Andie's Reviews > Imperial Bedrooms

Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis
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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 for it anyway. Could have read it in one sitting but I stretched it out to two.

Consider this Bret Easton Ellis distilled... many of his usual themes condensed into a much shorter than usual format. One of the things I enjoy most about his book is the way he takes his time setting the scene... maybe his characters tend to be drenched in too much detail, but I enjoy taking some time to get to the action. I suppose since this was a "sequel" to Less than Zero perhaps he felt he'd already gotten that out of the way (disclaimer: I haven't read Less Than Zero since 2005 and it didn't really stay with me that much. I took this book as kind of a one-off) The "meta" nature of the book, like most of his others, was amusing- the main character, Clay, reflecting on how one of his friends wrote a novel which was then turned into a movie about him and all of his friends; the references to other places and things from previous books (Camden, the university that all of his characters have gone to, is mentioned; and of course "disappear here", from Lunar Park). I enjoyed the ominous tone, the mystery and the feeling that something truly awful was about to happen. However, this book was so intentionally convoluted (much like Glamorama) that honestly, I'm not quite sure what happened. Clay proved to be a very unreliable narrator, but to what extent is he responsible for the many disappearances and the violence that occurs throughout the book? I suppose the haziness and the questions that linger after the end of this are interesting but I guess I wanted to leave it with more clear-cut feelings. Certainly not bad, but certainly not among my favorites.
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Reading Progress

June 19, 2010 – Started Reading
June 19, 2010 – Shelved
June 20, 2010 – Finished Reading

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Parker "Disappear Here" is actually originally something Clay repeated a lot in "Less than Zero." Ellis just reused it in "Lunar Park" and in "Glamorama."


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