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The Rules of Attraction (Vintage Contemporaries) [Kindle Edition]

Bret Easton Ellis
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $11.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Set at a small, affluent liberal-arts college in New England at the height of the Reagan 80s, 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.

Lauren changes boyfriends every time she changes majors and still pines for Victor who split for Europe months ago and she might or might not be writing anonymous love letter to ambivalent, hard-drinking Sean, a hopeless romantic who only has eyes for Lauren, even if he ends up in bed with half the campus, and Paul, Lauren's ex, forthrightly bisexual and whose passion masks a shrewd pragmatism. They waste time getting wasted, race from Thirsty Thursday Happy Hours to Dressed To Get Screwed parties to drinks at The Edge of the World or The Graveyard. The Rules of Attraction is a poignant, hilarious take on the death of romance.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This tale of privileged college students at their self- absorbed and childish worst is the very book that countless students have dreamed of writing at their most self-absorbed and childish moments. With one bestseller to his credit, Less Than Zero author and recent Bennington College graduate Ellis has had the unique opportunity of seeing his dream become a realityand all those other once-and-future students can breathe a sigh of relief that it didn't happen to them. Through a series of brief first-person accounts, the novel chronicles one term at a fictional New England college, with particular emphasis on a decidedly contemporary love triangle (one woman and two men) in which all possible combinations have been explored, and each pines after the one who's pining after the other. Theirs is a world of physical, chemical and emotional excessan adolescent fantasy of sex, drugs and sturm und drangwherein characters are distinguished only by the respective means by which they squander their health, wealth and youth. Despite its contemporary feel and flashy structurethe book begins and ends midsentencethe narrative relies on the stalest staples of melodrama and manages to pack in a suicide, assorted suicide attempts, an abortion and the death of a parent without giving the impression that anything is happeningor that any of it matters. Major ad/promo.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Two years after his debut best seller, Less Than Zero ( LJ 6/1/85) , Ellis returns with a very different novel. Though still about college students (Ellis graduated only last year), this story is told through numerous student diaries, illustrating the "accidents" that often form the basis of modern relationships. Here, misunderstandings, differing perceptions, and often just bad hearing cause pairings to begin or end, proving Ellis's implied thesis that there are no "rules." Ellis has his pretensions (the book starts and finishes in the middle of a sentence, and one diary entry is in easy French), but he successfully fleshes out his characters and creates involving situations. This should be a hit like the last, especially with college students. For public and academic collections. Susan Avallone, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2629 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 033044798X
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (May 28, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003O86QBM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,607 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book Full of Dirty Purity July 20, 2000
This is one of the most gorgeous books I have ever read. Ellis is a smart enough writer not to make it gorgeous in the conventional sense, one where swelling sentences and gushing adjectives are mistaken for beauty. Instead, Ellis uses sheer simplicity and straightforward dialogue to convey just how deeply jaded the characters in the novel are. Every character is longing for something more, but trying to go after it in a self-destructive and obsessive compulsive fashion. It is a dead on accurate portrayal of college life, of the religion of namedropping, gossip, misdirected desire, and the search of a place to belong. The characters are expertly drawn and given voices that have more emotion and chracter in them than those found in most films. It is funny and sad at the same time. When you finish the book, you realize it starts in the middle of a sentence and ends in the middle of a sentence, a subtle yet heartbreaking technique that suggests people have felt this way since the beginning of time and that they always will.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars to date, this is Ellis' best work June 24, 2001
After reading every other book in Bret Easton Ellis' backcatalog, I picked up "The Rules of Attraction" expecting more of his overused trademarks: cocaine, sex, vacuous characters. I was really surprised when, in the first few pages, this shaped up to be an incredibly involving novel with some semblance of humanity incorporated into the vacant lives of beautiful college kids searching for love. The story is told through POV segments of various characters, including Sean Bateman (good-looking, hard-drinking, narcissistic), Paul Denton (openly bisexual, provides the novel with genuine morality), and Lauren Hynde (fretting over her boyfriend, who's off in Europe). Their weekly activities of going to parties, getting drunk/high, and getting laid are chronicled in a hell-as-repetition way, with Ellis incorporating bits of stark, unexpected humor that catches the reader off guard. "The Rules of Attraction" flows with a fluid consistency, so that even events that seem to repeat aren't marred by their redundancy and instead seem fresh. What Ellis does--which doesn't happen in many of his novels--is make us sympathetic toward these characters, even though they can be relentlessly egotistical and plain down stupid, we are curious about what their futures hold. It's only in the last 30 or so pages that the novel begins to wear out, with inexplicable motivations and emotions that drift with the consistency of mood swings coming to surface. Despite this, "The Rules of Attraction" is still a damn good novel--one of the best I've read in a while--and it's doubtful Ellis will ever be able to top it.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I always knew it would be like this. November 22, 2003
By E. Kim
Where "Less than Zero" lacked in direction and "American Psycho" lacked in consistancy, "The Rules of Attraction" picks up to pieces to form Bret Easton Ellis' most intriguing and important novel to date. Unlike his other novels, I never once felt the need to question the direction of the plot, I was instead lost in the unique and profound story told by the different views of these college students who attended a liberal arts school in New England. Sure like all Ellis' novels, there's drugs, sex, and a lost sense of identity. But unlike his other novels, "The Rules of Attractions" keeps fresh chapter after chapter. I think it had alot to do with how the book was written, with different commentaries by all the characters in the novel. Sometimes the diiferent perspectives of the characters contridicted the other and miscommunications with the conversations were to say the least, really humorous. This is really a touching, sad, funny, and remarkable novel. I guess there are some people who probably can't stomach Ellis' style of heavy drug use and sex. All I can really say if you are that type of reader is: Deal with it. Rock'n'Roll.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars University of Ellis December 21, 2000
"The Rules of Attraction" is probably the darkest novel about college ever written, and it is also probably one of the most accurate. For Ellis' characters, and many real college students, college is a time for sex and partying, a 4 year farewell party before entering the responsibility of the 'real world.' Ellis' characters are so filthy rich that responsibility is not a concept they can fathom. To them, college is a formality; another status symbol that they feel defines them. It's just another place to spend their parents' money, with more peers and more party venues. Like all Ellis novels, "The Rules Of Attraction" is grossly underrated and misunderstood. It is a quick but disturbing read that stays with you long after you finish the novel. Another Ellis masterwork.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paul sums it up October 27, 2001
By Dave
Somewhere toward the end of the novel, one of the characters, Paul, gives a nice summation of the plot of the novel: "He (Paul) likes him (Sean). He (Sean) likes her (Lauren). I think she likes someone else, probably me. That's all. No logic."
When love isn't equally requited, it doesn't work out, and we stumble through three complex relationships dealing with this disparity. There is a difference between what we experience and what we percieve from that experience.
Told through the viewpoint of the three main characters (and several minor ones) in monologues, Ellis examines the difference between experience and perception, sometimes going through the same event twice told from different points of view. What we say and what we mean are often different, and these characters bare this.
If the endless drugs and one night stands of Sean and Lauren bother you, watch Paul's story. His thread is the most rewarding, and when he is absent, the novel feels colder. Sean and Lauren stumble through their relationships purposely detached. They don't know what they want from their lives or themselves. Paul is equally confused about his future, but somehow we leave the novel feeling less worry for him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Did not like the Cover
Only Complaint: Not the cover I wanted. It has the Hollywood cast BS people on it. Not the one pictured above.
Published 12 hours ago by Nash Core
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Everything that I had expected, and more!
Published 2 months ago by Grant W. Doan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good price and good purchase
Published 3 months ago by Rosendo A.
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous and addictive
Amazingly well written, the 1st person narrative (from all characters) gives the book a fantastic energy and level of intrigue - making it a really addictive novel. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ben Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 months ago by UMARRAJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Just had time to read part of the sample of this, it looks very promising: straightforward original storytelling. you might also likeMILFS GILFS and Trailer Park Women
Published 5 months ago by Joe Crunk
1.0 out of 5 stars total s***!
Someone recommended this book, so I read it... Let's just say my opinion of that person has dropped considerably. It's a weak theme, an even weaker plot.... even the editing sucks. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rachel Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but Not for Everyone.
This book was my first encounter with Bret Easton Ellis. I had never heard of his "other books" until my sister lent me this along with Less than Zero and The Informers (I... Read more
Published 8 months ago by T.A. Fletcher
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
I enjoyed the book, darker than I thought it would be having seen the movie.
Published 9 months ago by Justin K. Fritts
3.0 out of 5 stars A grey area.
I stumbled upon Bret Easton Ellis's work after watching the movie adaptation American Psycho. It is my favourite movie of all time, and one of the only movies I can watch over and... Read more
Published 10 months ago by JBA
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More About the Author

Bret Easton Ellis is the author of five novels and a collection of short stories; his work has been translated into twenty-seven languages. He lives in Los Angeles.

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