Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Imperial Bedrooms

Bret Easton Ellis never seems to change. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I think a little of both in his sequel to "Less Than Zero" 25 years later with "Imperial Bedrooms" (169 pages). From the cover:

"Bret Easton Ellis's debut, Less Than Zero, is one of the signal novels of the last thirty years, and he now follows those infamous teenagers into an even more desperate middle age.

Clay, a successful screenwriter, has returned from New York to Los Angeles to help cast his new movie, and he's soon drifting through a long-familiar circle. Blair, his former girlfriend, is married to Trent, an influential manager who's still a bisexual philanderer, and their Beverly Hills parties attract various levels of fame, fortune and power. Then there's Clay's childhood friend Julian, a recovering addict, and their old dealer, Rip, face-lifted beyond recognition and seemingly even more sinister than in his notorious past.

But Clay's own demons emerge once he meets a gorgeous young actress determined to win a role in his movie. And when his life careens completely out of control, he has no choice but to plumb the darkest recesses of his character and come to terms with his proclivity for betrayal.

A genuine literary event."

As I stated above this is typical Ellis and the gang's all here from 25 years ago, the same vapid and disgusting gang. In a nutshell people who take human nature to the extreme, people we all know in real life. What makes this novel so different from "Less Than Zero," other than the advance of time, is that there's an actual plot this time around scattered with some conspiracy elements from "Glamorama" and a chapter involving a couple of prostitutes that makes one think of Patrick Bateman from "American Psycho."

Obviously the satire, violence, sexual gratuity, and reoccurring themes from all his novels are what keep Ellis fan coming back for more. Again, I enjoyed this novel for these reasons but one has to wonder what more Ellis can do. A worthy read for fans, maybe not so for the uninitiated. If you haven't read anything by Bret Easton Ellis, start with "Less Than Zero" or "American Psycho" to see what I believe was his best work.

Apparently the movie "Less Than Zero" should be skipped. It's obvious in this novel the disdain Ellis has for the big screen adaptation of his work.

"Disappear here." Again.

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