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The Rules of Attraction

Written by: Bret Easton Ellis
Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 letters 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.

As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of Bret Easton Ellis' book, you'll also get an exclusive Jim Atlas interview that begins when the audiobook ends.

©1998 Bret Easton Ellis (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"Serves to establish Mr. Ellis's reputation further as one of the primary inside sources in upper-middle-class America's continuing investigation of what has happened to its children." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"Ellis is, first and last, a moralist. Under cover of his laconic voice, every word in his [novels] springs from grieving outrage at our spiritual condition." ( Los Angeles Times Book Review)
"Inspired. A wonderfully comic novel." (Gore Vidal)

What members say

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amy
  • 2016-03-31

Not Ellis's best work

I am a huge fan of Bret Easton Ellis, but this was my least favorite of his books. I enjoyed it okay for about the first half, and the writing and narration is good, but then it started getting old and didn't go anywhere (I ended up giving up and not finishing it).

A very directionless story, which sometimes I don't mind, but there were sooo many characters (each chapter is written in a different character's voice) and they all were pretty similar so I couldn't keep them straight, much less really care about them. Maybe in a written format it would have been easier. There are many better ones-- Less Than Zero, Lunar Park, Glamorama.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Brian Stropes
  • 2018-04-13

Fantastic Ellis book

If you could sum up The Rules of Attraction in three words, what would they be?

Crazy college yuppies

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sean is my favorite character. You can just tell that he is as insane as Patrick, his older brother, from American Psycho.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I don't know.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Sean is talking to Patrick in the hospital. Their father is dying and nobody cares.

Any additional comments?

Not a good listen if you hate hearing wealthy people whine.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Camilo B
  • 2019-05-23

It's good

But less than zero is still a little bit better.
great performances though. Enjoyable book.

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  • mdk
  • 2015-05-31

Dark, shallow, disgusting, and so much fun!!

The dating scene in college is one long gross orgy. This book gives good voice to the reasons why I don't chill with frat guys and won't date sorority girls.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fahad
  • 2015-01-23

Great book

Characters that speak to youth in every generation it's prolific. I really enjoyed it and it spoke to me as a 23 year old.

1 person found this helpful