Posts From Author: the daily beast

Five Reasons to Love Bret Easton Ellis Online

Does anyone know who @BretEastonEllis is?— Bret Easton Ellis (@BretEastonEllis) April 10, 2009 It’s boring to call Bret Easton Ellis “controversial.” Yeah, American Psycho was once the subject of NOW boycotts and mock-distress middlebrow brouhaha. True, Ellis’s work traffics in the sort of content — sexual, violent, linguistic — that falls firmly into the NSFW category. And yes, his Twitter feed has often sent seismic tremors through the blogosphere, as when he compared watching Glee to stepping in “a puddle of HIV“, or when he suggested that Kathryn Bigelow was overrated “since she’s a hot woman“. Or even, come to think it, when on the occasion of J.D. Salinger’s death he proclaimed, “Party tonight!!!” (He later apologised over the Bigelow tweets in an article in The Daily Beast, admitting that they weren’t “really fun or that provocative.” Most of the time, though, he’s unequivocal.) But once all the fuss dies down — as it always does — doesn’t he sometimes have a point? To write him off is to naysay one of America’s fiercest and most insightful cultural critics. From his Empire/post-Empire theory and his passionate advocacy for grown-up moviemaking to his dismantling of political correctness and the sexy, celeb-soaked excerpts of his LA life, Ellis’s is […]
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Jay McInerney’s The Good Life

In a 2005 article for the Guardian entitled “The uses of invention”, Jay McInerney set out to counter the prevalent concern that literature was no longer up to the task, following 9/11, of processing world events. His contribution to the proof was The Good Life (2006), a novel set in the autumn of 2001 in the bedrooms of wealthy Manhattanites dealing with the aftermath of the destruction downtown. It was McInerney’s seventh novel and a sequel of sorts to 1992’s Brightness Falls. The book’s central insight is given to Luke McGavock around halfway through: “Personally is maybe the only perspective we have.” Like much of the fiction published since 9/11, McInerney’s novel is not principally about terrorism or the fall of the World Trade Center. Instead, it examines the effects of the attacks on individuals. His characters’ lives are all balanced somewhat precariously before September 11; the subject of the book becomes how such an epochal event can change perspectives in unforeseeable ways. Luke is something of an avatar for McInerney, who also spent the weeks following 9/11 working in a soup kitchen downtown, and he is occasionally blessed with an almost authorial clairvoyance. At a benefit at Central Park Zoo: The women were beautiful in their gowns, or at least glamorous […]
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Dana Vachon’s Mergers & Acquisitions

The advent of Dana Vachon on the American literary scene in 2007, with his novel Mergers & Acquisitions (Riverhead, 2007), was a case of spooky synchronicity. His satirical debut novel, a tale of gross financial incompetence and Caligulan excess, may not have explicitly foretold the financial collapse of 2007 and 2008, but with hindsight it certainly had a prophetic air. The book opens at the engagement party for Lauren Schuyler and Roger Thorne, friends of protagonist Tommy Quinn. It takes place at the New York Racquet & Tennis Club on Park Avenue, “the most prosperous street in the most prosperous city in the most prosperous nation that ever lived”. This fairytale cadence sets the tone nicely for a steady procession of grotesques, high-society scrapes, and reversals of fortune. We’re in Bonfire of the Vanities territory here, a world stuck on caps lock characterised by unbelievable quantities of money, unforgivable lapses of basic ethics, and a generation of young men way, way out of their depth. Having narrowly made it onto the graduate programme at J.S. Spenser & Co., Tommy finds he has to work much harder than his friend Roger, who, being rather more to the manner born, has a natural aristocratic style that seems to […]
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