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Sunday, 10 June 2018

Imperial Bedrooms - Bret Easton Ellis (2010)

Rating: Admirable

Imperial Bedrooms is the sequel to Less Than Zero (1985), Ellis' debut novel that made a significant cultural impact in middle on that bloated decade. Fittingly both take their titles from seminal Elvis Costello albums. I have not yet read Less Than Zero, however this did not impact greatly on my understanding of the novel and, as I knew it would, it contained Ellis' typical emotionless writing style. In terms of conveying an atmosphere of soulless hedonistic despair Ellis is just brilliant, however the very act of reading the novel means being prepared to be drawn into that world and exposed to its narcissistic core, which is a draining experience indeed. The central protagonist, Clay, reminded me so much of Patrick Bateman from American Psycho (1991), as did the overall narcissistic tone of the novel and the exploration of modern humans devoid of basic humanity. I admired this novel more than I enjoyed it and ultimately if you were to read any Bret Easton Ellis novel it would have to be American Psycho, which is one of the greatest modern novels and, a cliche I know, also required reading during the decline of America under Trump.

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