White - Bret Easton Ellis

White

By Bret Easton Ellis

  • Release Date: 2019-04-16
  • Genre: Essays
Score: 4
4
From 66 Ratings

Description

Own it, snowflakes: you've lost everything you claim to hold dear.

White is Bret Easton Ellis's first work of nonfiction. Already the bad boy of American literature, from Less Than Zero to American Psycho, Ellis has also earned the wrath of right-thinking people everywhere with his provocations on social media, and here he escalates his admonishment of received truths as expressed by today's version of "the left." Eschewing convention, he embraces views that will make many in literary and media communities cringe, as he takes aim at the relentless anti-Trump fixation, coastal elites, corporate censorship, Hollywood, identity politics, Generation Wuss, "woke" cultural watchdogs, the obfuscation of ideals once both cherished and clear, and the fugue state of American democracy. In a young century marked by hysterical correctness and obsessive fervency on both sides of an aisle that's taken on the scale of the Grand Canyon, White is a clarion call for freedom of speech and artistic freedom.
 
"The central tension in Ellis's art—or his life, for that matter—is that while [his] aesthetic is the cool reserve of his native California, detachment over ideology, he can't stop generating heat.... He's hard-wired to break furniture."—Karen Heller, The Washington Post
 
"Sweating with rage . . . humming with paranoia."—Anna Leszkiewicz, The Guardian
 
"Snowflakes on both coasts in withdrawal from Rachel Maddow's nightly Kremlinology lesson can purchase a whole book to inspire paroxysms of rage . . . a veritable thirst trap for the easily microaggressed. It's all here. Rants about Trump derangement syndrome; MSNBC; #MeToo; safe spaces."—Bari Weiss, The New York Times
 

Reviews

  • Bret Easton Ellis Takes On “Generation Wuss” - It’s Perfect...

    5
    By troyjjensen
    Halfway through my old friend Bret Easton Ellis’s first non-fiction book White, the author confesses what he and American Psycho’s starboy Patrick Bateman have in common: “an illusory and distant relationship with a world that appalled us, yet we both wanted to connect with it.” It’s obvious that today, at 55, Ellis still experiences a complicated relationship with the two worlds he has spent his life navigating: his own and that of Hollywood. In White, a collection of personal essays, Ellis occupies the role of neutral observer of cultural chaos whose opinions cannot be defined by any one side or fit neatly into a binary. If he were to pick a stance, he would compromise the polarizing status that comes with maintaining freeform controversial views—which he seems to relish greatly. Although White teases the importance of individualism and cultural discourse, neither the book nor Ellis calls for aspirational activism or real change. The book works as a fascinating look inside the brain of the puppeteer behind contemporary fiction’s most iconic characters. The primary lesson is that Ellis, like his fellow citizens, is just trying to understand the world around him. White functions too as a chronicle of the author’s remarkable life, documenting his private feelings on his blazing early literary successes and controversies, up through his complicated feelings on the age of social media. The essays, spanning across multiple decades, are provocative and often put the reader in the position of voyeur, as if you’re listening to tape-recorded journal entries or watching surveillance footage of celebrities gossiping in Beverly Hills bathrooms. This time warp through the eras he has experienced so vividly, makes the book a fascinating history of pop culture, from Generation X to Generation Z.