so well it's astonishing. Brett Easton Ellis did an outstanding job on creating real life situations that young people of our society deal with every day. The way the story was told through the different characters gave the reader the ability to actually get a real picture of what is going on. The movie and the book do not compare; the novel is defiantly the better choice. However, it did upset me with the ending. It felt as though a lot of the character's problems were never resloved. This book should be a requirment to read, the imagery that the author presents will leave you with a feeling like no other

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2003

    This book should be mandatory for all college students

    Ellis hits the nail on the head here. He provides the perfect way to not go through college. I love the characters and the story lines are rich, and the lifestyle of the students is outrageous. Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll, every college kids dream comes true in Rules of Attraction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2003

    The Best Book Ever!!

    Bret Easton Ellis constructs a brilliant novel that places the readcer directly into the fictional world of Camden college. His descriptions of the events that unfold vivedly portray his charactors and places. The charactors are not fake nor are they stereotypes, they are in a way real peolple that aren't that unfamiliar in this world. A great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2002

    Flawless and Mesmerizing

    Ellis is truly a literary god. He can make such a twisted story and still keep a sophisticated feel to it. His characters are so realistic it is scary. The story dwells in the deepest wreches of the human mind and keeps you there. If you want a good read and like the disturbing then you are in heaven. Get this book!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2002

    An Accurate and Vivid Picture

    The Rules of Attraction are by far Brett Easton Ellis' best novel. The characters are very real and well defined and the emotions they experience and exhibit (and hide) are extremely accurate. The author does a wonderful job of exploring the lost generation that starts anew with each incoming freshman class.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2001

    This Book IS College

    I read American Psycho and I like this read a lot more. It challenges you in the same way as Psycho though. I'll always catch myself in these melancholic states while reading it...determined to live in the dorms again just to get a glimpse of the chaos he portrays. The characters are hopeless from the start, but you keep reading because we all are hopeless. You long for love and want something of value and you hate those that just run around in some dream (Sean and the main girl, i forget her name) where nothing matters. It's giving up versus survival and a lot of weed smoking in the process. But I think anybody who has been to college within the last 20 years will agree that this book is college. My thoughts are consumed with the same things these character's thoughts are consumed with. We are all kind of helpless, trying to meet our needs any way we can. We hate those that meet their needs through sex and pass it off as fun and that hate seems to come from envy. There is so much envy in college and in this book. It is even worse that these kids are rich...because no matter how corrupt or disgusting they are we will still envy them because of their status. It was the same thing with American Psycho. No matter how horrible these people are they are still living in that American dream that only few experience the luxury of. It's depressing, but reading it is a great learning experience, just as American Psycho. I just don't know what I'm learning.

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