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The mystery that he becomes entangled in involves Hollywood people tortured and executed by Mexican hit men connected to a drug cartel. And a prostitution ring. Slowly Clay is unmasked as something uglier and more ruthless than the smitten lover of Beauty he presents himself to be. In the unfolding mystery, he commits one of the worst acts of treachery.

Bret Easton Ellis: Imperial Bedrooms

And the ambitious Rain possesses a needy beauty devoid of goodness or grace or any of those lofty qualities we imagine to be true of the lovely. His head was crushed — his face struck with such force that it had partly folded in on itself — and he had been stabbed so brutally that the L.

Summary and reviews of Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis

His body was discovered by a group of kids who went to CalArts and were cruising through the streets off of Hillhurst in a convertible BMW looking for a parking space. When they saw the body they thought the "thing" lying by a trash bin was — and I'm quoting the first Los Angeles Times article on the front page of the California section about the Julian Wells murder — "a flag. The students who found Julian thought this because Julian was wearing a white Tom Ford suit it had belonged to him but it wasn't something he was wearing the night he was abducted and their immediate reaction seemed halfway logical since the jacket and pants were streaked with red.

Julian had been stripped before he was killed and then re-dressed.

by Bret Easton Ellis (Knopf; $24.95)

But if they thought it was a "flag" my immediate question was: then where was the blue? If the body resembled a flag, I kept wondering, then where was the blue? And then I realized: it was his head.

The students thought it was a flag because Julian had lost so much blood that his crumpled face was a blue so dark it was almost black. But then I should have realized this sooner because, in my own way, I had put Julian there, and I'd seen what had happened to him in another — and very different — movie.


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I notice it only because the driver's eyes have been glancing into the rearview mirror above the windshield I've been gazing out of, at the lanes of red taillights streaming toward the hills, drunk, in the backseat, ominous hip-hop playing softly through the speakers, my phone glowing in my lap with texts I can't read coming in from an actress I was hitting on earlier that afternoon in the American Airlines first-class lounge at JFK she had been reading my palm and we were both giggling , other messages from Laurie in New York a total blur. The Jeep follows the sedan across Sunset, passing the mansions draped with Christmas lights while I'm nervously chewing mints from a tin of Altoids, failing to mask my gin-soaked breath, and then the blue Jeep makes the same right and rolls toward the Doheny Plaza, tailing us as if it were a lost child.

But as the sedan swerves into the driveway where the valet and a security guard look up from smoking cigarettes beneath a towering palm, the Jeep hesitates before it keeps rolling down Doheny toward Santa Monica Boulevard.


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The hesitation makes it clear that we were guiding it somewhere. I stumble out of the car and watch as the Jeep slowly brakes before turning onto Elevado Street. It's warm but I'm shivering in a pair of frayed sweats and a torn Nike hoodie, everything loose because of the weight I dropped that fall, the sleeves damp from a drink I spilled during the flight. It's midnight in December and I've been away for four months. It tailed us all the way here.


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The night doorman, whom I don't recognize, walks down the ramp leading from the lobby to the driveway to help me with my bags. I overtip the driver and he gets back into the sedan and pulls out onto Doheny to pick up his next passenger at LAX, an arrival from Dallas.

Imperial Bedrooms

The valet and the security guard nod silently as I walk past them, following the doorman into the lobby. The doorman places the bags in the elevator and says before the doors close, cutting him off, "Welcome back. Copyright by Bret Easton Ellis. Type keyword s to search. Today's Top Stories. Courtesy of Knopf. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. More From Books. The 21 Best Books of Fall Here's Obama's Reading List. Toni Morrison Has Died at The blue jeep continues to follow him everywhere and the unknown text messages persist: I'm watching you.

I can see you. Dead bodies turn up and keep coming: mutilated bodies, bodies dissolved in acid, bodies found in mass graves. Corpses entombed in cement and with missing hands.

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There are no deaths in "Imperial Bedrooms," just corpses, and this fact -- like the pubic hair stuck in "Less Than Zero" -- is suggestive. Things happen in Ellis novels like they happen in action movies: abruptly and without aftershocks. Characters react but they do not emote. In the place where feelings might be is instead that blank spot of ennui, a vacuum, the opposite of "baggage. If "Less Than Zero" was a book that sped by and made no real impression on a reader, its sequel can be absorbed just as quickly.

But it shouldn't be. I suspect it will be an easy novel for detractors of the author to misread. But Ellis is not an easy ironist, and here he is not gratuitous. He asks us a question: What can you do with an artful book about spiritual zombies? Read it and weep. Buy Now, Pay Later. Already a Subscriber? Log In Here. Please sign in with Facebook or Google below:.

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