I am sure that 99 percent of writers wish their work was more influential than it ultimately was. I have written books that have disappeared. Has the way that Patrick Bateman has become a cult character surprised you? What if I said, no?
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Later Ellis claimed the character was not in fact based on his father, but on Ellis himself, saying that all of his work came from a specific place of pain he was going through in his life during the writing of each of his books. Ellis claims that while his family life growing up was somewhat difficult due to the divorce, he mostly had an "idyllic" California childhood.
There he met and befriended Donna Tartt and Jonathan Lethem , who both would later become published writers. Bennington College was also where Ellis completed a novel he had been working on for many years. That book, Less Than Zero, went on to be published while Ellis was just 21 and still in college, thus propelling him to instant fame. Ellis became a pariah for a time following the release of American Psycho , which later became a critical and cult hit, more so after its movie adaptation.
He records a fictionalized version of his life story up until this point in the first chapter of Lunar Park After the death of his lover Michael Wade Kaplan, Ellis was spurred to finish Lunar Park and inflected it with a new tone of wistfulness.
The film, as of , has never been made. When Van Sant appeared on The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast on February 12, , he stated that he was never attached to the project as a screenwriter or a director, merely a consultant, claiming that the material seemed too tricky for him to properly render on screen.
Ellis confirmed that he and his producing partner Braxton Pope are still working on the project, with Ellis revisiting the screenplay from time to time. Ellis wrote it following his return to LA and fictionalizes his work on the film adaptation of The Informers, from the perspective of Clay.
When asked in an interview in whether he was gay, Ellis explained that he did not identify as gay or straight, but was comfortable being thought of as homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual, and enjoyed playing with his persona, identifying variously as gay, straight, and bisexual to different people over the years. Coleman , Ellis said he had an "indeterminate sexuality," that "any other interviewer out there will get a different answer and it just depends on the mood I am in.
It gets worse. In one interview Ellis described feeling a liberation in the completion of the novel that allowed him to come to terms with unresolved issues about his father. He moved back to New York City in for the publication of his second novel, The Rules of Attraction —described by Ellis as "an attempt to write the kind of college novel I had always wanted to read and could never find"  —which follows a group of sexually promiscuous college students. It was later published by Vintage.
Some consider this novel, whose protagonist, Patrick Bateman , is a cartoonishly materialistic yuppie and serial killer, an example of transgressive art. American Psycho has achieved considerable cult status. It contains vignettes of wayward Los Angeles characters ranging from rock stars to vampires, mostly written while Ellis was in college, and so has more in common with the style of Less Than Zero.
After years of struggling with it, he released his fourth novel, Glamorama , in Glamorama is set in the world of high fashion, following a male model who becomes entangled in a bizarre terrorist organization composed entirely of other models.
The book plays with themes of media, celebrity, and political violence, and like its predecessor American Psycho it uses surrealism to convey a sense of postmodern dread. In keeping with his usual style, Ellis mixes absurd comedy with a bleak and violent vision.
It met with disappointing sales. In , Ellis released his first piece of non-fiction, White, a collection of essays on contemporary political culture. Major characters in one novel may become minor ones in the next, or vice versa.
Camden College , a fictional New England liberal arts college, is frequently referenced. It is based on Bennington College , which Ellis attended, and where he met future novelist Jonathan Lethem and befriended fellow writers Donna Tartt and Jill Eisenstadt. On "the guy from L. Paul Denton and Victor Johnson from The Rules of Attraction are both mentioned; on seeing Paul, Patrick wonders if "maybe he was on that cruise a long time ago, one night last March.
Passages from "Less Than Zero" reappear almost verbatim here, with Patrick replacing Clay as narrator. Patrick also makes repeated references to Jami Gertz , the actress who portrays Blair in the film adaptation of Less Than Zero. As an in-joke reference to Bateman being portrayed by Christian Bale in the then-in-production film adaptation, Bale briefly appears as a background character.
The book also includes a spy named Russell who is physically identical to Bale, and at one point in the novel impersonates him. Jaime Fields, who has a major role in the book, was first briefly mentioned by Victor in The Rules of Attraction.
Bertrand, Sean and Mitchell, all from The Rules of Attraction, appear in Camden flashbacks and several other Rules characters are referenced. McInerney cameos. Donald Kimball from American Psycho questions Ellis on a series of American Psycho-inspired murders, Mitchell Allen from Rules lives next door to and went to college with Ellis Ellis even recalls his affair with Paul Denton, alluded to in Rules , and Ellis recalls a tempestuous relationship with Blair from Zero.
Imperial Bedrooms establishes the conceit that the Clay depicted in Zero is not the same Clay who narrates Bedrooms. The plot will stray from the source material and is described as follows: "Inspired by the book and film of the same name, the high-concept series takes the students and faculty at the fictional Camden College and unravels a murder mystery by telling the same story through 12 different points of view.
Development[ edit ] Author Bret Easton Ellis initially imagined a disillusioned but nonviolent protagonist. After a dinner with friends who worked on Wall Street , he decided to make him a serial killer. His first draft of American Psycho left out all the grisly scenes, which were to be added in later. In , in conversation with journalist Jeff Baker, Ellis commented: [Bateman] was crazy the same way [I was]. He did not come out of me sitting down and wanting to write a grand sweeping indictment of yuppie culture.