Tim O'Hearn's Reviews > The Rules of Attraction

The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis
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really liked it

I spent about a year and a half reading this book, which worked out quite well. Like Less Than Zero, the existence of a plot here is one step above accidental--a brusque necessity. Crucial to keep things moving, but negligible if you decide to take a fourteen-month leave of absence from Brett Easton Ellis.

I suspect I stopped reading the book because it contains incessant co-ed droning, and, more than a little, made me feel that I spent too many of my college days reading books. In picking it back up, I started to appreciate its brilliance. The Rules of Attraction manages to capture the college experience in all its perfunctoriness. Not only that, but the characterization of the wealthy New England private school is at times, well, eerily similar to the wealthy New England private school that I attended. Okay, just a little darker.

Ellis' commentary on how useless most college majors are and how unaffected many college students are was ahead of its time. To have been reading this book--the good parts--while the 2019 college admissions scandal was unfolding was a real treat. People have always attended college without really caring about what's waiting for them on the other side. Worse, now, people who can't afford it attend college without really caring about what's waiting for them on the other side. I'll withhold further comment.

Though Patrick Bateman has a brief cameo in this novel (his younger brother is a main character), this doesn't explore sadism as American Psycho or Less Than Zero does. It's tough to convince myself that I really do hold this opinion, but, in comparison, the book is actually quite lighthearted.
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Reading Progress

August, 2017 – Started Reading
May 1, 2018 – Shelved
May 1, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
March 25, 2019 – Finished Reading

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