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Q&A with Bret Easton Ellis - Page 4

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Q: You tackled drugs in the 80s with Less Than Zero and The Rules of Attraction and in the 90s with American Psycho and The Informers. But in Lunar Park the characters (including kids and dogs) seem to get most of their drugs over the counter.

Do you think there’s been a shift in the drug culture of the 21st century?

A: Well, I never thought those books were about drugs and I was never particularly interested in drug culture.I usually channeled what I experienced and saw and wove it into my fiction.

I came of age in a generation where drugs were pretty rampant. The books were populated by characters from my generation and so, yes, they did drugs.

But I never wrote a book about drug addiction or what it means to be an addict. I wrote about drugs as a social aspect in a certain echelon of society. I might have used a lot of drugs but I was never pro-drug and I certainly wasn’t interested in what taking drugs “meant” except having a good time (unlike, say, the generation that came of age in the 60s, when the drug culture symbolized something far larger).

But being older now, and since drugs aren’t part of the fabric of my life anymore, I have a slightly more jaundiced view of them, especially of over-the-counter meds, which have devastated far more people I have known than pot or cocaine ever did.

It’s obvious: we’re an overmedicated society. I don’t know how much of that is an aspect in Lunar Park that I thought was important to explore, but it’s definitely part of our world now, and not just the one depicted in the novel.

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