Imperial Bedrooms discussion
So the book whose impending release gave me a reason to live in 2010 (no, seriously) is finally out and there would seem to be quite a few things to say about it. I'd like to throw out some thoughts about its thematic and stylistic relationship to Lunar Park as well as its place in Ellis' bibliography as a whole, but for now he's a short, initial reaction I posted elsewhere:
on the surface there's not much to say about Imperial Bedrooms that hasn't already been said about Bret Easton Ellis' other books. the novel's thesis, if it has one, seemingly can be summed up pretty simply as: "vacuous soul-sucked kids grow up to be vacuous, soul-sucking, dangerous adults." there's something pointedly, distinctly disturbing about Imperial Bedrooms, and the novel is, in many ways, like Lunar Park: Redux--it is self-referential in the extreme and showcases Bret Easton Ellis' talent for narrative storytelling. but the novel fails to break new formalistic ground the way American Psycho, Glamorama, and Lunar Park all breathlessly, daringly did. it's shadowy, frightening, speedy, and compulsively entertaining, but a huge part of what has made Ellis' writing so unique and thrilling for the past couple decades has been the way he stretches and contorts postmodern literary conventions, going places with postmodernism that literally no one else has gone. that tendency to forge new literary terrain, which pronounced Ellis' previous three novels as unparalleled works of genius, is disappointingly absent in Imperial Bedrooms. once more Ellis gives us an unflinching look at the abyss, but it's hard to shake the feeling that we've already been here.
Mark all spoiler comments with spoiler warnings, natch.
Let's get cracking on dissecting this thing.