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The Informers

3.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,180 Ratings  ·  439 Reviews
In this seductive and chillingly nihilistic collection of short stories, 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 ...more
Paperback, First Vintage Contemporaries Edition, 226 pages
Published June 9th 2010 by Vintage (first published 1994)
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Feb 25, 2013 Shovelmonkey1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who was psycho-lite
Ah Bret, I loved you so, so long ago. For anyone who has not had the mixture of pleasure, horror, disgust and loathing which is generated by the reading of American Psycho, then you should probably start here to ease your way into the dismissive, violent and destructive world which Ellis describes. I read American Psycho in one long teenage school day (under desks during class/ behind a wall at break/ on the bus home) and was amazed that this man was actually a fully functioning author and not a ...more
Jul 23, 2008 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't a novel. It's a collection of looooooooooosely connected short stories. More recent editions of The Informers now admit to this. When I first read the novel in '94, not knowing this fact threw me off completely. I'm re-reading it now because I hear it's being turned into a movie. It will be interesting to see what comes of that. It's certianly not Ellis's best and not a place to start if you're new to his writing. A chronological reading of his work is my suggestion or if you only wan ...more
Katie Dreyer
Jul 23, 2009 Katie Dreyer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sure, it looks entertaining. But, I promise you, by the time you get to the thirtieth page you'll start flipping through the pages, just to see if the 'might as well kill ourselves now' tone dies down a little as the book goes on. Surprise! It doesn't. An endless, painful, LONG look at the lives of some very spoiled, very addicted teenagers and their over medicated, surgically altered parents. It's LA at it's worst: and I'm having trouble believing that people this heartless even exist, but that ...more
Jun 05, 2009 Elizabeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Joe woke up and ordered a cheese omelet only to stare at it the entire time, confused about why he ordered it in the first place when he wasn't hungry, then he went to the movies but he didn't really pay attention to the first half of it, then this goth girl was looking at him funny and he really wanted to fuck her but doesn't, and he decided to visit a friend's house and so he drove there in his super expensive sports car and drank beer and afterward he went to a club and picked up a valley gir ...more
Oct 26, 2012 Tfitoby rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit, short-stories
Style over substance perhaps, but there's so much style that there's still a lot of substance for those paying attention.

This one was a re-read. I only have 700 books I haven't opened yet but I just had to come back to this one. NaNoWriMo is coming up and I've had an idea running around my mind for years that could use a structure similar to this one. So I combined research with pleasure and got stuck in to the Ellis novel that I remembered most fondly from a decade ago. Amazingly it was even be
I don’t know why I keep coming back to Bret Easton Ellis, I never seem to overly enjoy his vacuous characters but something keeps drawing me back. The Informers is my forth Ellis book and this one is a collection of short stories that ultimately link together to make an overall story. Think Crash (the movie) but with shallow characters. The Informers follow the lives of several interconnected characters, they all eat at the same places; sleep with the same people and pretty much act like each ot ...more
Jul 08, 2010 Christina rated it did not like it

Well, this is it. The first book so bad and uninteresting that I actually put it down before I finished it. Oddly enough, I got almost 2/3 through it! But last night I was just DONE. Started skimming so much and then downright paging through to other chapters, then to the end, then said "enough!"

It start off THAT bad which is why I got so far in. But the supposedly connected series of short stories were just too damn confusing. I sent most of each chapter trying to remember how each person w
May 21, 2008 nick rated it it was amazing
the way these short stories intertwine with one another is purely brilliant. i know a lot of people tend to not enjoy ellis' style of writing, but i think that the joy in his writing is all within the way everything is so disconnected and connected, all at the same time.

no other author can write end on end about seemingly useless facts, and still have use for them.

i know this sounds extremely contradicting, but he does the same thing throughout his other writings.

american psycho is a good examp
Jan 25, 2011 Winston rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
LA's vapid hedonisim is chronicled in thirteen narratives, separate yet melding into an indistinct voice that is languidly restless, unfocused, indifferent, and rambling in a drug-induced haze; friends, lovers, spouses merit the same mention, often less favourable, as Porches, Mercedes Benzes, Jaguars, and personal financial worth. Amidst the blase disregard of relationships for transient gratification, the desire for genuine connection is thinly veiled; the son who is affected enough to disappr ...more
Benjamin Stahl

While revisiting Ellis’s debatable "best work", American Psycho, I found myself slightly disappointed.

On first reading it, I was in a particularly bitter frame of mind where the violence and decadency really appealed to me. Reading it again, some years later, I guess I wasn’t so angry with life, and so I found less enjoyment with Bateman’s horrific lifestyle. Like, I still gave it four stars and will always appreciate that novel - (sick and disturbing as it is) - but I was also less forgiving t
Jul 05, 2013 Conor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
This is a pickle to review, but fortunately I like pickles.

First, my review is based off of my feeling toward Ellis in general. I like him, but beyond that, this would be a very strange text to start with, were it to be the first of his work you'd encounter.

The key thing is that it's packaged as a novel. Hell, Goodreads even claims it's a novel. It is however, disconnected vignettes that require a check of the book's wiki page to unsnarl. Wikipedia, by the by, seems to fall strongly on the other
Apr 22, 2016 Conny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics-fiction
"Die Informanten" besteht aus 13 lose zusammenhängenden Kurzgeschichten aus dem gewohnten Umfeld: Reiche Menschen in ihrer Dekadenz und Sinnlosigkeit. Die Zustände sind schon fast skurril.

Am interessantesten fand ich dabei die Briefe von Anne, die aus einer Kleinstadt nach L.A. zieht und sich innert weniger Monate an diese Gesellschaft angleicht - emotionslos, oberflächlich und selbstbezogen wird. Wenn in einer anderen Geschichte plötzlich Vampire auftreten, weiss man nicht genau, ob dies eine
Sep 01, 2011 Austin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring. Very boring. Extremely boring. I know that's the point when Ellis is writing about rich people, but it pretty much felt like I was reading the parts of Less Than Zero that ended up on the cutting room floor. About 70% there was some action, but it didn't really seem to fit the rest of the story, and by then I was just trying to finish it so I could get on to the next book. If you want to read about boring spoiled rich people, read American Psycho. If you want to read about boring spoiled ...more
Sean Wilson
Ellis is a great writer when it comes to observing the bland superficiality of our modern society, savagely satirical depictions of capitalist America and its inhabitants.

One of my favourite short story collections from a master writer.
Dec 05, 2013 Josef rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Empty is as empty does--

As I thought about what made this story of Brett Easton Ellis' so awful compared to his more recognized 'American Psycho' (thank you Christian Bale!) or even more related, 'Less Than Zero'. I've only been able to arrive at the following conclusion. Unlike those other works, in very few places in 'The Informers' does one actually get a vantage point that provides a narrative contrast or "space" that allows the reader to really feel the banality of waste, selfishness, and l
Aug 09, 2009 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is my understanding that Ellis plans to follow Lunar Park with a follow up to Less Than Zero. However, I don't see how many more times he can visit these charaters since he references them in all other novels. Julian shows up in this one, if only in a conversation... letters addressed to Sean at Camden of Rules of Attraction fame. I used to think this was cool but after this novel, I actually think it is a little boring. The DISAPPEAR HERE billboard makes an appearance and there are chapters ...more
Dec 01, 2008 Tessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fictive
I love B.E.E. because of his unerring talent for creating the best kind of repulsed fascination. (Or fascinating revulsion.) Also, he has the best moments. This one occurs early on in the collection, and was probably the place that hooked me:

"The door opens. It's a small bathroom and Raymond is siting on the toilet, the lid closed, beginning to cry again, his face and eyes red and wet. I am so surprised by Raymond's emotion that I lean against the door and just stare, watching him bunch his hand
This is a great book about moral bankruptcy in the middle of glitzy LA. I like this book because his writing contains loose affiliations of the different characters in the book. The first 9 chapters were great but the last 4 were not great.

Each chapter has a different character narrating it and is loosely connected to the other chapter but at its heart each character is alone. The characters have to take drugs/alcohol just try to relate to each other shows you the depth of their isolation. There
Jun 19, 2009 Rhonda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This story lacks subject. It doesn't have any kind of meaning. Vampires pop up and make racist jokes and have sex, then kill their sex partners. Guys and girls who are all uniformly rich, drug-addicted, bird-brained, big fans of sunglasses, blond, tanned, gorgeous shuffle around doing nothing, perhaps to portray the meaninglessness of life. The plot is horrible. To be honest, it doesn't seem to really have a plot. It's really more a series of horrible short stories connected only by the chracter ...more
Marc Alan
Oct 03, 2007 Marc Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: topshelf
For the first one hundred pages I felt like it was just a not-quite-as-interesting rehash of what Ellis did in Less than Zero. However I found myself getting drawn into the strange ties between the stories, and the way the book continues to spiral into darkness. I find it hard to believe that it isn't classified as a collection of short stories, and as such I think number #12 was the stand out one to me. Worth picking up if you're an Ellis fan, but if you find his style at all tiresome I'd skip ...more
I'm not really sure what to think about this one.
I'm not all happy with Ellis style of writing. While i like this "everything is wayne" he describes too much for my taste. I was a bit bored after three or four stories because i had a feeling everything repeating itself (which may have been Ellis intention but still i got bored) but the ending made it all better.
I really loved the last three stories. They were so unexpected and just what the fuck :D
Reading it was definitel worth it for the ending
This is the fifth book I've read by Bret Easton Ellis and I count him amongst my list of favourite authors, even though I don't love everything he's written. The Informers is a series of short stories featuring different narrators and overlapping storylines which all focus on a circle of spoilt and ultimately ruined, young adults living in LA. The characters are all people who are easy to despise as they're painfully shallow and consumed by their own needs and desires with little or no regard fo ...more
Jack Zivvi
Feb 09, 2016 Jack Zivvi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's something interesting about the style of this, I've not read any of his other work but I enjoyed the bleak dead vacuousness of this. I don't read violent or sexual explicit books I like PG Wodehouse but this isn't that, perhaps sort of about the same sort of people or more likely the people from Waugh's Vile Bodies etc, it's about messed up people anyway and it's very good at being that, that it intertwines but gets nowhere really is probably 'the moral of the story' the 80s products Tab ...more
Tristan Goding
Sep 25, 2015 Tristan Goding rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bret Easton Ellis fans
Pretty decent little collection of short stories, some of them far better than others. Ellis' style is certainly not for everyone, and admittedly he is not at the top of his game here. However, if you are a fan of him you will definitely enjoy this book because it has everything that you could possibly want in a Bret Easton Ellis book. Cold, relentless detachment, unabashed narcissism, brutal descriptions of violence and decadence, and an undeniable sense of humor to help streamline it all. It d ...more
This is such a horrendous effort from an author who proves to be more overrated with each book that I read by him. This collection of short stories contains stories where absolutely nothing happens, the characters are all the same, and they all do the same thing. It's meant to be a satire. It's meant to be a commentary about something, but when you're reading this, you really couldn't care less. It's tedious and extremely repetitive. The characters all share the same circle and make appearances ...more
Jack Wright
Dec 24, 2011 Jack Wright rated it really liked it
I thought it was a good follow up to "Less Than Zero." In short, the book is a collection of short stories (some what) told from a different person's First Person Perspective, which can be a little disorienting at first. Despite that disorientation though, it was kind of fun to figure out who the story was now following (as well as what gender they were) and how and if they were connected directly to the previous story, or any other of Bret Easton Ellis' previous books.

I really think that someon
May 03, 2010 Sal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the way Bret Easton Ellis writes. I love how he never tells you his characters thoughts, but just from observing their dialogue and actions, the characters develop so naturally. His books bring out a masochistic side of me. I never feel good after reading anything he writes. But I can’t help coming back for more. His world of morally devoid, upper-class monsters has a strange allure that keeps me wondering about the characters after I put the book down. They are strangely hypnotizing work ...more
Apr 17, 2009 Ricky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-read this one in a 48 hour period. Wanted to read it again before the movie comes out next weekend. The book is of typical Ellis work, but it has more of a Pulp Fiction plot feel - basically the book is 13 short stories that involve a good 8 or so main characters who move between time and one another within each short story. Of Ellis' works, this doesn't hold nearly as strong as his others, but it is still a very a solid read. I'm curious to see how the screenplay will be adapted since the st ...more
Michael Bohli
Nov 15, 2015 Michael Bohli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Bret Easton Ellis hat es wieder geschafft: "The Informers" ist ein Buch, das Unbehagen auslöst, schrecklich zum lesen ist und dabei immer die Wahrheit spiegelt. Stilistisch bleibt der Autor im gleichen Gebiet wie bei "Rules Of Attraction" oder "Less Than Zero". Seine Kurzgeschichten sind trocken, karg und scheinbar gehaltlos. Doch je weiter man sich durch dieses Trauerspiel vorkämpft, desto tiefer findet man sich in einer Welt wieder, die in ihrer Seelenlosigkeit nur echt sein kann.

Wie weit man
Jul 30, 2013 Austin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems old BEE is a one trick pony: he provides sordid details about the very rich and (for the most part privileged, and how their affluence has corrupted them, or how they corrupt the things around them. I suppose L.A. is and endless source of those rich enough to indulge in their sensual and sexual flaws, but disappointing situation after disappointing situation does not make for edifying studies of character or a good way to spend the very limited amount of books you read before you die. I ...more
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Bret Easton Ellis is an American author. He is considered to be one of the major Generation X authors and was regarded as one of the so-called literary Brat Pack, which also included Tama Janowitz and Jay McInerney. He has called himself a moralist, although he has often been pegged as a nihilist. His characters are young, generally vacuous people, who are aware of their depravity but choose to en ...more
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“Greed is good. Sex is easy. Youth is forever.” 47 likes
“I keep feeling that people are becoming less human and more animalistic. They seem to think less and feel less so that everyone is operating on a very primitive level. I wonder what you and I will see in our lifetimes. It seems so hopeless yet we must keep on trying ... I guess we can't escape being a product of the times, can we?” 42 likes
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