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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A SUPERBLY PENNED VIEW OF THE DARK SIDE
When a cast of vacuous, narcissistic, bronzed Californians indulges in whatever brings them pleasure, Bret Easton Ellis is at his sardonic, cynical best. Culled from sketches begun in 1983 and eventually filling several notebooks, "The Informers" is more a tale of a group's flawed response to its culture than it is a picture of individuals.
Impossibly empty, the...
Published on 2 May 2005 by Gail Cooke

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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best work - but have a look, anyway.
Apparently this was writen before American Psycho but was held back because it wasn't thought of too highly by the publishers. After the overwhelming success of 'AP' this was given the go ahead some years later, the publishers certain that those who lapped-up his previous work would buy this without a second thought.
It makes me wonder: if this was his debut, what...
Published on 10 May 2002 by magicfingas79


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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best work - but have a look, anyway., 10 May 2002
This review is from: The Informers (Paperback)
Apparently this was writen before American Psycho but was held back because it wasn't thought of too highly by the publishers. After the overwhelming success of 'AP' this was given the go ahead some years later, the publishers certain that those who lapped-up his previous work would buy this without a second thought.
It makes me wonder: if this was his debut, what would we be saying about this author?
The Informers is a collection of short stories loosely held together by one or two characters who flit in and out of a few, and includes narratives from fading rock-stars, vampires, drug abusers, and characters in the mould of 'Clay' from Less Than Zero - angst-ridden, self destructing teens.
It is sometimes hard to follow and difficult to make the connections between the many characters, but often Ellis sucks you in and spits you out with a ball of low-life going-ons and and the care-free abuse of under-age girls - by Vampires, no less. Yes, like his other work, sometimes it is a little hard to stomach.
All in all I'd rank this in last place of all his 5 works, but the rest are of such high quality that this is no fair reflection on this dark, humerous and sometimes-grotesque read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A SUPERBLY PENNED VIEW OF THE DARK SIDE, 2 May 2005
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Informers (Paperback)
When a cast of vacuous, narcissistic, bronzed Californians indulges in whatever brings them pleasure, Bret Easton Ellis is at his sardonic, cynical best. Culled from sketches begun in 1983 and eventually filling several notebooks, "The Informers" is more a tale of a group's flawed response to its culture than it is a picture of individuals.
Impossibly empty, the characters are predominantly male students who spend little time at their studies. Flouting their parents' checkbooks, they drive expensive cars, wear extravagantly priced clothes, dine at the trendiest spots, and indulge in most forms of chemical escapism.
Punctuated with dark metaphors, the author's text is hauntingly spare, offering no explanation for the characters' lives but simply presenting them. This leaves the readers to judge, gnash their teeth or gape in shocked surprise. There is room for shock. As in Ellis' "American Psycho," some very unpleasant descriptions of mayhem and murder are included.
In an interview Mr. Ellis commented, "What I've always been interested in as a writer is this idea of a group of people who seem to have everything going for them on the outside. Because of that, they have a lot of freedom. The theme of my fiction is the abuse of that freedom."
With his superior intellect and total mastery of his craft, Mr. Ellis presents his theme well.
- Gail Cooke
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Novel Stories, 24 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Informers (Paperback)
An interesting point that has arisen in previous reviews is that some people treat "The Informers" as a novel and others as a series of stories. I know how they both feel.
I first read it in paperback, where there is no indication whatever that this is not a novel. I tried to keep track of the different narrators and different characters until my brain hurt (this wasn't helped by the fact that all the male characters are 20 years old, blond with green eyes and adonis-like bodies - just how Ellis likes 'em, I guess - and all the women are middle-aged, wasted and strung out on tranquillisers.)
I loved it anyway for what the blurb calls its "impressionistic blur" of narrative. That's another way of saying it makes your brain hurt if you try to keep track of them individually.
Then I picked up a hardback copy in a second-hand bookshop and it made it quite clear that this was a collection of stories. I breathed a sigh of relief, but as someone who is never happier than when he feels there's something in a book he's not quite getting, "The Informers" felt slightly diminished as a result.
Read it anyway. It's cool, mature, bleak, hilarious Ellis.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short stories NOT a full blown novel..., 20 Dec 2012
By 
finalguy (Newport (Wales)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Informers (Paperback)
Less a novel and more a collection of extremely loosely connected short stories set in L.A. The movie based from the book is pretty terrible, but from watching that it makes certain aspects of the connectivity between characters more easy to see and understand, especially in comparison to my first attempt reading it years ago. Glad I gave it the re-read, I've always enjoyed Ellis yet this was the only one of his i felt I didn't really 'get'. Happy to see my understanding has changed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Informers, 14 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Informers (Paperback)
I came to Bret Easton Ellis by, probably, a fairly familiar route: saw American Psycho; read American Psycho; bought something else hoping for it to be another American Psycho (The Rules of Attraction and then The Informers).

I started reading The Informers, expecting the disjointed short stories to coalesce and the characters to intertwine: I should have known better. This book is not a novel and, whilst there are overlapping characters, it is a ridiculously frustrating read for a number of reasons: namely, that the connections are virtually impossible to make, there are no conclusions, and everything seems a little... superficial (although the relevance of this is not lost on me). Perhaps I just prefer my books to be a little more `spelled out' and contain a tangible narrative.

I find that The Informers walks a very fine line between snapshot social satire (of a society that I am not overly familiar with) and pretention for pretentions sake. I lost interest as there was nothing to pull me through the book. Some of the stories are entertaining and insightful, but are too sporadic and inconsistent to save the concept, and whether read as individual stories or cover-to-cover it's just a wholly unfulfilling read and a very acquired taste.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written if a bit bleak, 5 Feb 2010
By 
noc "noc" (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Informers (Paperback)
If you like Bret Easton Ellis you'll probably like this. These are short stories though it does read a bit like a novel at first - clever the way the stories are linked so subtly and characters seem almost interchangeable at times. It deals with his usual theme of materialistic, self-absorbed hedonists most of whom have become completely amoral and apathetic about life. He takes this to its ugliest conclusion again though not as relentlessly and as often as in American Psycho. Nonetheless there are a couple of scenes, one in particular, that are most certainly not for the faint-hearted.

This book is well-written though the theme is bleak. Many of the characters are truly despicable but some are just utterly lost and weak and, as a result and sometimes just through sheer vacuity, still bring misery to themselves and others. I preferred it to Rules of Attraction. I liked the structure of the book and the way the stories almost blended into each other creating a vivid overall picture and sense of a very hollow society with no values at all other than gratification of every sordid, selfish desire no matter what the risks or who it hurts.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sex and death of the soul in L.A., 23 Mar 2008
This review is from: The Informers (Paperback)
I have to admit, when I first read this collection of short stories, having read a fair amount of Ellis other work, I thought 'Oh, here we go again, same old boring self obsessed rich kids doing drugs, Ellis is a one trick pony'. But this haunting book drew me in. Don't try and keep track of all the characters, one of the points is that they are almost anti-characters, losing their souls in a sea of Valium and vodka. The writing is masterfully minimal, giving as much if not more attention to designer clothes than the essential selves-if there is any-of the characters.
While some stories miss the mark-real life vampires?...This book contains some genuine sublime moments.
Reading this book is like viewing the world by flicking through 700 tv channels, showing the alternate horror and banality of the Western world. Cool and detached. Enjoy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great for those who can't sit down and read., 24 Aug 2009
By 
This review is from: The Informers (Paperback)
At times in our lives we need to sit down and read a short chunk of prose that makes us feel as though we as individuals are not as bad as we could be, yet remind us that as a race we are pretty detestable. Ellis manages this with this, his 'actual' first book. 'The Informers' should have been his debut but it wasn't, and a good job too. Each short story (and that's what it is, a collection of short stories) feels like you're rushing through too quickly. Take each story in your stride as a full serving of the entire book will leave you feeling more dazed and confused than entertained. I definitely do not recommend this for anyone who has never read Ellis before. Read 'American Psycho' or 'Glamorama' first and then read this at a very leisurely pace to enjoy it to it's fullest potential.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellis' finest work. A masterpiece of satire and menace., 13 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Informers (Paperback)
What annoys me about criticism of 'The Informers' is that because it is not a novel it is maligned and seen as inferior to the weak and immature 'Less than Zero' and the dull deadening 'Rules of Attraction'. I would agree with many that it lacks balance and moments are sublime (The wife who forgets her children's names and hangs up on her mother dying of cancer because she is bored.) but in patches it sinks as low as 'RoA' (The vampire's high-tech coffin is just silly.). However, I enjoyed 'The Informers' more than 'Glamorama'. It is a superb work demonstrating the ills of a consumer culture of mass media, docusoaps and Jerry Springer. It is superb... but do not read it if you are even feeling only slightly depressed!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unconnected excellence, 21 Oct 2000
This review is from: The Informers (Paperback)
Ellis wanders all over the place with short novel and I was pleased I followed him. Like most of his other books this will make you laugh, cry, smile and cough! The letters from LA chapter is excellent, and as the author has done to me many times in the past changed by outlook on the rest of the day. Bring on the vampires!
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The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis (Paperback - 1 April 2011)
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