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The Informers

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  10,410 ratings  ·  388 reviews
Now a major film starring Mickey Rourke, Winona Ryder, Kim Basinger and Billy Bob Thornton

Capturing the lives of a group of people in Los Angeles, "The Informers" is an intense narrative that blurs genders, generations and even identities. The characters go to the same schools and eat at the same restaurants. Their voices enfold us as seamlessly as those of DJs heard over
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Picador USA (first published 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shovelmonkey1
Feb 25, 2013 Shovelmonkey1 rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
Joe
Jul 23, 2008 Joe rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: PEOPLE WHO LIKE STYLE OVER SUBSTANCE
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
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
Elizabeth
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
Tfitoby
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
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Michael
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
nick
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
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Conor
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
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Christina
#30

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
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Winston
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
Tessa
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
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Patrick
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
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Marc Alan
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
Jack Wright
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
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Josef
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
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Becky
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
Sal
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
Austin
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
Ricky
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
Austin
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
Hal
I had high hopes for this book going in, but lost interest about half way through. It just kind of meanders without really ever going anywhere, and while it deals with the same themes as Ellis's other works (80's culture of excess, materialism,vacuous charaters living only on the surface, etc.) it lacks much of the satire and humor I've enjoyed in his other works.

I alternated, between the book and audiobook, and despite being one of his thinnest works, I also found it to be one of his most tedio
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Al Riske
I love the way Brett Easton Ellis writes; I just don't like what he writes about.

He takes things too far.

I was fascinated by the world he created in The Informers — not so much a novel as a collection of overlapping stories, each vignette told in the first person by a different character — but a few of the later chapters conveyed more than I wanted to know about human nature.

The violence was too real, too depraved.

Worse, there was no hope. Not a shred of optimism anywhere.

That said, I did come a
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Rhonda
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
Flami
Vampires, flamingos, erratic tumbleweed, "uselessly proud llamas". Busted smoke machines galore. The alien-revealing sunglassesless looks of a dream that everybody's chasing -- a nightmare on many occasions, that gnaws on everybody's flesh.

Who's everybody?
Legion.

It very much seems the social network feed of all BEE's characters.

Our parents spawned us just because. Deal with it. They trip us all the time, pretending care.
But we can't deal with it, nobody taught us how and we just didn't have the
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Rachel
This was my first B.E.E. and I was surprisingly pleased. I love the manner in which Mr. Ellis writes giving his characters a certain disconnect from seemingly everything (including themselves). There's so much moral depravity going on to keep you somewhat uncomfortable throughout. The interesting thing about this book is that it's told through several short stories that are loosely connected in a brilliant way. I recommend reading the book and then viewing the movie shortly afterward. I don't th ...more
Danie Ware
I have no idea if this book was a subtly woven of work of genius that I just missed completely, or if it was a bewildering mass of narrators and storylines that seemed to have no intersections or narrative arc whatsoever. I got to the end - but only because I was waiting for the plot to make sense.

It didn't.

I normally enjoy Ellis's stuff, and this one was particularly difficult on audiobook, as I had no way of checking who was speaking, or of flipping back through the pages to reference characte
...more
André
I did not like this book at all. It almost reads like separate short stories concerning alienated, amoral, promiscuous, drug-consuming, materialistic, hedonistic, violent, ignorant, unintelligent, uncultured, decadent, rich men and women in L.A. - in other words, the type of culture I utterly dislike and repudiate. The author does not develop characters; the 'ambience' is cold and cynical and depressing. One could argue that the author successfully describes a certain cultural group; however, th ...more
Benjamin Stahl
There just something so seriously cool about Bret Easton Ellis. The way he seems to hate and look down at everything. The way he writes with such refined simplicity like he doesn't give a shit about the literary critics that hate him. The way his characters are so dead and unlikable yet so uncomfortably realistic. Everything about his writing, and everything about this book, is so dark and loathsome and unapologetic. With complete and confident success, it turns the putrid city of LA upside down ...more
Gus
Loved that this book didn't have a plot, just rich ppl going about their lives in L.A. purposeless and numb. Very cathartic. Could NOT handle the chapter with the blood-letters and had to skip it bc I was so squeamish. Could barely get through the chapter where the little boy is kidnapped without reason. I have been feeling so emotionless lately, but at least I am not a blonde, movie-exec-coke-vessel having trouble connecting to my son on this random trip to Hawaii because I am a horrible person ...more
Alex
what does a burnt out teen in love with his friend, a group of friends shattered by the loss of one of them, a mentally unhinged woman from a broken family, an overbearing and oversexual father, a daughter distraut at the divorce of her parents, a woman spiralling out of control after the collapse of her marriage, a burnt out sadistic rockstar touring Tokyo, an emotional unstable girl corrupted by drugs, a bored boy tired of life, a sadistic sex addict, a fat kidnapping slob, a terminal cancer p ...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
More about Bret Easton Ellis...
American Psycho Less Than Zero The Rules of Attraction Lunar Park Glamorama

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“Greed is good. Sex is easy. Youth is forever.” 44 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?” 36 likes
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