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.
Imperial Bedrooms, how it compares to Chuck Palaniuk, and more...
Man, if you hated Clay in Less Than Zero, you'd better watch out. He's a real douche. BEE is such a great craftsman. Some of the sweetness of Lunar Park is here, but it's also just as bleak and nihilistic and satirical as anything he's ever written. I wish his characters were as funny as they were in other things he's written, but its unexpectedly gory so that somewhat makes up for the lack of humor in my opinion. I do hate Andrew McCarthy's narration but just because he has this odd canadian lilt to his voice. Bring back James Van Der Beek or have BEE himself to finally narrate his own for for heavens sake... Still 5 stars.
Any way you slice it, Imperial Bedrooms is a zillion times better than Chuck Palaniuk's latest abortion Tell-All, and Chuck is, in my opinion BEE's closest rival. Possibly Denis Johnson, but he's not really writing Californian noir anymore.
Poor narration, decent story though. Fans of Bret Easton Ellis should give it a chance.