Both literary author and celebrity, Bret Easton Ellis represents a type of contemporary writer who draws from both high and the low culture, using popular culture references, styles and subject matters in a literary fiction that goes beyond mere entertainment. His fiction, arousing the interest of the academia, mass media and general public, has fuelled heated controversy over his work. This controversy has often prevented serious analysis of his fiction, and this book is the first monograph to fill in this gap by offering a comprehensive textual and contextual analysis of his most important works up to the latest novel Imperial Bedrooms. Offering a study of the reception of each novel, the influence of popular, mass and consumer culture in them, and the analysis of their literary style, it takes into account the controversies surrounding the novels and the changes produced in the shifty terrain of the literary marketplace. It offers anyone studying contemporary American fiction a thorough and unique analysis of Ellis's work and his own place in the literary and cultural panorama.
Acknowledgements \ 1. Introduction \ Part I: Between the High and the Low \ 2. The Low: Ellis in the Celebrity World \ 3. The High: Ellis in the Literary Field \ Part II: Less Than Zero (1985) \ 4. The Reception of Less Than Zero \ 5. The Use of Mass Culture and Mass Media in the Novel \ 6. The Aesthetics of a Blank, Coming-of-age Novel \ Part III: American Psycho (1991) \ 7. The Reception of American Psycho\ 8. The Use of Popular, Mass and Consumer Culture \ 9. The Aesthetics of Serial Killing \ Part IV: Glamorama (1998) \ 10. The Reception of Glamorama \ 11. The Use of Celebrity Culture and the Novel of Manners \ 12. The Aesthetics of the Impossible Conspiracy Thriller \ Part V: New Paths? \ 13. Lunar Park (2005): The Turning Point? \14. Imperial Bedrooms (2010): Coming Full Circle \ Works Cited \ Index