Lunar Park conjures comparisons to Shakespeare’s Prospero

I think that Lunar Park is going on my reading list. For one, it’s written by Brett Easton Ellis, author of such classics as American Psycho, Less Than Zero, and The Rules of Attraction. But moreso for this paragraph of exalted praise, way down the article:



And yet, for all of the references to himself and his work, the shadow of another famous writer looms over Lunar Park: Shakespeare. To begin with, there are numerous nods to Hamlet in the story itself: the father’s ghost haunting the son wrapped in turmoil, Ellis wracked with remorse and near disintegration (not to mention the fact that Ellis and his family live on Elsinore Lane, and that local landmarks include the Fortinbras Mall and Horatio Park). And yet — with all of Lunar Park’s rich fantasy and horror elements — the Shakespearean character that looms the largest over Lunar Park isn’t Hamlet but is instead the magic-illusionist Prospero from Shakespeare’s last play The Tempest. Ellis — like Prospero — is ultimately the creator of the novel’s increasing chaos.

So for those of us out there that are keeping notes of “novels that have lots of Shakespeare bits”, this one might be a keeper. That is, if you’re into the dark and gory side of things. Ellis is not known for writing about puppies romping in fields of daisies.