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. This 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 DJs 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.
Dirk sees his best friend killed in a desert car wreck, then rifles through his pockets for a last joint before the ambulance comes. Cheryl, a wannabe newscaster, chides her future stepdaughter, "You're tan but you don't look happy." Jamie is a clubland carnivore with a taste for human blood. As rendered by Ellis, their interactions compose a chilling, fascinating, and outrageous descent into the abyss beneath L.A.'s gorgeous surfaces.
|Author:||Ellis, Bret Easton|
|Publisher:||Random House Inc|
|Publish Date:||Aug 1995|
|Number of Pages:||225|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.56|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.34 x 0.65 x 8.0|
Bret Easton Ellis was born in Los Angeles, California on March 7, 1964. He attended Bennington College. In 1985, at the age of 23, his first novel, Less Than Zero, was published. His other works include The Rules of Attraction (1987), The Informers (1994), Glamorama (1998), Lunar Park (2005), and Imperial Bedrooms (2010). His most controversial book was American Psycho, a book for which he received an advance in the amount of $300, 000 from Simon and Schuster, who then refused to publish the book while under attack from women's groups in regards to the content of the book. It was later made into a feature film.
Although billed as a novel, this work reads like a collection of 13 loosely related short stories. The characters in Chapter 1 reappear in the last chapter, and Jamie, whose death occurs in Chapter 2, may be the vampire named Jamie who later appears. None of this much matters, however, since the characters have no personality anyway. Every chapter is told by a different narrator, further preventing the reader from connecting to the characters.
Set in Eighties L.A. like Ellis's debut, Less Than Zero, the book makes endless, almost obsessive references to obscure bands, upscale restaurants, and clothing of the time. For Ellis, this seems to have been a time when "people [were] becoming less human... everyone [was] operating on a very primitive level", but, unfortunately, the effect is of an era safely past. The Informers has fewer gruesome scenes than American Psycho, and its affect lessness renders them less powerful. Still, this is a disturbing book that will be requested by patrons familiar with Ellis's work.
-Nora Rawlinson, formerly with "Library Journal"
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