Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Bret Easton Ellis' "The Informers" (Steak Knives)
So much of your relationship with an author depends on how you're introduced to them, of course. I started with "American Psycho" a few years ago, based on a trusted friends reco. What I think is an important and incredible late 20th C. pause by American culture in front of a dark mirror set the stage for how I read the rest of his fare, with not altogether positive result. (On a side note, the film is horrible, sadly. Not that I'm anti-film adaptation by any means. So much of this book is just in the head, and in the reading.)
I've since read "Less than Zero" and "Lunar Park" before moving on to "The Informers", found on sale by chance at BMV (this is what BMV is for - stumbling on cheap brain-tagged reading list items at low cost). The problem is, in reading 'AP' first, the comparatively luke-warm graphic imagery falls flat, or short. Now, I have no doubt that reading Ellis in order of publication would lead to a very different reaction, but there it is. I'm spoiled for the author, I think. "Lunar Park" was weak, true. But "Less than Zero" and "The Informers" are really solid novels, and taken in context of the frozen moment in which they were published, highly laudable. And that's not to say 'AP' is the absolute shit, either... It is, I think, too often stalling out on its controversy to communicate its 'fuller' message to the average reader. Perhaps that's the point.
Regardless, "The Informers" is as good an Ellis read as "Less than Zero," and more than worthy of the time. Not 'textbook' steak knives, but steak knives still...