Friday, June 11, 2010

The Informers

From the book cover: "In this seductive and chillingly nihilistic novel, Bret Easton Ellis, the author of 'American Psycho,' returns to Los Angeles, the city whose moral badlands he portrayed unforgettably in 'Less Than Zero.' The time is the early eighties. The characters go to the same schools and eat at the same restaurants. Their voices enfold us as seamlessly as those of DJ's heard over a car radio. They have sex with the same boys and girls and buy from the same dealers. In short, they are connected in the only way people can be in that city."

What the book jacket doesn't explain and what I didn't know is that this novel is a collection of short stories that loosely connect with each other. This confused me at first until I read some reviews online. Had I known this I probably wouldn't have bought the book but it ended up being a satisfactory read nonetheless. The characters are typical for an Ellis novel or story, vapid and mostly unlikeable. Though I say that, I'm a big fan of his writing style, specifically his ability to craft interesting dialogue between characters and his ability to tap into cultural references of the period, especially music, fashion, and lingo.

Most of the chapters or stories are worth the read with only a couple of clunkers thrown into the mix. Two of the later chapters can be a bit disturbing, another Ellis trait. A good, quick read that I recommend. Not as good as "American Psycho" but on par and a bit more polished than "Less Than Zero."

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