Twenty-five years later people are still disappearing. People are still afraid to merge. Imperial Bedrooms -- Bret Easton Ellis's follow up to the book defining (dare I say) our generation, Less Than Zero -- was released last week. Ellis was in town to promote the sequel, appearing Wednesday night at Book Court in Brooklyn in front of a jam-packed, sweaty crowd full of novelists, hipsters, and adult children of the MTV Generation. Ellis hasn't lost his wit, answering questions from stuttering fans with swiftness and sarcasm. He stuck around for two hours after the event making sure to sign everyone's book, in most cases books, even penning the phrase "Disappear Here" for a tattoo idea that one lucky fan had. Ok, ok, that was me.
Imperial Bedrooms is an extreme portrayal of modern humanism. It is a follow up to Less Than Zero, sure, but not many sequels come twenty-five years later. We meet Clay, Blair and Julian when they have one thing in common, self-destruction. The shocking scenes that play out in the novel are raw, raunchy and pivotal. Ellis remains a twisted soul, unafraid to state the worst in human behavior.
In attendance last night was fellow writer Tao Lin, making sure to be third in line to hand off an early print of his upcoming novel, Richard Yates. Not a bad ploy to obtain a quote from one of the best in town. Ellis commented on the possibility to a movie version of Imperial Bedrooms, saying, "Well I know Andrew McCarthy is certainly on board (laughs). If Robert Downey says yes I'll make the movie Wednesday."
If you have yet to read Less Than Zero, please do before you pick up Imperial Bedrooms. It is a separate story, sure, but reading it prior will make the ride all the more extreme.
Grade, you ask? A