The Informers Paperback – 8 Sep 1995
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A spare and hypnotic prose style which beats out these lives of quiet desperation with a slow pulse as gentle as it is compelling... Ellis has been compared to Fitzgerald and here we see why. --The Modern Review
The Informers is spare, austere, elegantly designed, telling in detail, coolly ferocious, sardonic in its humour; every vestige of authorial sentiment is expunged. --The New York Times
A writer at the peak of his powers... The book takes us from the first to the seventh circles of hell, from Salinger to De Sade. --Will Self --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In this incisive collection of stories, Bret Easton Ellis returns to the moral badlands of 1980s Los Angeles. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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
I usually divide Ellis into three stages: Early minimalism [Zero, Rules], excessive description [Psycho, Glamorama] and the self indulgent [Luna, Bedrooms]. This fits nicely into the minimalism category so if you enjoy that, you'll like this.
The collection defiantly is a mixed bag. When i have done writing classes, I have written literally hundreds of short stories, ranging in quality and this shows signs of an author writing because its the only way he'll learn. The run of stories from 'Up Escalator [a middle aged less than zero] to Letters from LA are very good, however, the remainder are quite weak and often [especially the very first story] feel unfinished.
One thing the book try's to do is follow Ellis' everything connected rule, with different characters cross appearing in stories. In my opinion, this feels tacked on as the characters [for example Cheryl] are inconsistent between the stories. So just read each as a stand alone story.
If you like Ellis, you'll get enjoyment out of these stories. If not, stay clear.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a big fan of all the BEE books I've read (5 out of 7 so far) and this did not disappoint. Some familiar names and places pop up.Published 21 hours ago by Alex Butterworth
This is a fairly poor collection of short stories about messed up people i LA in the beginning of the 80s. Read morePublished on 27 Sept. 2013 by Jan Patrik Sahlstrøm
This is clever. And nasty. And empty. And vacuous. Basically it's Ellis.
A series of vignettes take us through the standard Ellis tropes. Read more
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... Read morePublished on 20 Dec. 2012 by finalguy
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... Read morePublished on 14 Nov. 2012 by Tom
I must admit, i am a bit of a Bret Easton Ellis fan so was very excited to be starting this after so long! Read morePublished on 28 Dec. 2010 by Jnet
this is pants...poorly written, lacking in wit, monotonous, and predictable after the first few pages.Published on 25 Jun. 2010 by Amazon Customer
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... Read morePublished on 24 Aug. 2009 by J. Staniford