17 Things We Learned From Bret Easton Ellis’s Reddit AMA


Yesterday afternoon, famed novelist, screenwriter, and Twitter terrorist Bret Easton Ellis graced Reddit with his presence for an AMA (that’s Ask Me Anything, for the uninitiated). Unsurprisingly, it was full of cheeky questions, blunt answers, and insights into the mind of Patrick Bateman. Surprisingly, there was not much in the way of ranting about GLAAD. Check out the most interesting tidbits after the jump, and sound off on them in the comments.

1. His works have unconscious connections to one another:

“Disappear Here has for some reason appeared in all the novels: and. I. don’t. know. why. I had no idea Patrick Bateman would be in American Psycho when he first appeared near the end of The Rules of Attraction.”

2. He saved the most violent sections of American Psycho for last.

“I waited to write those scenes until the book was finished. Since I didn’t really know how to approach them. I did a little bit of research with some kind of FBI textbook that went into super-gruesome detail about serial killers. Then just being in PBs brain for three years–it all came together. Very upsetting scenes to write.”

3. He just doesn’t like David Foster Wallace.

“There wasn’t a feud. David and I had never met. But I never responded to his work. Simple as that. I was reading the new bio and it was pissing me off–the kid gloves approach. And that I thought he had a literary fraudulence about him that manifested itself in his fiction. You could say the same about me. I was not surprised by the backlash to those tweets. There are a lot of little snowflakes who somehow really respond to this faux-earnestness of DFW that I just don’t think is realistic.”

4. His college experience was just like The Rules of Attraction.

“Wild in a way that was both depressing and fun. The Rules of Attraction is actually a pretty accurate template for what went on.”

5. He doesn’t like Dexter.

“You know what? I never really got Dexter. I know a lot of people involved with the show. And I don’t want to diss it. But it seemed too high-concept and jokey for me. I think Dexter would probably quite easily do away with PB. :(”

6. He’s well aware of what he’s doing on Twitter.

“Well, I guess you could look at my Twitter account as the new novel. Many do.”

7. Patrick Bateman’s rants were basically Bret Easton Ellis’s rants.

“Well, in a lot of ways Patrick’s rants are about wanting to fit into a society that he doesn’t believe in. That’s where I was, too. At the time. So a lot of the rants came from my frustration as well. Not a lot of research into that. I didn’t like any of the music Patrick liked but it was popular at the time and it seemed to reflect a certain kind of mass-taste that PB wanted to be a part of. As for clothes: yeah, I wore a suit like a lotta guys did in that period but not nearly as fashion-conscious as PB.”

8. He knows who he’d like to play Patrick Bateman in American Psycho the Musical.

“Miles Fisher. I like him a lot. The music for the show has already been written by Duncan Sheik and I’ve only heard lo-fi demos.”

9. He thinks kids today are just as fucked up as ever.

“[W]ith The Great Gatsby out now: well, as Gertrude Stein said “You are all a lost generation.” It just keeps happening and happening–the eras are different, the casts are different but there’s always a generational cynicism and a fucked-up-ness.”

10. He has to watch Mad Men all at once.

“I’m waiting until the season is complete and then spend a weekend watching the entire season. That’s the only way I can watch Mad Men. It’s the only way I’ve ever watched Mad Men.”

11. His favorite of his own books is Glamorama.

“Glamorama is my favorite of mine. So: thanks. Victor Ward was a kind of mutated fantasy version of me. Just much much better-looking. Victor was a symbol of where I was at that time in my life.”

12. He doesn’t care for velvet ropes.

“If a restaurant is “too difficult” to get into: why the fuck bother? I don’t have an answer to that because if I couldn’t get in somewhere I just moved on. Unlike, of course, PB.”

13. He thinks internet publishing is the future.

“I don’t know if Less Than Zero would have actually been written today. The circumstances, our attention spans, the technology is very different. I think publishing is going through a transitional phase. And I think something else is going to replace the “traditional” ways publishers published books. The internet is where writers are going to be publishing.”

14. His favorite author is…

“Gustave Flaubert.”

15. He has no vices.

“I don’t do drugs anymore so that vice is long gone even though, yes, I accidentally tweeted for coke last December. But really? No vices. Very boring when it comes down to vices lately.”

16. But he does eat brownies.

“I don’t smoke weed. But edibles: sometimes. The 26 year-old smokes weed. Today: the condo smells like Grapefruit Kush.”

17. Whatever this is:

Kip Pardue’s dick apparently tastes “[l]ike, um, ice-cream. Vanilla ice-cream.”