Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bret Easton Ellis, Tyler Brûlé and the 21st century dandy psychopath


Bret Easton Ellis, we are informed, is contemplating writing a sequel to American Psycho, his most (in)famous novel. The Patrick Bateman de nos jours, he tells us, is now a hedge fund manager in LA who likes Celebrity Apprentice and Kim Kardashian. The modern-day heirs to Whitney, Phil and Huey are Coldplay, about whom he pontificates at length, before killing the singer over waffles. There is always a distinct possibility that Ellis’s declaration of intent is – like the original novel itself – a glorious wind-up, but since his whole literary career has become one big metanarrative, the author and his characters looping in and out of his tales, we may never know. The Twitter conversation that spawned all the fanboy drooling may turn out to be as fiction – or as factual – as, say, Lunar Park.

In any case, aren’t we just a tiny bit tired of bad bankers? If Ellis really wants to present us with a 21st-century psychopath, why not latch onto the likes of Tyler Brûlé, the man behind the magazines Wallpaper* and Monocle. Brûlé is not someone who’d fire you for putting your jacket on the back of a chair; he’s someone who – it’s implied in this interview – wants to be thought of as the sort of person who might fire you for putting your jacket on the back of a chair, without actually having the guts to do it. Which, in a strange way, is rather more Bateman-esque.

1 comment:

tenderhooligan said...

Yeah, I'd read it. In all, I think I've ever only enjoyed that book from BEE - the rest have failed to move me. And, while I agree that the subject matter might be tired, now, a follow-up on Patrick would be great.