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The Informers Paperback – 1 Apr 2011

3.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprints edition (1 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033053632X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330536325
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" Bret Easton Ellis is a very, very good writer [and] American Psycho is a beautifully controlled, careful, important novel...Written out of the American tradition -- the novelist's function is to keep a running tag on the progress of the culture; and he's done it brilliantly...A seminal book."
-- Fay Weldon, Washington Post
" What's rarely said in all the furor over this novel is that it's a satire, a hilarious, repulsive, boring, seductive, deadpan satire...Ellis is, first and last, a moralist. Under cover of his laconic voice, every word in his three novels to date springs from grieving outrage at our spiritual condition... Ambition alone sets it apart from most contemporary fiction. Prudes, squares and feminist commissars aside, the rest of us should applaud Brat Easton Ellis for setting out in this noble and dangerous direction."
-- Henry Bean, front page, Los Angeles Times Book Review
" A masterful satire and a ferocious, hilarious ambitious, inspiring piece of writing, which has large elements of Jane Austen at her vitriolic best. An important book."
-- Katherine Dunn
" A great novel. What Emerson said about genius, that it's the return of one's rejected thoughts with an alienated majesty, holds true for American Psycho...There is a fever to the life of this book that is, in my reading, unknown in American literature."
-- Michael Tolkin
" The first novel to come along in years that takes on deep and Dostoyevskian themes...[Ellis] is showing older authors where the hands have come to on the clock...He has forced us to look at intolerable material, and so few novels try for that anymore."
--Norman Mailer, Vanity Fair

"From the Hardcover edition."

"Bret Easton Ellis is a very, very good writer [and] American Psycho is a beautifully controlled, careful, important novel...Written out of the American tradition -- the novelist's function is to keep a running tag on the progress of the culture; and he's done it brilliantly...A seminal book."
-- Fay Weldon, Washington Post
"What's rarely said in all the furor over this novel is that it's a satire, a hilarious, repulsive, boring, seductive, deadpan satire...Ellis is, first and last, a moralist. Under cover of his laconic voice, every word in his three novels to date springs from grieving outrage at our spiritual condition... Ambition alone sets it apart from most contemporary fiction. Prudes, squares and feminist commissars aside, the rest of us should applaud Brat Easton Ellis for setting out in this noble and dangerous direction."
-- Henry Bean, front page, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"A masterful satire and a ferocious, hilarious ambitious, inspiring piece of writing, which has large elements of Jane Austen at her vitriolic best. An important book."
-- Katherine Dunn
"A great novel. What Emerson said about genius, that it's the return of one's rejected thoughts with an alienated majesty, holds true for American Psycho...There is a fever to the life of this book that is, in my reading, unknown in American literature."
-- Michael Tolkin
"The first novel to come along in years that takes on deep and Dostoyevskian themes...[Ellis] is showing older authors where the hands have come to on the clock...He has forced us to look at intolerable material, and so few novels try for that anymore."
-- Norman Mailer, Vanity Fair

"From the Hardcover edition."

"The Informers skillfully accomplishes its goal of depicting a modern moral wasteland. . . arguably Ellis's best."
--"The Boston Globe"
"A post-modern "Winesburg, Ohio," . . . Ellis's cleverness is on full display. . . . He has a keen ear for dialogue, a sharp eye for the moral bankruptcy of modern life, and a vivid imagination."
--"San Francisco Chronicle"
"The Informers is spare, austere, elegantly designed, telling in detail, coolly ferocious, sardonic in its humor; every vestige of authorial sentiment is expunged. . . . Truly unsettling."
--"The New York Times Book Review"
"Bret Easton Ellis. . . is an extremely traditional and very serious American novelist. He is the model of literary filial piety, counting among his parents Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathanael West, and Joan Didion."
--"The Washington Post"

“The Informers skillfully accomplishes its goal of depicting a modern moral wasteland. . . arguably Ellis's best.” —"The Boston Globe"

 

“A post-modern Winesburg, Ohio. . . . Ellis's cleverness is on full display. . . . He has a keen ear for dialogue, a sharp eye for the moral bankruptcy of modern life, and a vivid imagination.” —"San Francisco Chronicle"

 

“The Informers is spare, austere, elegantly designed, telling in detail, coolly ferocious, sardonic in its humor; every vestige of authorial sentiment is expunged. . . . Truly unsettling.” —"The New York Times Book Review"

 

“Bret Easton Ellis. . . is an extremely traditional and very serious American novelist. He is the model of literary filial piety, counting among his parents Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathanael West, and Joan Didion.” —"The Washington Post"

 

"The Informers skillfully accomplishes its goal of depicting a modern moral wasteland. . . arguably Ellis's best." --"The Boston Globe"

"A post-modern Winesburg, Ohio. . . . Ellis's cleverness is on full display. . . . He has a keen ear for dialogue, a sharp eye for the moral bankruptcy of modern life, and a vivid imagination." --"San Francisco Chronicle"

"The Informers is spare, austere, elegantly designed, telling in detail, coolly ferocious, sardonic in its humor; every vestige of authorial sentiment is expunged. . . . Truly unsettling." --"The New York Times Book Review"

"Bret Easton Ellis. . . is an extremely traditional and very serious American novelist. He is the model of literary filial piety, counting among his parents Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathanael West, and Joan Didion." --"The Washington Post"

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

In this incisive collection of stories, Bret Easton Ellis returns to the moral badlands of 1980s Los Angeles.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By A Customer on 24 Feb. 2001
Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Paperback
Probably the most interesting thing about this novel is that it solely exists as a time filler. Ellis was taking too long to produce a new book, so they just collected some old short stories of his and used them to fulfill this contractual obligation.
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.
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Format: 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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