Imperial Bedrooms

Imperial Bedrooms starts with a mention of its prequel, Less than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis. It is an observational account of life of the central characters from the previous novel – Blair, Julian and Trent from Clay’s perspective. This is Ellis’s seventh novel and is more relevant to the 21st century surroundings and its impact on human relationships. It looks apparent that Ellis has been obsessed to re-create his characters from Less than Zero in a different light and explore relationships from a more convoluted manner than before. Through multiple cases of story-telling about oneself and others around him, Ellis threads the conscious and the imaginary to utmost effort and delicacy.

In Imperial Bedrooms, Clay is the narrator who makes references to the past (read Less than Zero) and tells the story in a monotonous monologue with no sense of clarity whatsoever. His character seems to be carried over from the prequel. He is only older and more creepy now and portrays narcissism to the hilt. It kind of reflects on the writing style too because clearly, neither Clay nor Ellis have been too interested in fleshing out the other characters. The plot centres around Clay’s obsession for this starling actress Rain and builds on how he plays games or call it, gets carried away to keep in her life (could be read as an addiction to companionship and sex). Rain, on the other hand, toys around with Clay, his friend Julian, the wicked Rip Millar – all with successful elan and seems to have no qualms about it. A couple of the other characters who provide some relief to Clay’s obsession (central theme of the book) are Blair and her husband Trent.

Imperial Bedrooms is a monologue that induces a sort of unnatural phlegmatic and unemotional feeling in the readers. It is self-obsession borderlining unexpected thrills and surprise elements in the plot. The focus on sex and narcotics consumption only adds to the overall tone of the novel. Well, some may appreciate this style and some may find it slow and uninteresting. But if you are the one who loves looking at relationships from a different perspective, this would a good read.

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