By Bret Easton Ellis
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780375412912, 320pp.)
Publication Date: August 16, 2005
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Imagine becoming a best-selling novelist, and almost immediately famous and wealthy, while still in college, and before long seeing your insufferable father reduced to a bag of ashes in a safety-deposit box, while after American Psycho your celebrity drowns in a sea of vilification, booze, and drugs.
Then imagine having a second chance ten years later, as the Bret Easton Ellis of this remarkable novel is given, with a wife, children, and suburban sobriety—only to watch this new life shatter beyond recognition in a matter of days. At a fateful Halloween party he glimpses a disturbing (fictional) character driving a car identical to his late father’s, his stepdaughter’s doll violently “malfunctions,” and their house undergoes bizarre transformations both within and without. Connecting these aberrations to graver events—a series of grotesque murders that no longer seem random and the epidemic disappearance of boys his son’s age—Ellis struggles to defend his family against this escalating menace even as his wife, their therapists, and the police insist that his apprehensions are rooted instead in substance abuse and egomania.
Lunar Park confounds one expectation after another, passing through comedy and mounting horror, both psychological and supernatural, toward an astonishing resolution—about love and loss, fathers and sons—in what is surely the most powerfully original and deeply moving novel of an extraordinary career.
Bret Easton Ellis is the author of four previous novels and a collection of stories, which have been translated into twenty-seven languages. He divides his time between Los Angeles and New York City.
"[Ellis's] most enjoyable novel . . . The story of a doomed marriage blends with a satirical take on upscale suburban angst, a campy horror story about a haunted house, a Frankenstein-like case of a monster unchained and a serious rumination on the damage fathers can do to sons. Ellis stirs these elements into a steamy witches' brew and works his way through to a marvelously elegiac ending, displaying real artistic discipline . . . Even his harshest critics may now have to acknowledge that this versatile, resourceful writer has formidable skills." --Kirkus, starred review