In this follow-up to his bestselling debut novel, Imperial Bedrooms sees Bret Easton Ellis reuinite with the privileged teenagers of his debauched Los Angeles, as they enter middle age.
Clay is a successful screenwriter, middle-aged and disaffected; he’s in LA to cast his new movie. However, this trip is anything other than professional. Soon, he's drifting through a louche and long-familiar circle – a world largely populated by the band of infamous teenagers first introduced in Bret Easton Ellis's first novel Less Than Zero.
After a meeting with a gorgeous but talentless actress determined to win a role in his movie, Clay finds himself connected with Kelly Montrose, a producer whose gruesomely violent death is suddenly very much the talk of the town. As his degenerate reverie is interrupted by a violent plot for revenge, his seemingly endless proclivity for betrayal and exploitation looks set to land him somewhere darker and more ominous than ever before.
A murder mystery – a woozy, paranoid, hallucinatory version of LA noir.
Brilliantly written and coolly self-aware . . . Here, as in Less Than Zero, Ellis is plumbing the depths of human nature, exposing it at its worst.
The novel is a kind of modern noir and, as in Chandler, the form’s accepted master, atmosphere is king. Paranoia prevails.
Independent on Sunday