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July 15, 2005

5-to-1 Says the Book Contains the Phrase "Team Ellis"

by Ron Hogan

Remember Allegra Coleman, the Hollywood "dream girl" of 1996? Nearly a decade later, her legacy is being upheld by Jayne Dennis, the ex-wife of Bret Easton Ellis and a prominent figure in his new novel, Lunar Park. Turns out she's a figment of his imagination, as the Wall Street Journal discovers when it looks at the new wave of PR campaigns that promote novels with real websites for fictional people. Actually, the article (an atypically free offering from WSJ) quickly moves on to discuss other forms of online marketing, such as sample chapters and free downloads (which brings up two names my readers will find familiar, Cory Doctorow and Kelly Link).

I'm pretty sure I've got a galley of Lunar Park around here someplace. I remember when Glamorama came out I joked to people that Ellis was trying to play catch up with Mark Leyner, and on a surface level at least that trend seems to have continued to the point that the author has become his own protagonist. I probably will end up giving Bret and Jayne a few subway-length spans of my attention in a few weeks, so we'll see how it plays out, but I won't be too shocked in 2015 if Ellis comes out with a men's health guide. Because there's a new Leyner coming out any day now: Why Do Men Have Nipples?: Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini. If that shows up in my mailbox, Lunar Park is just going to have to wait.

(Remember, folks: I'm shooting my mouth off about a book I haven't even read yet, so don't take my word for any of it! Well, I did read Glamorama, so you can trust me when I say that was a swell ride for a trainwreck...)

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