Bret Easton Ellis (born March 7, 1964) is an American author, screenwriter, and short story writer. His works have been translated into 27 languages. He was at first regarded as one of the so-called literary Brat Pack, which also included Tama Janowitz and Jay McInerney. He is a self-proclaimed satirist, whose trademark technique, as a writer, is the expression of extreme acts and opinions in an affectless style. Ellis employs a technique of linking novels with common, recurring characters.
Though Ellis made his debut at age 21 with the controversial bestseller Less Than Zero (1985), a zeitgeist novel about wealthy amoral young people in Los Angeles, the work he is most known for is his third novel, American Psycho (1991). On its release, the literary establishment widely condemned the novel as overly violent and misogynistic. Though many petitions to ban the book saw Ellis dropped by Simon & Schuster, the resounding controversy convinced Alfred A. Knopf to release it as a paperback later that year. In later years, Ellis' novels have become increasingly metafictional. Lunar Park (2005), a pseudo-memoir and ghost story, received positive reviews. Imperial Bedrooms (2010), marketed as a sequel to Less Than Zero, continues in this vein.
Four of Ellis' works have been made into films. Less Than Zero was rapidly adapted for screen, leading to the release of a starkly different film of the same name in 1987. Mary Harron's adaptation of American Psycho was released to generally positive reviews in 2000 and went on to achieve cult status. Roger Avary's 2002 adaptation The Rules of Attraction made modest box office returns but went on to attract a cult following. 2008's The Informers, based on Ellis's collection of short stories, was critically panned. Ellis also wrote the screenplay for the critically derided 2013 film The Canyons, an original work.