Bret Easton Ellis Facts 📝

Before leaving high school, Bret Easton Ellis began working on a novel loosely centered around the lives of young adults in Los Angeles.

Bret Easton Ellis

American Author

From writing a book that got condemned by so many people for being misogynistic and sadistic to writing a novel in honor of a dead lover, many facts about Bret Easton Ellis elude many. With the publication of ‘American Psycho,’ Bret rose to the top to become one of the most influential writers in the black comedy genre. His novel became a postmodernist classic with themes that have stayed relevant for more than thirty decades.

American Psycho was A Controversy Magnet

After his first and second novels ‘Less Than Zero,’ and ‘The Rules of Attraction,’ Bret Easton Ellis released a third novel about an investment banker in New York. The story of ‘American Psycho‘ follows the life of Patrick Bateman, a seemingly regular man with dark desires, who turns into a sadistic serial killer. After the book’s publication, a widespread controversy started.

Many people got furious by the brutal nature of ‘American Psycho’ and claimed it was an anti-women book promoting violence and decadence. With so many people hating the book, a petition got created to ban it from the United States; this led to Simon & Schuster, Bret’s publishing partners, dropping the book. However, unfazed by the negative attention, Alfred A. Knopf took on the novel and released a paperback. Years later, many scholars would marvel at the genius of ‘American Psycho.’

Bret Easton Ellis Belonged to a Special Group of Writers

Unlike other writers praised for their incredible work, Bret belongs to the Brat Pack Writers group. Consisting of Tama Janowitz and Jay McInerney, Bret’s group was famous in the literary world as his writing brought brutality and realism to characters.

Most of Bret Easton’s Characters are Shared

Before Patrick Bateman appeared as the star character in ‘American Psycho,’ he got featured in ‘The Rules of Attraction,’ a story about three young Camden College students in a love triangle. Like Patrick, Bret featured his characters many times.

In his short stories compiled in ‘The Informers,’ many characters’ lives intersect as they navigate the world. Bret’s habit of featuring his characters over and over again came from his small setting. He usually restricted most of his writing to California. Hence, the intersection between characters.

Bret Had an Indeterminate Sexuality

For a long time, Bret failed to answer the questions regarding his sexuality. He cited artistic reasons for his actions, claiming that if he stated he was straight or gay, it would make people read his novels differently. However, in 2012, he came out as gay.

Bret Wanted to Work on Fifty Shades of Grey

After E. L. James’ ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ blew up, an adaptation of the novel got greenlighted. Bret Easton Ellis showed interest in the project as he told his fans he applied to work on the screenplay for the movie. Though he followed the movie’s development, he never got picked as a writer, and the role went to Patrick Marber, Mark Bomback, and Kelly Marcel.

A Lover’s Death

After his lover, Michael Wade’s death, Ellis completed ‘Lunar Park,’ a pseudo-memoir about Ellis’s life. The novel follows the story of Ellis and his family after 9/11. With bombings in Florida, Ellis starts believing that his house is haunted. Later, it gets discovered that Ellis may be mentally unstable as the thin line between reality and fiction fades from his perception.

Patrick Bateman’s Controversy

Besides ‘American Psycho’ having so much controversy, Patrick Bateman was one of the most hated characters in literature. Though Bret stated he created Patrick inspired by his abusive father, he later admitted that Patrick Bateman got inspired by his life. He said that while at the lowest point of his life, the idea for ‘American Psycho’ sprang up.


Though his novels are intense and filled with depictions of brutal murders, tortures, and rapes, Bret says that he gets inspiration from writers like Ernest Hemingway, Joan Didion, Jame Joyce, and Don DeLillo. 

From Privilege

American novelist Bret Easton Ellis came from a well-to-do family. His father was a property developer in Sherman Oaks, and his mother was a homemaker. Bret attended The Buckley School, where he started writing his first novel. Before he graduated from high school, his parents got divorced.

Christian Bale Hated Patrick Bateman

It is no secret that Christian Bale, the main character of the 2000 movie ‘American Psycho,’ hated his character. Due to his extreme form of acting, Christian inculcated the lifestyle of Patrick Bateman and went as far as refusing to communicate with his colleagues; this made him the most disliked actor on set. Years later, he admitted that he disliked Patrick Bateman and expressed worry about people taking a liking to the maniacal character.


Why did the cast of American Psycho dislike Christian Bale?

Christian was the most disliked actor on set because of his intense acting methods. To portray Patrick Bateman, he used his lifestyle and performed rigorous reconditioning; this made him refuse to communicate with other actors.

Is Bret Easton Ellis Gay?

Yes. The self-proclaimed satirist revealed he was gay. Though he hid that aspect of his personal life, claiming it was for artistic purposes, he later openly came out.

What are some of Ellis’ works?

Though ‘American Psycho’ is his best work, Bret has other stories. From ‘Imperial Bedrooms’ to ‘Less Than Zero,’ ‘Glamora,’ and ‘The Rules of Attraction,’ he has written many good novels. His second novel, ‘The Rules of Attraction,’ garnered controversy, but his third novel ‘American Psycho,’ took the crown as it was a controversy magnet.

Is Bret Easton Ellis married?

No. Bret Easton Ellis is not married. There is little on his personal life, but he admitted he was gay. He wrote ‘Lunar Park’ after his lover, Michael Wade’s death.

Joshua Ehiosun
About Joshua Ehiosun
Joshua is an undying lover of literary works. With a keen sense of humor and passion for coining vague ideas into state-of-the-art worded content, he ensures he puts everything he's got into making his work stand out. With his expertise in writing, Joshua works to scrutinize pieces of literature.
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