Thursday, August 18, 2005

Bret Easton Ellis on His New Book Lunar Park

I am a pretty big Bret Easton Ellis fan. He is the "cool jaded Gen-X Enfant Terrible" I always wished I could be, but I'm not and really can't be. He recently did an interview on Amazon.com regarding his new book Lunar Park where he discussed his horror influences:

It is in some ways an homage to Stephen King and the comics I loved as a kid. Especially the EC Comics, like Vault of Horror and Tales from the Crypt. And the Warren Comics of the '70s that I was a huge fan of. They had titles like Creepy and Eerie and Vampirella. These were all influences on Lunar Park. That was the impetus to write the book. To write a book that was similar to the books that gave me pleasure as a boy and as an adolescent. I was really into the horror genre and the supernatural genre when I was a teenager and certainly I came of age, along with a lot of men of my generation, with the first book that Stephen King published and onward. But as I got older the book became less an homage and more personal.


Comic Book Marketplace had a great article on the old Warren books recently and I was glad to see a mention of their books in the Ellis interview. Naturally, given my love of Forrest Ackerman (which you can read about in this old post on the San Diego Comic Con), I was glad to see the Warren Vampirella reference. Ackerman invented the name Vampirella, though he was (as he fully admits) inspired by the name Barbarella.

I do think Lunar Park is for those, who like Ellis and me, read these books as adolescents, and not for us as those adolecents.

Speaking of the interview...Fritz and I have talked about the ending of American Psycho a number of times and we disagree as to whether the events, in the end, are real or imagined.

The word from Ellis:

Right, right, the "was it all a dream thing." [laughs] Our old friends Mr. Loose and Mr. Reality. I don't know. When I was writing the book I kind of thought I knew but I really didn't. I liked leaving it open. Because it is left open purposely in the book. And depending on who you are as a writer and what you desire from the book, you're going to go either way. And the movie doesn't answer that question. It's fine. Why answer it? Is the book more meaningful? Does it make it more interesting? It's probably a much more interesting book when you're left hanging and you decide on your own.
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