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The Rules of Attraction [Paperback]

Bret E Ellis
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 13 2002
This novel offers a satirical yet bleak vision of the modern world - a world devoted to conspicuous consumption and consumer-as-king culture - and highlights the feelings of futility and superficiality that mark an entire generation.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This tale of privileged college students at their self- absorbed and childish worst is the very book that countless students have dreamed of writing at their most self-absorbed and childish moments. With one bestseller to his credit, Less Than Zero author and recent Bennington College graduate Ellis has had the unique opportunity of seeing his dream become a realityand all those other once-and-future students can breathe a sigh of relief that it didn't happen to them. Through a series of brief first-person accounts, the novel chronicles one term at a fictional New England college, with particular emphasis on a decidedly contemporary love triangle (one woman and two men) in which all possible combinations have been explored, and each pines after the one who's pining after the other. Theirs is a world of physical, chemical and emotional excessan adolescent fantasy of sex, drugs and sturm und drangwherein characters are distinguished only by the respective means by which they squander their health, wealth and youth. Despite its contemporary feel and flashy structurethe book begins and ends midsentencethe narrative relies on the stalest staples of melodrama and manages to pack in a suicide, assorted suicide attempts, an abortion and the death of a parent without giving the impression that anything is happeningor that any of it matters. Major ad/promo.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Two years after his debut best seller, Less Than Zero ( LJ 6/1/85) , Ellis returns with a very different novel. Though still about college students (Ellis graduated only last year), this story is told through numerous student diaries, illustrating the "accidents" that often form the basis of modern relationships. Here, misunderstandings, differing perceptions, and often just bad hearing cause pairings to begin or end, proving Ellis's implied thesis that there are no "rules." Ellis has his pretensions (the book starts and finishes in the middle of a sentence, and one diary entry is in easy French), but he successfully fleshes out his characters and creates involving situations. This should be a hit like the last, especially with college students. For public and academic collections. Susan Avallone, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Nov. 6 2013
By Violet
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another winner by Ellis. I loved the journal format, really kept me reading. The characters were great, just as empty and superficial as all the so called "friends" I've ever made in university. I could relate to this writing, was very entertained, and just LOVE Ellis' writing style. Definitely recommended for any Ellis fan or someone who enjoys empty sex, dead romance, materialistic campus life, too many parties, "who did I sleep with last night?" kind of novels.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good writing, no substance... Dec 14 2007
As with all of Ellis' books, save for American Psycho, 'The Rules of Attraction' is filled with good and interesting writing (stream of consciousness this time around)and little to no substance. All of Ellis' book seem to say the exact same thing: hedonism and materialism is, like, bad. This would be fine if only there were other themes going on, but there isn't.
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4.0 out of 5 stars a great book July 10 2004
this book isn't for everybody but I thought it was awesome. ROA does a great job of showing life from the point of view of everyone involved just like in real life. One character might be in love and think they are loved but in reality they are just a good time in the other person's eyes and Ellis does a great job of showing this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Before Patrick, there was... June 11 2004
Then, Paul, Lauren, Victor, etc...
Following in the footsteps of 'Less Than Zero', Ellis brings us to another dark area, college. The lavish lifestyles, if that could only be so true, of Hollywood are much different here, in Camden.
The book contorts with drugs, sex, homosexuality, etc. The writing is that of an odd collection of journal samples and interviews. Continuing with the first person, references to culture, etc...Ellis has us wanting more and more. Looking to the next page, to find out the differences in one character or another. We become addicted, not too far from reality television, as we need to know what each character is doing next. Using risque sequences, Ellis pulls us in, even further.
But, in a way, as we read, we become victims ourselves. The book's central purposes are gossip, lust, anger, and self improvement. In a way, self improvement is the key measure, but with a twist. I won't reveal, that's for the reader.
I did enjoy this book, a lot better than Less Than Zero, but not as much as American Psycho. I have yet to read The Informers or Glamorama. Anyway, this book is a fine production. In the realm of teenage angst, or should I say, youth problems, this takes the cake. You see people read sappy novels day after day, well, this is one of them, but realistic in a sense that, every bad thing that could happen, is pulled together.
If I haven't convinced you, then I succeeded, because this is a book you don't just pick up and want to read, to read. It's a book you need to take the time to read, because you really do become in depth with the characters and there are so many things happening, you need to correlate, well.
Rules of Attraction is very odd, and the movie is a mild exposure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular in a most superb way May 19 2004
By A Customer
This was the first Bret Easton Ellis book that I had ever read. It initially caught my eye after hearing of the movie, and that made me interested in the book. It is well written with an interesting way to start and end a book. It starts and ends in mid sentence, which is quite hard to start off with since knowing what is going on is hard to do. The book then progresses in small sections where each character has their own section. This is good and bad. It is good because it makes it easier to read, though it gives it a soap opera feel. Since it changes character lead every couple of pages, following the story is rather difficult and confusing, because sometimes there is a need to flip back to the beginning of the section to see who is supposed to be talking. This is really the only bad part to the book. The rest of the book is quite entertaining and keeping interest in the book is not hard to do. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a book that follows the lives of several college students through the last year of college.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's the 80s May 11 2004
By Rich
This book is good, for an undergrad. You can plainly see when you read Ellis' later work the progress that he made. It does have traces of feeling, but it's a bit strained. Why would any care about these people? They're all self-centered and shallow. There are also portions of the book that are too pretensious for its' own good (the blank page comes to mind) and some of the dialogue is too cute for its' own good as well. That being said, it's still better than other young adult novels. The humor and structure are great. You could do far worse.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bret's the man April 27 2004
The first book i read by Bret Easton Ellis was American Psycho, although shocked by the violence, i loved his dark humour. Glamorama was a step down from that, still violent but hilarious. When i read this one, i couldnt help notice that i'm actually facing the same characters but in a different age and how each book slowly relates to each other. If you've read any of Bret Easton Elli's books but havent read this one, definatly try!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars depressing food for thought April 5 2004
The way in which this book began and ended left the reader with only a snippet of these peoples' lives. What we see has a clear message of moralism. This book left me feeling slightly depressed and hopeless even though I did enjoy reading it. It is an interesting take on perspective in storytelling and that alone makes it worth the read. It left me feeling a little down but I enjoyed the book and think that many would as well.
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