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This is, without a doubt, one of the most horrific, hilarious, and many other words starting with "h" novels I have ever read.
Victor Ward and his "friends" are everything I've ever dreamed and feared New York City society is like. At first, the book seems to be about quite possibly the most insipid male model in history. But Ellis had a lot more in his sights: what celebrity does to our perceptions of ourselves; how we can let ourselves become passengers in our own lives; and how we've become inured to violence in the media and movies.
This book has such an incredibly slowly developed sense of menace and spiraling insanity, that I didn't even realize it was there until it was already too late. Which is exactly what happens to Victor in the novel.
I'll say this. I read this every morning on the subway into work, and found myself alternatingly cackling with laughter, and clutching the handstrap for support. I don't think I've ever had such a visceral reaction to a book before.
One of the most shocking, surprising, novels I've ever read. It's definitely not for the easily queasy, but otherwise, I cannot recommend it enough.
*A little note: I'd also recommend reading Rules of Attraction before picking this up.