Before you leap into Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis you really must read, or re-read Less Than Zero

by |June 29, 2010

Haven’t read the book or seen the movie version of Less Than Zero? Spoiler alert! Scroll down to read about Less Than Zero and then decide if you want to read about Imperial Bedrooms. Or you could just take our word for it when we say – buy them both, you won’t regret it.

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About Imperial Bedrooms:

Twenty-five years on from Less Than Zero, we pick up again with Clay.

In 1985, Bret Easton Ellis shocked, stunned and disturbed with Less Than Zero, his “extraordinarily accomplished first novel” (New Yorker), successfully chronicling the frightening consequences of unmitigated hedonism within the ranks of the ethically bereft youth of 80s Los Angeles. Now, twenty-five years later, Ellis returns to those same characters: to Clay and the band of infamous teenagers whose lives weave sporadically through his. But now, some years on, they face an even greater period of disaffection: their own middle age.

Clay seems to have moved on – he’s become a successful screenwriter – but when he returns from New York to Los Angeles, to help cast his new movie, he’s soon drifting through a long-familiar circle. Blair, his former girlfriend, is now married to Trent, and their Beverly Hills parties attract excessive levels of fame and fortune, though for all that Trent is a powerful manager, his baser instincts remain: he’s still a bisexual philanderer.

Then there’s Clay’s childhood friend, Julian – who’s now a recovering addict – and their old dealer, Rip – face-lifted beyond recognition and seemingly even more sinister than he was in his notorious past. Clay, too, struggles with his own demons after a meeting with a gorgeous actress determined to win a role in his movie. And with his life careening out of control, he’s forced to come to terms with the deepest recesses of his character – and with his seemingly endless proclivity for betrayal.

About Less Than Zero :

The cult classic has been re-issued to celebrate its 25th anniversary, and before the publication of the sequel, Imperial Bedrooms

“One of the most disturbing novels I’ve read in a long time. It possesses an unnerving air of documentary reality” Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

In 1985, Bret Easton Ellis shocked, stunned and disturbed with his début novel, Less Than Zero. Published when he was just twenty-one, this extraordinary and instantly infamous work has done more than simply define a genre, it has become a rare thing: a cult classic and a timeless embodiment of the zeitgeist. Twenty-five years on, Less Than Zero continues to be a landmark in the lives of successive generations of readers across the globe.

Filled with relentless drinking in seamy bars and glamorous nightclubs, wild, drug-fuelled parties, and dispassionate sexual encounters, Less Than Zero – narrated by Clay, an eighteen-year-old student returning home to Los Angeles for Christmas – is a fierce coming-of-age story, justifiably celebrated for its unflinching depiction of hedonistic youth, its brutal portrayal of the inexorable consequences of such moral depravity, and its author’s refusal to condone or chastise such behaviour.

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