[EPUB] ✶ The Rules of Attraction By Bret Easton Ellis – Gsagency.co

Set At A Small Affluent Liberal Arts College In New England Eighties, The Rules Of Attraction Is A Startlingly Funny, Kaleidoscopic Novel About Three Students With No Plans For The Future Or Even The Present Who Become Entangled In A Curious Romantic Triangle Bret Easton Ellis Trains His Incisive Gaze On The Kids At Self Consciously Bohemian Camden College And Treats Their Sexual Posturings And Agonies With A Mixture Of Acrid Hilarity And Compassion While Exposing The Moral Vacuum At The Center Of Their Lives The Rules Of Attraction Is A Poignant, Hilarious Take On The Death Of Romance


10 thoughts on “The Rules of Attraction

  1. says:

    So I stand against the wall, listen to REM, finish the beer, get , keep my eye on the Freshman girl Then some other girl, Deidre I think her name is, black spiked hair that already looks dated and trendy, black lipstick, black fingernail polish, black kneesocks, black shoes, nice tits, okay body, Senior, comes over and she s wearing a black halter top even though it s like forty below in the room and she s drunk and coughing like she has T.B., swigging Scotch I ve seen her stealing Dante in the bookstore Bret Easton Ellis, in describing this girl, gives us those extra descriptive terms that make us give Deidre a second look Coughing, swigging, and stealing Okay, so she is a bit trashy, a bit goth, a bit too easy, maybe, but any girl that steals Dante would definitely have perked my interest back in the day The music is loud so I d have to nuzzle up to her ear She probably smells faintly still of the perfume she put on earlier, but her skin has probably also started to soak up some of the aromas from the party I d tell her, I saw you stealing Dante.Now Sean is way worried about banging the cute freshman girl Why because she is garden fresh, practically just hatched She hasn t been initiated into the Camden Liberal Arts college tradition of swill, sweat, and semen Interesting enough, Camden is probably the most famous college in recent American literary history Writers Ellis, Jonathan Lethem, and Jill Eisenstadt all attended the very expensive Bennington College in Vermont All have used Camden as a fictional universe for their Bennington experiences The author Donna Tartt also attended Bennington, but in her novel The Secret History, she uses the fictional name of Hampden Camden Hampden I do believe there is literary collusion going on No Russians as far as I can tell were involved Sean has a stalker, a sweet secret admirer, who leaves him love notes in his mail box It is simple I watch him He reveals himself in dark contours Everything I believe in floats away when I witness him, say, eating or crossing the boundaries of a crowded room I feel a scourge I have his name written on a sheet of pale blue paper that is tissue thin She is a ghost throughout the book as we whiplash between different narrators who all reveal pieces of what has happened Sometimes their accounts differ, and sometimes the omission of facts from one narrator, in particular, reveals much about how far they are from understanding what they truly desire Sometimes they lie The task for the reader is to evaluate what we are told until the truth becomes a glittering, but tarnished, pearl.So I ve sort of introduced Sean to you, as he is tucking Deidre into his back pocket in case he needs her while he attempts to catch the eye of cute freshman As the plot develops, his life becomes complicated as he finds himself trapped in a confusing, obsessive relationship sexship with Lauren To add spice to the caldron of lust, he also is having sex withPaul Is he As this triangle acquires weight, we start to understand the inability of any of these characters to get passed impulsive desires and find any meaning in love He likes him He likes her I think she likes someone else, probably me That s all No logic Ask that same question of these people a week later and the corners of the triangle will point in different or all new directions It is all fluid and meaningless, but not without psychological mutilation.Remember the stalker The seeds of love have taken hold and if we can t burn together, I ll burn alone Going to class at Camden seems optional It is certainly low on the list of priorities These kids are being washed up on the shores of a hedonistic island, and if anyone is feeling inhibited, soon the copious amounts of alcohol, drugs, and hormonally driven lust have them dancing to the latest Talking Heads album along with the natives It makes me wonder, after these people are booted off the island, how anyone can reintegrate into regular society Camden will leave these people morally decimated, distrustful, and with probably than one nasty habit Ahhh yes, the 80s Don t miss the Dressed to Get Screwed party The highlight of the year The book jacket says this is a vast departure from Bret Easton Ellis s first book, Less Than Zero, which for a few chapters I was thinking what the hell are they talking about, but as I got deeper in the book, I started to realize that this book is actually significantly different from his first book In Less Than Zero, his characters are soulless, people really beyond redemption in my opinion In this book, he infuses some humor, some legitimate pain, and explores deeper themes about adolescents awkwardly trapped in an extended childhood and with no real idea why anyone would ever want to be an adult They are rich, spoiled, and lost LIke a spectre floating behind the scenes, we have the tale of the secret admirer who is the only person who seems to understand real desire, and sustainable love The poignancy of her situation will make your heart strings tremble If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. says:

    The following is a true story.I was staying over at the boy s house We were post coital and all of a sudden he remembered he had to go to a friend s house and party with him for four hours I opted to wait for him in his bedroom This was uncommon because whatever, it was just sex, we didn t wait around for each other But I was in between places, so I didn t have much of a choice I went down to the kitchen and found The Rules of Attraction on the stove I opened it up in the middle while eating a frozen dinner and drinking watermelon flavored Smirnoff At first I thought the narrator was a girl What a slut But then a chapter in I realized it was Paul Denton The book got sadder and sadder but I loved it The boy came home and kissed me and noticed I was reading it The next time he came over he brought it along with him and told me I could borrow it and smiled.I finished the book two weeks later I d kept going, then read the back cover and raised my eyebrows when I saw that Brett Easton Ellis was a moralist I started from the beginning Everything changed I finished it I handed it back to the boy, along with a drawing I made for him What are we doing I asked him, because I thought he liked me Uh, I don t want a relationship right now Maybe we should end this, he said, and I said, No Me neither Yeah He hugged me goodbye.


  3. says:

    This book may have sounded contrived to some, but to me it was exactly the way I remember being and feeling in college The dorm, cafeteria and party scenes are brilliant and so are the fast travel sections When I recently read The Sorrows of Young Mike, it felt like a sequel because the characters were also nihilistic college students, horny and self involved It, along with The Rules of Attraction, touches on similar issues that hardly affect the main characters, as they are busy thinking about themselves.


  4. says:

    so I thought that after college this would be less impressionable a tad less impressive Boy was I wrong I am still completely enraptured by this novel in which characters DON T change breaking 1 of the main cardinal rules of all literature to make protagonists experience change Ellis is intrepid The details in this are perfect and absolutely hilarious 80 s encapsulated brilliantly You end up rooting for the sleaziest of antagonists nobody in Camden deserves redemption and most actions taken are wholly despicable Yet THIS IS college The confusion, the sex, drugs, alcohol, suicide attempts, abortions, socials it s all recorded here I don t think another writer has influenced me as much in the art of immorality this includes up Chuck Palahniuk and even the Marquis de Sade in his use of effective, rapid, stylish, unforgettable prose A guilty pleasure that s not all too guilty despite the explicit content undercurrent of melancholia An absolutely essential novel.


  5. says:

    Ellis is one of those authors that seems to grow in stature as time marches on i see him on so many Favorite Author lists and i just have to roll my eyes a bit personally, he ll always be the author i laughed at on a regular basis hilariously pretentious and embarrassingly convinced that pretension equals depth American Psycho sorry, the film version was a better portrait of capitalist consumerism and had the intelligence to re route the author s misogyny so that it existed solely within the central psycho Less Than Zero well, it s very hard for me to muster any empathy for spoiled brats who are unhappy with their oversexed, well fed lives and who have the lack of tact to complain about their emptiness gosh i guess this turned out to be a review of 3 books but The Rules of Attraction is something different, something special its playfulness with narrative and perspective is actually rather brilliant i m not sure i ve read another novel where fully one third of the narrative was a jerk off fabrication by one of the characters one who isn t a psychotic serial killer, that is perhaps prior to Rules, Ellis somehow exorcised all that repulsive self pity that inundanted Zero and then replaced it with malevolent wit and better yet, he puts his usual snarkiness in the mouths of characters who although soulless still genuinely face life challenges than his prior student portraits most surprising of all, the nearly marginal story of the suicide bitterly ironic, entirely moving, and wonderfully written and hey, there s even a teensy little light at the end of the tunnel that didn t feel forced good job, Ellis. i never thought i d say that phrase


  6. says:

    Posted at HeradasWhenever I m the mood for fiction about first world problems, unloved rich kids and the fucked up lives they lead, I reach for something by Bret Easton Ellis I get on a serious kick for this kind of stuff sometimes Transgressive fiction, I ve heard it called Maybe it s soothing to my soul to think that an abundance of money doesn t necessarily alleviate our problems Maybe I get a heavy slathering of schadenfreude by reading representations of the most fortunate among us enduring harrowing emotional torment Whatever the cause, when I m in the mood for this type of stuff, Ellis hits the spot perfectly.As a teenager, Chuck Palahniuk was my go to when I felt the creeping dread of the unfairness of the world, the uncertainty of life and our lot in it I quickly grew out of Palahniuk after his fourth or fifth book, I can t remember precisely which one He hit some truly brilliant highs from time to time that resonated deeply with my angst riddled teenage mind, but it quickly became apparent that he had already said what he came to say and wasn t working in an interesting space any longer Anyway, I feel like Bret Easton Ellis is probably who Palahniuk was most inspired by They touch on a lot of the same themes, but Ellis does it with a lot subtlety and grace Where Palahniuk beats the reader over the head with a theme, Ellis writes his way around it, guiding the reader toward the conclusion he s striving for No one will ever know anyone We just have to deal with each other You re not ever gonna know me The Rules of Attraction is mostly told through a series of short, unfiltered, internal, first person POV narratives that often contradict one another They read almost like journal entries or summaries of events Where these disparate points of view don t quite align, where they butt up against one another, something interesting is revealed how subjective everyone s reality is, how deep the well of self deception runs within us We simply can t see through another s eyes Our accounts of reality, our retellings of history, will never align with anyone else s We are all fully alone within ourselves, but crave social connection and understanding It s a sick joke that we cannot escape I didn t find this story nearly as disturbing as Ellis first novel, Less Than Zero, something that I greatly appreciated, however it s still pretty messed up The novel begins with what is arguably a date rape, and continues on to accidental overdoses, suicide, suicide attempts, and continual emotional manipulation The most disturbing element for me though, was that none of these events seem to phase any of the characters involved They re all dead inside, lying to themselves, in heavy denial of something or other, and entirely self centered Their apathy is palpable, and drips all over every aspect of their lives.My suspicion is that this novel is a reflection on the futility of love and relationships, the improbability of knowing one another well enough to communicate from within the infinite walls of experience and subjectivity that separate us from everyone else We become trapped in our personal experience of the world, each of us wandering around in our locked down boxes, misunderstanding one another as we inadvertently help to reinforce their own boxes What else is there to do in college except drink beer or slit one s wrists The unfiltered internal thoughts of these characters highlighted for me a youthful period of my own life, a time where my desire for belonging and acceptance within peer groups was paramount I cared so much what others thought of me, where I stood in relation to them These needs, only expressed internally, desperately hidden externally, or so I thought I loved this glimpse into the characters emotional lives It rings true for anyone who remembers being young and caring so much about things that matter so little I imagine this book would read a lot differently in your twenties, than your thirties or forties I enjoy the shared universe in which Ellis novels take place That kid from LA that is occasionally referenced in The Rules of Attraction is Clay, the protagonist from Less Than Zero One of the main POV characters, Sean Bateman, is the younger brother of the titular American Psycho, Patrick Bateman, pro antagonist of Ellis follow up to The Rules of Attraction Patrick even narrates his own short chapter near the end of the novel From what I hear, there are little crossover moments like these peppered throughout all of Ellis novels, and the connections are not always limited to his own work, but occasionally those written by his contemporaries such as Donna Tartt or Jay McInerney.I look forward to suffering through all of his stories, along with his coterie of broken, apathetic, wealthy, unloved characters when I m in the mood for them that is Just like a quality psychedelic experience, set and setting are crucial elements with his writing These novels can be a dreadful, disheartening experience if you re not in the right state of mind If you re up for it though, they re a blast.


  7. says:

    At first glance, this book is pointless It s an endless loop of drugs, sex, and parties It has no plot, it begins and ends in the middle of a sentence, there are too many characters strewn about, too many labels, too many songs, too many places You finish the book and for a moment you think wait what That s it but you realize yes, that is, in fact, it The apathy Ellis invokes in his readers, shows in his characters, is still masterfully done He breezes past topics like suicide and abortion which, when you give the way they re treated some thought, make you sick His narrative choices may seem haphazard with the shifting first person perspective, the shifting tenses AND THE RANDOM PASSAGE IN FRENCH WHICH I STILL CANNOT UNDERSTAND AFTER GOOGLE TRANSLATE , but it allows him to show how self absorbed his characters are and how differently they view the same things, the same people He slips in little clues that tie in with events that are mentioned in passing and if you re paying attention to seemingly random paragraphs and details, you get a greater sense of what Ellis is trying to get across to the reader I am constantly left wanting to read of his work.


  8. says:

    3.5 StarsThe Rules of Attraction is one of those stories that makes you feel slightly uneasy while reading it It had the feel of both A Clockwork Orange and Trainspotting in the sense that it is so over the top and risqu The Rules of Attraction is unlike anything that I have ever read before.I had never read anything from Bret Easton Ellis before, although American Psycho has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time now I came across The Rules of Attraction at a local thrift shop and I recognized the authors name which helped in my decision to pick it up.The Rules of Attraction tells the intersecting stories of three prominent characters Sean Bateman, Lauren Hyde Paul Denton as they experience their college years in the 1980 s The story is told by jumping back and forth between short vignettes that showcase each of these characters perspectives Every now and then, a minor character tells their story from their perspective through their own little mini vignette.It is definitely no secret that the 80 s were a wild decade, but holy shit does this story ever make that time period sound completely over the top and insane I have always been slightly disappointed that I didn t get to experience the 80 s, mainly because the music during that decade contains some of my favourite songs and artists of all time After reading The Rules of Attraction however, I m wondering if I would have ever been able to survive going to college during this era.I loved the idea of hearing the different character s perspectives, especially when they were describing the same scenes Rather than have the exact same scene play out repeatedly, each character is so fucked up on either drugs, alcohol or something in between, that their stories are all completely different For example, when Sean believes that Lauren is in love with him, only to jump to her perspective to find out she just likes to have him around to keep her company while waiting for her boyfriend to return from Europe It s moments like these that actually make this story realistic and believable No two people are going to have the exact same interpretation of a moment Everyone experiences things differently I m still unsure if the relationship between Paul and Sean ever even happened Not knowing the definite outcome is something that might drive some readers nuts Hell, it usually drives me nuts, but for whatever reason, it worked perfectly within this story.The characters were all unique from one another While a lot of their drug and relationship habits were similar, each character had their own individual voice I can t say that I particularly enjoyed Lauren s moments I found her a little annoying and not that interesting There was just something about her that I wasn t very fond of I felt a little indifferent when it came to Sean He started out interesting, but as the story went on he started to feel a little redundant Paul however, was my absolute favourite He felt real and relatable While he seemed the most sane out of the three main characters, I think it may be possible that he was the most insane Like I mentioned earlier, I still can t tell if his relationship with Sean ever even really happened.In terms of the minor character vignettes, I could have done without a lot of them The random French paragraphs from Bertrand s perspective felt out of place I understood bits of it here and there, but I wasn t about to go google translate the whole thing The one vignette that I think was rather awesome and beneficial was that of Patrick, Sean s older brother Yes Patrick as in Patrick Bateman as in THE Patrick Bateman featured in Bret Easton Ellis later novel, American Psycho I didn t even realize the two books were connected, regardless of how minor, until I put two and two together and realized that the two characters shared the same last name.One of the main characteristics about The Rules of Attraction that made it so unique was the fact that each character perspective was told using a different writing style Sean felt very chaotic, Lauren felt very quick and to the point while Paul felt the most sophisticated The writing was very quick and extremely fast paced to start, however, it kept that steady rhythm throughout the entire novel which started to get old It was so fast paced the entire time that there was no peak in the story.When I first opened my copy of The Rules of Attraction, I thought I was missing a page as the first opening paragraph starts mid sentence Once I reached the end of the novel, the same things happens again except it ended mid sentence Once again, this is something that might piss off a lot of readers, but I found it to be quite memorable and unique It felt to me as though this represented the idea that we as the reader are just witnessing a little snippet of these character s lives We jumped in and we jumped out, just like that.I did enjoy The Rules of Attraction for the most part It was definitely unlike anything I have ever read before I enjoyed the quick and fast paced nature of the writing I m really eager to read my copy of American Psycho as soon as possible I m curious to know if it will make any connections to the Rules of Attraction or if it is even told in the same writing style If you are looking for something slightly fucked up and over the top, I would say that The Rules of Attraction is definitely for you Initial Post Reading Thoughts This is probably one of the most uniquely written novels I have ever read The overall tone of the story reminded me a lot of A Clockwork Orange and Trainspotting It s one of those stories that feels a little unsettling for some reason The Rules of Attraction is definitely very risque and slightly over the top, but that s part of what makes it so alluring.


  9. says:

    My friend lent me this book and I was super excited because we re trying this new thing where we lend each other a book to read every month and this was the first one of our new little reading adventure I was bored Insanely bored It felt like someone was literally yelling gibberish so fast into my ear that I almost couldn t understand them at all.I tried to enjoy this I did I read 50 pages the first day and then I just decided to read the rest of it in one sitting because I knew if I put it down I would never pick it back up I felt like I owed it to my friend to at least complete the first book that she was loaning me Not much else to say I didn t like it Not even a little bit It didn t captivate me I feel harsh saying this but I would quite literally watch grass grow.


  10. says:

    This was my introduction into the world of Bret Easton Ellis, and I fell hopelessly in love.I couldn t believe that someone could put together a written work, which not only emanates the characters hyper sexed over zealous self conscious unaware searching for love not knowing sadness, but uses language to reinforce its themes It would seem confusing, but at my first read, it was what I was feeling at that moment minus the drugs, those came later Rules of Attraction, at its base, is a novel about communication and the inefficiency of words It is also a meditation on reality, what is it to who A theme that pops up in Easton Ellis s later works.As Lillian has reminded me, it does start and end mid sentence, only in the brillance of Easton Ellis s mind should a slice of life story cut in like any other voyeur, mid action just as simple as listening in on a phone conversation or looking through your neighboor s window Easton Ellis makes the reader a voyeur, and yes, it made me feel dirty as it should, but a good dirty.