On Bret Easton Ellis' The Shards
Thank you for such a thoughtful review of Ellis's work that focuses entirely on his art.
Although acclaimed, I wish Ellis would receive greater recognition and appreciation. There are not very many who could write better and more authentic descriptions of the aimless depravity of the young and wealthy in 1980's Los Angeles, including the exhaustive nature of genuine substance abuse. Not many could have the ultimate unreliable narrator hold a mirror up to the excess of the early 1990's New York City. And not many could publish multiple volumes of autofiction without telling the same story again and again.
Bret Easton Ellis has done all of this. And more.
love bret and love you. :)
Sounds like a great novel, and I'll soon be reading it. I'm going to have to disagree with Ellis that sensationalism has never been tried before, though. Burroughs did it before him. Nabokov did it with a purple-prose style. D.H. Lawrence did it with Lady Chatterley's Lover. I'm sure there are many examples even before that.
May want to add a *Spoiler Alert* when t discussing the Trawler.
Thanks for this review. I just found it after reading the one in "The Drift." Your opening paragraph, in particular, captures the Ellis mood extremely well. I wrote my own sort of review when I was listening to the serialized version on his podcast (https://derekneal.substack.com/p/bret-easton-elliss-unreliable-narrators?utm_source=%2Fsearch%2Fellis&utm_medium=reader2).
I haven't read the book yet but would be curious to know if you had any thoughts on the podcast version vs book version (if you listened to the podcast). Personally I found the podcast version with Ellis' intros--before he started reading--to be really captivating. I have to expect that's somewhat difficult to replicate in the form of a novel.