The Informers

Bret Easton Ellis, Author, Gary Fisketjon, Editor
Bret Easton Ellis, Author, Gary Fisketjon, Editor Knopf Publishing Group $22 (225p) ISBN 978-0-679-43587-7
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This tedious successor to American Psycho , a patchwork of interrelated vignettes about a set of filthy rich L.A. families in the early 1980s, weds Ellis's over-the-top if one-dimensional satirical style to the sensational hedonism characteristic of Danielle Steel and the spiritual malaise of Douglas Coupland. Mobilizing his trademark first-person narrative voice, Ellis charts an amoral hyper-elitist social landscape from the interchangeable perspectives of debased Hollywood players, pseudo-celebrities and industry brats. There is Cheryl, an aging newscaster who shacks up with a narcissistic surfer and stops showing up for work; Bryan Metro, a vacuous American pop star who tours Japan leaving a wake of battered groupies and pharmaceutical bottles; Jamie, a vampire who lures teenagers home from trendy clubs and murders them in sadistic scenes reminiscent of American Psycho . Ellis's often racist characters crisscross an L.A. littered with the trendy iconography of the early 1980s (Wayfarer sunglasses, Duran Duran, designer drugs), their affectless, inarticulate sentences registering a jaded disdain for other people's lives. Ellis does not break new ground here but returns, perhaps nostalgically, to the cultural context of his celebrated first novel, Less Than Zero . Ultimately, this book is so inconsequential that it should neither vex Ellis's critics nor gratify his fans. 50,000 first printing; QPB alternate. (Aug.)
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