Imperial Bedrooms
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Imperial Bedrooms

3.1 of 5 stars 3.10  ·  rating details  ·  8,752 ratings  ·  899 reviews
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 marr...more
Hardcover, 169 pages
Published June 15th 2010 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2010)
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David
Do not read this book. It's about despicable people doing despicable things.

In other words, it's about being human in the most essential sense of the term.

You will not like it because you have to like the characters you read about. Or because it's too dull or cold or passe. Or because it's misanthropic or misogynistic.

It's really none of these things, but you'll think it is and say it is and you'll be angry and spiteful and write another tired anti-Ellis review. Another tired anti-postmoderni...more
Caris
Some Asshole
1234 Some Street
Somewhere, AZ 85119

Jay McInerney
222 Whereveryoulive St
Probably, CA 90210


Dear Mr. McInerney,

I’m writing you today about a horrendous pile of shit you wrote in 2006 called The Good Life. In that book, you chronicled a few days in the life of some middle-aged guy in the wake of the 9/11 disaster. Your book sucked and, in all likelihood, continues to suck.

In 1984, you wrote a book called Bright Lights, Big City. It was not a bad book. It wasn’t really good, but it showed...more
David Lentz
I really can't seem to remember the last time that I rated a novel with only one star. But I blame myself: I should have seen it coming. A friend of mine met BEE at a party in the Hamptons and raved about him. So despite my misgivings I thought I would take the plunge and now I deeply regret that I did so. Fortunately, the book was terribly short and it's not so much a novel really as a novella. I assume BEE knocked it out over a long weekend stay at the Beverly Hilton. I am not so much into mul...more
M.J. Fiori
I expect to be able to read YA fiction in under three hours (or a Charlaine Harris book), but not literary fiction. This slim, flimsy novel is not a worthy followup - especially after three decades - to that eighties-Zeitgeist-capturing classic, Less Than Zero. The characters have not aged well, natch; but much more seriously, their creator seems to have regressed in trying to invoke them again. While the jaded narrative voice of Clay (as an Alice who made the mistake of staying too long in the...more
Scott
Bret Easton Ellis has always adopted two distinct personae as an author—that of the lurid purveyor of ultra violence and base sexual appetites set out to shock a bourgeois critical establishment that dares to question his literary mettle, or the closet moralist who wags his finger at the involvement of his characters, and the attendant interest of his fans, in said behavior.

Interestingly enough, it is these same warring impulses that put Ellis in a real narrative predicament in Imperial Bedroom...more
Snotchocheez
As if the infantile devil silhouette (Halloween self-portrait?) on the cover of its paltry 169 pages wasn't a dead giveaway that "imperial Bedrooms", the sequel to BEE's 1985 less-than-stellar "Less than Zero" was going to be a clunker, all I had to do was turn to the last page to see the "1985-2010" designation. This sequel was 25 years in the making!

God, what an insipid, uninspired, self-absorbed, vapid piece of nothingness this was. I vowed after reading his paean to product placement and to...more
Tiny Pants
I would advise potential readers -- and if you're reading this now, that may mean you -- don't read any reviews of this book. Stop reading this right now. It's written in a fairly elliptical way, with dialogue faintly sketching and shading in the bones of the plot, and so anything you do know will take away from what's there. Even though I read his interview in New York and the "Talk of the Town" piece on Bret Easton Ellis in the New Yorker, these mercifully didn't give anything away. Okay, they...more
R.
Jul 19, 2010 R. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Amanda Bynes, to prepare for her big comeback role as Rain Turner
Shelves: 2010
Highly polished Less Than Zero fan-fiction: for not one second do I buy into the idea that Bret Easton Ellis actually believes his characters survived beyond the very late 80s or early 90s. The literary equivalent of a "Späder-Man" action figure.

Also please note that Elvis Costello does not make an appearance - beyond an epigraph - as any sort of symbol or signpost, as he did in LTZ.

But Warren Zevon does.

Twice, actually.

As such, since naming a novel set in LA "Werewolves of London" or "Things...more
Andie
I'd been looking forward to this book for months. Having read everything that Bret Easton Ellis has published, and counting three of those books (American Psycho, Lunar Park, and Glamorama) among my top 20 books of all time, I couldn't wait to see what Imperial Bedrooms had in store for me (aside from a great title). I was somewhat shocked to picked up this slim volume at the book store and realize that it was less than 200 pages long. More of a novella, really, than a novel, but I paid the $27...more
Lorileinart
Imperial Bedrooms is Bret Easton Ellis' sequel to Less Than Zero. It's not a book for most people.
Having dismissed most of you out of hand, I now turn my attention to those of us for whom this book was written.
If you were young, smart, rich, and beautiful in the early 1980's, here is our glorious, shameful tribute (it was once okay to openly admit you were an elitist). Before the ravages of AIDS, herpes, crack cocaine, and the resulting cautionary morality that swallowed us whole, we were a free...more
Dominique Perregaux
Don't take me wrong rating this book 1 star, I love Bret Easton Ellis. I loved Less than zero, I loved American Psycho, I loved the Informers, I loved Glamorama, I liked Lunar Park (see my review on the book) but Imperial Bedrooms is a shame.

It seems clear that this book was written to honor the author's commitments toward his publisher. It is a commercial trick, with thick font and big margins on top, bottom, left and right. Less than zero was a master piece. Nowhere in Imperial Bedrooms can we...more
Aaron Weinman
Loved it. Couldn't put it down. Anti-Ellis peeps will scorn and have done on this forum and each to its own, but this is a serious return to form for one of my personal favourites.
Ellis re-visits the characters from his first book, Less Than Zero, and while much has changed in their lives, it would appear the ‘protagonist,’ Clay seems the most different….Yes he was always devoid of natural emotion and his social skills have always been somewhat off, but I sense a lot of difference in his charac...more
FrumpBurger
Read this book today, yessir, and...what can I say? I don't like it much. Not because, as another member so smugly put it, I can't deal with not liking characters in a book, or because it's misanthropic and misogynistic. Nope, the reason I don't like this book is, simply put, because I. Just. Don't. Give. A. Fuck.

I don't give a fuck about the banal characters, the boring ass storyline, the mediocre writing. I don't give a fuck about the trite "Hollywood is empty and everyone is awful" sentiment...more
Sabra Embury
A screenwriter named Clay returns to the LA scene, after being MIA for a while in NY; he runs the same circle of friends, the same places, the same parties, drinking Grey Goose here and there in Hollywood.

Clay begins to receive mysterious texts on his iPhone, he thinks he's being followed, he meets a hot blond; she must know some tricks, she must have (all of the above of) some killer ______; because she is the reason why everything is happening, why enemies and death are residual effects for t...more
Candy
Response Song


When I bought my first copy of David Bowie's Scary Monsters I remember the strange feeling of listening to a "song sequel" of Major Tom, titled Ashes To Ashes. How amazing! Revisiting a character in a song! I was stunned and exhilarated because I had no experience, or rather, no awareness of the idea of "response songs". This practice is more easily tracked in radio and recorded popular music but two of the most classic response songs come from older songs, in the blues, by Muddy W...more
Tori Jo Lau
Do you remember when Bret Easton Ellis was a ground-breaking new author who wrote novels that shook you to the core, that angered you and made you feel like you were reading something new and unique? I know that's how I felt when I read American Psycho - it was a horrible look into a killer mind, one that stayed with me for a long time after I finished reading the book.

I've read two books by Ellis recently, Imperial Bedrooms and Lunar Park. They both have the same problem in that there's nothin...more
Kristin
As a product of Generation X, which was laughable at the time, I was deeply disturbed by Less Than Zero. I read the book, ran to the theatre to see the movie and re-read it. Dark, disturbing and the characters were unlike anyone I would ever know, it fascinated me. I loved it. Now, it's sequel begins with another visit from Clay,still disinterested and unaffected these many years later.Maybe it's the fact I was left wanting more, or, that Ellis continues this disturbing story like it was written...more
Christopher
This book is not my favorite, but it is my least favorite.

You might ask, "but Mr. Chris, why would you read this book when you already hated its prequel?" and you would very perceptively be pointing out my stupidity. Because how stupid could I be to read this book which I fully expected to be terrible and which fully realized my expectations?! There was something in this book that attracted me, the way a horror movie attracts me; that it's too horrible to turn away from.

This is seriously bland w...more
Todd
I really enjoyed this book for the way it was written. Sort of spurt of the moment rambling, you felt like you were drifting along side the main character seeing and hearing everything. I also thought it was really cool to try and understand the character(having only watched the original less than zero movie and not reading the book...although i am now.)-

Some parts in the book are a slap in the face, and you hate the characters, they will drag you through situations you would rather not be in..b...more
Jim Cherry
In the 80’s Brett Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney were the hot new writers commenting on contemporary society through their fiction, sort of the Hemingway and Fitzgerald for Generation X. In the past year both have put out books revisiting their early successes, Ellis with his new “Imperial Bedrooms.”

“Imperial Bedrooms” is Ellis returning to the characters of “Less Than Zero,” I would say this is a nostalgic return to these characters but I don’t think they’re capable of feeling nostalgia or muc...more
Sam Quixote
The old gang from "Less Than Zero" are revisited in a sort of sequel, "Imperial Bedrooms". They were wasted as teenagers and they're wasted in middle age. Trent Burroughs is married to Blair, Julian Wells is around, Rip Millar is creepier than the last time, while Clay is as vapid and self-absorbed as ever.

The story begins with a film Clay wrote and is helping produce, "The Listeners", where he meets a desperate and beautiful actress, Rain Turner, who will do anything for a starring role. Clay...more
Kaliska
Do not read this book if you are one of the following: Someone who is easily disturbed; Someone who dislikes descriptions of death, forced sexual encounters, and/or drug use, and/or are someone who finds their own actions easily influenced by characters. Otherwise, read away!

This book will have you feeling numb and sick by the time you get to the last page. The characters are no longer the just-turned adults that may have captured your heart in the first book. They are spiteful, painful shells o...more
Jasmine
Okay so I want to clarify a comment that I made on another review of this book by saying that I like this book better than less than zero. I said something about ellis making a caricature of himself. I realize that the person I was responding to probably mean the new books were a caricature of the old books. Perhaps like saying survivor is just palahniuk's attempt to rewrite fight club. I mean I hear this stuff a lot and I agree they are similar books but I think it is more like a lack of intere...more
Chad
Southern Californian nihilism at its best. I love BEE. Always have. I never cared that he wasn't part of the literary elite. Like a great punk band he always wrote what he wanted, he always ripped off the bandage to reveal the nasty wounds and pulsating lies, and he never listened to anyone's criticism. Still, I wasn't really looking forward to this novel. I never really got into sequels and the original Less Than Zero was a sacred novel to me; I didn't really need or want to see what happened t...more
Niki Haworth
25 years is a long time; things change and people grow. As much as I found the ADD narration style of Less than Zero bothersome to a degree, I found it true to the generation and time it represented. I was curious to see what had happened to BEE's characters as much as his writing style (having more or less abandoned him after reading Rules of Attraction - yeah, yeah, yeah, I know... American Psycho, bla bla bla, but whatever. I knew enough about that book to know that it really wouldn't be my t...more
Sullivan Wheeler
Dear Bret Easton Ellis: we're through. Imperial Bedrooms was the last of your books that I will be reading. It's the last time I'm going to be fooled into thinking that maybe you've moved beyond your forty-year-old adolescent, violent misogynistic buillshit. Because now I realize: it's all you know how to do. You've got nothing else to say except, "Check it out -- this guy's a rich, white douchebag who's dead inside!" It's not interesting, it's not cute, and as a writer you're not maturing. And...more
Michael
While this books works on its own, it is really recommended reading Less than Zero to get the most out of Imperial Bedrooms. This book is set 25 years later, Clay has seemed to have moved on but when he finds himself back in Hollywood, he is sucked back into this world. My problem with Less than Zero as probably the fact that I read it 25 years too late; so it felt dated and I was probably too old to get the most out of it. Imperial Bedrooms seemed to be a better book, I’m not sure it’s the fact...more
Joshua
I'm not a rabib BEE fan, but I enjoyed "Less Than Zero" and "American Psycho"--if enjoyed is really the right verb given the gruesome context of the latter. But this one felt uninspired and flat. I realize that there's a certain ennui that's supposed to exist in the text: his diseffected twenty-somethings from LTZ have grown into apathetic middle-agers...

I get it, but that doesn't let the writer off the hook to still write exciting sentences and compelling scenes. S/he can make the book thrilli...more
Jon
This is a dark and stormy tale of aging neurosis and overwhelming fear of becoming the has been. Easton Ellis excels when he captures the frenetic inner musings of his barely sane but somehow rational, even human, protagonist. He also really captures the tension in the complex, fear (and loathing)-laden dialogue between his disturbed characters.



This is a haunting book, like American Psycho, it is disturbing enough to stay wih you throughout the day and night.



Stylisticly elegant and well paced,...more
Paul Dinger
Less than Zero is one of my personal favorites. I bought this book when it came out though I really couldn't afford it because of the lay off and everything. However, I on a whim decided to read it. Clay of Less than Zero was a passive hole in the middle of a decidely ill moral universe, afraid to merge. Here he is still just as scared, but resembles the American Pyscho character more. Like that book, this is really just a catalog of shocking stuff, including a snuff film. Yet, this tries to hav...more
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Disappear Here: Dream Cast - Imperial Bedrooms 1 3 Jul 14, 2013 07:44AM  
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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
More about Bret Easton Ellis...
American Psycho Less Than Zero The Rules of Attraction Lunar Park Glamorama

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“That's how I became the damaged party boy who wandered through the wreckage, blood streaming from his nose, asking questions that never required answers. That's how I became the boy who never understood how anything worked. That's how I became the boy who wouldn't save a friend. That's how I became the boy who couldn't love the girl.” 33 likes
“There are so many things Blair doesn’t get about me, so many things she ultimately overlooked, and things that she would never know, and there would always be a distance between us because there were too many shadows everywhere. Had she ever made promises to a faithless reflection in the mirror? Had she ever cried because she hated someone so much? Had she ever craved betrayal to the point where she pushed the crudest fantasies into reality, coming up with sequences that she and nobody else could read, moving the game as you play it? Could she locate the moment she went dead inside? Does she remember the year it took to become that way? The fades, the dissolves, the rewritten scenes, all the things you wipe away—I now want to explain all these things to her but I know I never will, the most important one being: I never liked anyone and I’m afraid of people.” 31 likes
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