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Lunar Park

Lunar Park

4.2 76
by Bret Easton Ellis

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Imagine becoming a best-selling novelist, and almost immediately famous and wealthy, while still in college, and before long seeing your insufferable father reduced to a bag of ashes in a safety-deposit box, while after American Psycho your celebrity drowns in a sea of vilification, booze, and drugs.

Then imagine having a second chance ten years later, as the Bret


Imagine becoming a best-selling novelist, and almost immediately famous and wealthy, while still in college, and before long seeing your insufferable father reduced to a bag of ashes in a safety-deposit box, while after American Psycho your celebrity drowns in a sea of vilification, booze, and drugs.

Then imagine having a second chance ten years later, as the Bret Easton Ellis of this remarkable novel is given, with a wife, children, and suburban sobriety -- only to watch this new life shatter beyond recognition in a matter of days. At a fateful Halloween party he glimpses a disturbing (fictional) character driving a car identical to his late father’s, his stepdaughter’s doll violently "malfunctions," and their house undergoes bizarre transformations both within and without. Connecting these aberrations to graver events -- a series of grotesque murders that no longer seem random and the epidemic disappearance of boys his son’s age -- Ellis struggles to defend his family against this escalating menace even as his wife, their therapists, and the police insist that his apprehensions are rooted instead in substance abuse and egomania.

Lunar Park confounds one expectation after another, passing through comedy and mounting horror, both psychological and supernatural, toward an astonishing resolution -- about love and loss, fathers and sons -- in what is surely the most powerfully original and deeply moving novel of an extraordinary career.

Editorial Reviews

America's gleeful psycho, Bret Easton Ellis returns with his most provocative and engaging effort yet. Showing his meta-fictional mettle, Ellis turns himself into the main character, offering up a memoir of drug-addled novelist who gets a shot at redemption. But the bliss of marriage (to a movie star, no less) and fatherhood evaporates amid the mayhem of a series of murders. Yet somehow this send-up of suburbia, the horror genre, and the very art of the memoir becomes a gripping journey. Middle age be damned: This talented Gen-X author hasn't lost a bit of his edge.
Elizabeth Hand
Ellis also evokes with nightmarish clarity a certain kind of upper-middle-class life, where all the children are Ritalin-dependent and even the family golden retriever is on Prozac. These scenes, the book's strongest, suggest the chilly horror of J.G. Ballard's best work.
— The Washington Post
Janet Maslin
Lunar Park culminates in an exquisite closing passage that is a phantasmagoria of love and loss, a fusion of hallucination and wisdom, a couple of pages so stirringly executed that they beautifully illuminate all that has come before. If this is the author being carried off on a flight of imagination, he also stirringly transports the reader. But if he has written this with utter clarity and no excuses, he also reinvents himself. The book's last words do not come from the Bret we used to know.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Patrick Bateman, the sociopath of American Psycho, is back, or at least Bret Easton Ellis thinks so. That's Bret Easton Ellis the character, not Bret Easton Ellis the author, except the character is also the author of American Psycho. The truth is, it's hard to sort truth from fiction in Ellis' latest novel. Van Der Beek (who starred as Sean Bateman, Patrick's younger brother in the film adaptation of Ellis's Rules of Attraction) does a fabulous job of playing a nihilistic, bored, paranoid and endlessly irresponsible writer. Though the character is drug-addled for a large portion of the book, Van Der Beek does not portray the stupor in his voice; instead he recounts Ellis's keen observations with the perfect sense of removal and lack of ownership. This distance serves well the horror genre that Ellis flirts with: the listener experiences everything through the main character's eyes, though that character has a reputation for being less than reliable. The Ellis character is done so smoothly that one may think that we are hearing Van Der Beek's natural tone. It is not until hearing him read the smaller roles of the other characters that the listener realizes the range of his capabilities. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, June 27). (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Presented as a novel rather than a faux memoir, Lunar Park, read by James Van Der Beek, attempts to be satirical but is so self-reverential of the lead character/author's flaws, it often sounds like the worst cheap gossip columns or blog. Ellis may be disproving Socrates's proclamation that "an unexamined life is not worth living," be this fiction or not. The prolog sets the mood, dragging on indicatively as the rambling drug-riddled tale swings between fits of semiapologetic smarminess and potential horror. As his own lead character and narrator, Ellis calls on all his past real and fictional demons and creates a privileged world out of familiar pop culture celebrities in a horror mystery that may or may not be purely delusional. There is an audience for this work among the author's fans, but it may be a rather select group. Not recommended.-Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
For his fifth and most enjoyable novel, Ellis has found the perfect anti-hero: himself. We start with an overview of his life and oeuvre. The author/narrator, a narcissistic, self-pitying drug fiend, gets a shot at redemption when movie star Jayne Dennis, an old flame, offers to marry him. The deal is that he must now connect with Robby, the son he has shunned for 11 years. The father-son relationship is the novel's major theme and plot pivot; the 1992 death of Bret's difficult father was traumatic. Bret jumps at the offer. How will the celebrity author handle marriage, fatherhood and life in the suburbs? He can't hack it. He loses his desire for Jayne in his drive to seduce Aimee, a student at the local college; he quickly reverts to his cocaine and vodka habits (Brat Pack buddy Jay McInerney shows up for a druggy Halloween party); and he resents his cold, distant son. This is all as fascinating as a car wreck and is frequently very funny. Then things get weird. Terby, the mechanical bird doll owned by Sarah, Jayne's daughter by a different father, comes to sinister life. Bret receives mysterious e-mails from the bank where his father's ashes are deposited. Boys in the neighborhood disappear, and there is a wave of grisly murders modeled on those in American Psycho. The story of a doomed marriage blends with a satirical take on upscale suburban angst, a campy horror story about a haunted house, a Frankenstein-like case of a monster unchained and a serious rumination on the damage fathers can do to sons. Ellis stirs these elements into a steamy witches' brew and works his way through to a marvelously elegiac ending, displaying real artistic discipline. "Every word is true," declaresBret-but then again, a writer's life is "a maelstrom of lying."Even his harshest critics may now have to acknowledge that this versatile, resourceful writer has formidable skills. First printing of 125,000
From the Publisher

"Addictive. . . . Sublime. . . . Exquisite. . . . Stirringly executed. . . . A phantasmagoria of love and loss, a fusion of hallucination and wisdom."–The New York Times


“The deftness with which Ellis handles an entertaining and suspenseful plot, as well as a sophisticated play between truth and fiction, real selves and imagined selves, is impressive. Lunar Park is not only enjoyable and consuming, but insightful.”–San Francisco Chronicle


“John Cheever writes The Shining. . . . A strange triumph. . . . Here is a book that progresses from darkness and banality to light and epiphany with surprising strength and sureness.”–Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly


“A mesmerizing read. . . . Genuinely frightening. . . . Lunar Park is a story about the momentous pain parents inflict on their children. . . . The worst violence is internal and emotional, and in its beautiful closing pages, this rich, deceptively complex novel argues that’s the most damaging violence of all.”–The Miami Herald

Product Details

Picador USA
Publication date:

Read an Excerpt

Please visit eastonellis.com to read an excerpt, and get more information about the book.

Meet the Author

Bret Easton Ellis is the author of Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, The Informers, GlamoramaLunar Park, and Imperial Bedrooms. His works have been translated into twenty-seven languages. Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, and The Informers have all been made into films. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Lunar Park 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
MattMarak More than 1 year ago
I read Lunar Park when it came out years ago and it stands out as one of the best books that I've read in the past 10 years. It was genius -- bizarre, dark, fantastical. But, oddly enough, completely relatable. This is is Ellis's best novel. And, why I will always pick up any novel he writes in the future.
compson More than 1 year ago
it's likely that brett easton ellis' identity will forever be defined by his novels, 'less than zero' and 'american psycho.' but, 'lunar park' is his literary masterpiece. it's everything dark, tortured, and lost, that he ever put down on paper. this time, the fear and horror don't come from people desperate to lose themselves...but from a man desperate to find and free himself. it's the closest thing to uplifting, he's probably written. &if you can get through to the end, there's much to be learned in his truth and honesty. plus, i just like the way he's constantly evolving the role of narrator...tres postmodern.
Ninja_Dog More than 1 year ago
In Ellis' latest novel, he moves completely outside his comfort zone in every way to deliver a story that is as touching as it is shocking. The narrator and protagonist is Bret Easton Ellis, but not the Ellis of this reality. He's a wasted lush who seeks to rebuild a failed relationship with the mother of his bastard son (a fictional actress). As he moves into suburban life, he fails to adjust and put away his bachelor ways of carousing and substance abuse. However, the stakes are raised when the spirit of his dead father invades upon their quaint home, presumably taking the vicious form of Patrick Bateman. Literally haunted by his past deeds and fictional creations, Ellis is forced to confront his broken past and try harder as a father and husband... not just for his own emotional well being, but for the total survival of his family. Lunar Park deviates from virtually every formula Ellis has used in the past. Ellis' comfort zone is rich, beautiful, emotionally devoid characters who fail to evolve or learn from their lifestyles. We often get virtually nothing in terms of an emotional landscape from his characters, but Ellis (the character) has an intense emotional range and manages to confront a lifetime of familial angst in order to deal with the ghost story he faces. Ellis' novels are also typically grounded in realism (though they are often surreal), but in this one, we are presented with a supernatural thriller. The dry repetitions and lengthy descriptions of past works are also abandoned, replaced by a practical depth that his former narrators are generally not capable of. In almost every way, Lunar Park is an abandonment of the formulae that have made Ellis successful. This is, in my opinion, one of the great successes of the novel. While I highly recommend this novel, I would suggest that anyone interested in Lunar Park read American Psycho first, at the very least. The events of that book bear heavily on the plot of Lunar Park. The main character (and catch-phrase) of Less Than Zero are also an important detail worth understanding before attempting Lunar Park, as well. However, if you have some background with Ellis, you will find Lunar Park both very different and at the same time intense. As an author, Ellis has made himself completely vulnerable in both character detail and narrative goals and in my opinion, has written a novel that's as fascinating as it is unique.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Undoubtedly one of the best books I have ever read. It is funny, gripping, creepy, sad, and melancholy. I listened to it first and now I am reading it to catch the parts that I may have missed. I can't wait to read more of Mr. Ellis' books. I really liked the video scene with his father from the email and the scene where Harrison Ford as a young actor was calling for Mr. Ellis. These parts had me shivering and I was really creeped out. I can't wait to see what else Mr. Ellis comes out with next!!! Thanks for the wild ride Bret! an avid reader
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best Ellis novel yet. I enjoyed this novel immensly. Perfectly captures the nightmare of modern life, real and imagined. This novel will make your heart ache and race at the same time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lunar Park is the sort-of autobiography of its author, Bret Easton Ellis, warped within a funhouse fiction mirror. The book begins with an engaging recount of the author's professional past, and then an onslaught of terrifying psychological and actual events take place over a Halloween holiday weekend. Those who have read his earlier five books will be best prepared to pick up the continuous -- and brilliant -- use of self-referential detail that adds to the literary weight of the novel. Ellis has fused sophisticated postmodern fiction techniques with contemporary horror and the result is one of the best American novels of 2005.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Intruiging at first, then gripping, then genuinely touching at the end
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a truly inspiring book for an author that is bearing his soul for his art. Ellis is at the top of his game here and the allusions to Hamlet (amongst others) and the inclusion of the 'Jayster' are amazing. It's a must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ah, the lost art of self-deprecation. Fans of Ellis will most likely enjoy LUNAR PARK. I also think, however, that fans of horror will also enjoy it a ton. Being a fan of both, I have to say this novel is probably my favorite of his. Its been a long time coming and, for me, it was more than worth the wait. I hope it hasn't been too late. Ellis's previous novels are disturbing, but they usually escape being categorized as horror. LUNAR PARK, despite its classification as literature, absolutely earns itself a place among the top works of horror. Interestingly, this is Ellis's least graphic and gruesome work. If you enjoyed books such as LESS THAN ZERO or the novel KATZENJAMMER by McCrae, then this will be right up your alley.
Guest More than 1 year ago
His best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Maybe now the critical tide will turn and he will be given proper recognition as an American prose stylist and writer of great substance.
JackMamet More than 1 year ago
Uncharacteristically touching and emotional Bret Easton Ellis- I would say this is him at his best, as much as I love American Psycho in all its definitely unemotional and bloody satire.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to result 4
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rastajule More than 1 year ago
I have to admit, I couldn't get through this book and I hardly EVER put a book down halfway into it. I found it boring and pretentious and at times, disjointed. I got to the point where I just didn't care about the protagonist. It is on my Nook, so maybe I will give it another try in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name icetear Age sigh Gender mare Appearance she looks like she is made entirely out if ice and snow her body look like its made out of ice bur not transpart same as her eyes her mane and tail look like it id kade out of snow with streaks of ice (not transparent) in it they are both fluttershy style her cutie mark is a frozen tear Personality she has two her main one us a shy and quiet but nice and friendly her secound one only comes out under certain curcomdtacws and it is she is angry aggresdive and probly wajts to kill you like personaliry. Ocvupatoin none rigyt now but is retired military Other has a knife named sliver made for ripping out throats hidden under her wings and is very skilled with along with many other weapons Her home is at frozen tears result 1
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name:Tartblood Age:… Gender:girl Apperence: black with blood red streaks running through. Black and white mane Luna style, and Cadance style bloodred,white, and black tail. Light blue eyes Cadance style Weapons:Macheyte Cutie mark: a bloody machette with a greyscale rainbow in the background with cuts and blood spilling out. Crush: Blue Lightning Anything else: ask
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Broken Heart. Gender: mare. Mane/tail: messy red fluttershy style. Eyes: red rarity style. Body: black. CM: a red broken heart. Species: (accidental) alicorn. Other looks: sometimes has blood or rainbows smeared on her. Occupation: rainbow factory worker. Personality: meet her. Family: none. Boyfriend/crush/husband: none. Pet: a black cat with yellowish green eyes. Horn glow color: red. Favorite animal: cat. Theme song: titanium by david guetta and sia or something. Birthday: july 22. Age: like teen or preteen. Friends: alot of ponies. Favorite band: coldplay or imagine dragons. Magic power: high. Wingpower: medium. Anything else ask!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bios in last res.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am Flash Burst BFF. We thoght we fighting princess luna. But it is not.