Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis.
This book was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. Now, I suppose one can call Lunar Park fantasy, but if you do, you need to allow the entirety of the supernatural horror genre in too. Move over Jordan and Martin, Graham Masterton and James Herbert are going to start taking up space in the shelves next to you. Not that I found Lunar Park (nor the best novel winner, Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami) in the fantasy section. Nope, those two as well as Graham Joyce’s The Limits of Enchantment were all in Tempe Public Library’s general fiction section. Hal Duncan’s Vellum was not to be found at all…
Lunar Park starts slow. Ellis sets up a fictional reality and then writes a memoir ghost story. The set up is everything I disliked about American Psycho. There is a steady stream of details that gets tiring, boring. Honestly, I’m not sure why I kept reading aside from a certain momentum that pulls a reader through. Thankfully, this doesn’t last as long as it does in American Psycho. Once the fictional Bret Easton Ellis is established, the story moves, meticulously setting up an atmosphere of dread. I wasn’t expecting a ghost story or the mild return of Patrick Bateman or a meditation on being a writer and the lives of a writer’s creations. Getting all three was something of a treat. And I wonder what epic S&S fantasy reader think of Lunar Park being included as one of the best fantasies of the year. Or what the ‘literary’ reader thinks of it being shelved in the non-genre section. Sadly, without the former I would have missed out on one of the best horror novels I’ve read in a long while.