Lunar Park


Lunar Park

Infobox Book
name = Lunar Park
title_orig =
translator =


image_caption = Cover of "Lunar Park"
author = Bret Easton Ellis
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = USA
language = English
series =
subject =
genre = Horror
publisher = Knopf
release_date = August 16, 2005
english_release_date =
media_type = Print (Hardcover)
pages = 320
isbn = ISBN 0-375-41291-3
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"Lunar Park" is a combined semi-autobiographical novelization of the life of Bret Easton Ellis and is a ghost story in the vein of Stephen King. It was released by Knopf on August 16, 2005. It is notable for being the first book written by Ellis to use past tense narrative.

Plot summary

The novel begins with an inflated and parodic but reasonably accurate portrayal of Ellis' early fame. It details incidents (probably exaggerated) of his wild drug use and his publicly humiliating book tours to promote "Glamorama". The novel dissolves into fiction as Ellis describes a liaison with an actress named Jayne Dennis, whom he later marries, and with whom he conceives an (initially) illegitimate child. From this point the fictional Ellis' life reflects the real Ellis' only in some descriptions of the past and possibly in his general sentiments.

Ellis and Jayne move to Midland, a (fictional) affluent suburban town outside New York City, which they no longer consider safe due to pervasive terrorist acts in a post-9/11 America. Fictional incidents include suicide bombings in Wal-Marts and a dirty bomb detonated in Florida [ [http://www.popmatters.com/books/features/050816-lunarpark.shtml Jeff Gomez. Dark Side of the Moon] ] [ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/reviews/books/LUNAR_PARK.DTL Christine Thomas. Ellis writes himself into suburbs] ] . Strange incidents start happening on a Halloween night, some involving Sarah's (Ellis's fictional stepdaughter) Terby doll.

As the novel progresses, the haunting of Ellis' McMansion and questions over the death of his father become increasingly prominent. With his history of drug use and alcoholism, his wife, children, and housekeeper are understandably skeptical of his claims that the house is haunted.

Jayne Dennis is a fictional character created by Ellis, but aside from the novel itself, Ellis has taken several other steps to create verisimilitude for her character. Although she does have a website [ [http://www.jaynedennis.com www.jaynedennis.com] ] , the site consists entirely of obviously doctored images and a fictional filmography. Ellis links to her site from his, but it is suspected he created Dennis' site himself; some authentication pages even request the user register at the official Lunar Park site. There is no profile for an actress of this name on either the Internet Movie Database or eonline.com. It is noted in a disclaimer on the stills page that the site is a work of fiction.

Characters

Several of the characters are fictionalized portrayals of real people. Most notable among these is Ellis himself, but others include friend and fellow author Jay McInerney and Ellis' late father.

Bret Easton Ellis - Novelist who rose to fame while still at college with his debut novel "Less Than Zero"; now lives in the suburbs with old flame Jayne Dennis. Considerable differences between this Ellis and the author himself, albeit crucial similarities within.

Jayne Dennis - Film star, married to Bret Easton Ellis. Said to have dated many men, including Q-Tip and Keanu Reeves amongst others.

Robby - Bret and Jayne's eleven-year-old son.

Sarah - Jayne's six-year-old daughter.

Robert Ellis - Bret's father, deceased.

Patrick Bateman - Serial killer from "American Psycho". Rumored to be responsible for murders in the local suburbia.

Donald Kimball - Detective from "American Psycho". Questions Ellis about the aforementioned Bateman-inspired murders.

Clayton - College student who strikingly resembles Patrick Bateman.

Aimee Light - A graduate student writing her thesis on Bret.

Jay McInerney - Easton's contemporary and friend; author of "Bright Lights, Big City"

Trivia

* Ellis told the "Manchester Evening News" that the Terby "is based on a Furby but also there was this bird-like doll that my older sister had and I wrote a short story about it when I was 7 or 8. She used to scare me with it, I’d go to my bedroom and get into bed and it’d be there, she’d hide it there just to scare me. Or I’d be walking up the stairs and she’d chase me with it. And I think that’s what I was channelling and it fitted in to all the other things that I was haunted by.” [ [http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/entertainment/arts/literature/s/177/177300_behind_brets_mask.html Behind Bret's mask] ]

* Ellis told SCI FI Wire the book was an homage to Stephen King and comic books, and that he finished writing it in summer 2004. It is also a nominee for the World Fantasy Awards [ [http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=0&id=37989 "Lunar" Exorcises Ellis' Ghosts] ] .

* The book carries an epigraph from Hamlet 1.v.98. This connects with the theme of haunting by a father as well as the names in the book (e.g. Elsinore, Osric, Fortinbras).

* As part of the fun, Ellis portrays himself as less literate than one presumes he is. 'He' misuses 'disinterestedly' twice, thinks 'imminently' means 'eminently', and claims never to have heard of the word 'mewling' despite using the word in his novel American Psycho.

* Porcupine Tree's album Fear of a Blank Planet is heavily influenced by Lunar Park ( [http://www.porcupinetree.com Porcupine Tree website] ), sharing many similar themes with the novel.

* Palm-Star Entertainment has announced production of a movie version of Lunar Park with an expected release date in 2009.

*Ellis has stated that the original plot of the book had a sub-plot involving terrorists invading suburbia that he later omitted when friends asked him what the point of it was, and he realized it wasn't necessary. He also said it was too similar to the plot of Glamorama. Fragments of the abandoned plot can be found in the book, which Ellis claims are only there because he forgot about them.

Footnotes

External links

* [http://www.twobrets.com/ Official website of Bret Easton Ellis]
* [http://www.jaynedennis.com/ Fan website for Jayne Dennis]
* [http://www.lunar-park.com/ Official UK website for Lunar Park]
* [http://www.spikemagazine.com/0406-bret-easton-ellis-lunar-park.php Spike Magazine's review of Lunar Park]
* [http://www.notanexit.net/past/2005/08/14_lunar_park_review_thread.shtml Collection of Lunar Park book reviews]


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