The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis

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Synopsis

The City Is Los Angeles, in the very recent past. The birthplace and graveyard of American myths and dreams, it harbors a group of people trapped between the sybaritic beauty of their surroundings and their own damning moral impoverishment. The Informers is a chronicle of their voices -- fused into an intense, impressionistic narrative that spans and blurs genders, generations and even identities -- all of them suffering from nothing less than the death of the soul.

Each of the characters in this extraordinary book describes connections between people (classmates and best friends, sometimes dead; a decrepit rock star and his retinue; estranged or ex-husbands and wives, as well as their current, often improbable partners; sex dates and vampires) who remain in every important way strangers. A father inveigles his distant son into a holiday jaunt to Hawaii ... a car crashes in the desert, a plane goes down in the mountains ... a girl returns home to her future by cross-country train, while another spends her final days on the beach ... a couple visits the zoo, for the last time or not. In telling these stories, they escape or condemn or resign themselves, knowing that the bright veneer of their lives, blinding as sunshine, is not enough to help them; knowing also that they have little else to justify their presence in the world.

Bret Easton Ellis writes with absolute clarity and great depth of feeling about the struggle to find coherence in an environment that might well have lost it entirely. Savagely funny, poignant and uncompromising, The Informers unmasks both a city and an age.
 

About Bret Easton Ellis

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Bret Easton Ellis is also the author of American Psycho, Glamorama, The Informers, Less Than Zero, Lunar Park and The Rules of Attraction. His work has been translated into twenty-seven languages. He lives in Los Angeles.
 
Published July 26, 1994 by Knopf. 225 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Informers

Kirkus Reviews

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In "The Secrets of Summer," a story reminiscent of American Psycho, a man/vampire tells how he picks women up in bars, lures them home by promising them cocaine, then bleeds them.

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The Guardian

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The Informers Production year: 2009 Country: USA Cert (UK): 15 Runtime: 97 mins Directors: Gregor Jordan Cast: Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton, Brad Renfro, Chris Isaak, Jon Foster, Kim Basinger, Lou...

Jul 17 2009 | Read Full Review of The Informers

The Guardian

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The Informers Production year: 2009 Country: USA Cert (UK): 15 Runtime: 97 mins Directors: Gregor Jordan Cast: Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton, Brad Renfro, Chris Isaak, Jon Foster, Kim Basinger, Lou...

Jul 19 2009 | Read Full Review of The Informers

Publishers Weekly

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Mobilizing his trademark first-person narrative voice, Ellis charts an amoral hyper-elitist social landscape from the interchangeable perspectives of debased Hollywood players, pseudo-celebrities and industry brats.

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BC Books

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I entered the theater hoping for a film that would involve me in some way, make me want to spend time with these characters.

Apr 29 2009 | Read Full Review of The Informers

Examiner

Novelist Bret Easton Ellis writes books that are about beautiful people doing horrible things to each other.

Aug 31 2009 | Read Full Review of The Informers

AV Club

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Gregor Jordan’s adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ short-story collection The Informers arrived at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year surrounded by a cloud of bad buzz, and throughout the fest, journalists lined up to tee off on the film, calling it vapid, tedious, and pointless.

Apr 23 2009 | Read Full Review of The Informers

Entertainment Weekly

Mickey Rourke, very much in pre-comeback mode, plays some sort of greasy kidnapper, Winona Ryder is a newscaster who dresses like a librarian, Billy Bob Thornton (looking thin and notably joyless) is a Hollywood mogul, and Chris Isaak is a middle-aged dirtbag who goes on vacation in Hawaii with h...

Apr 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Informers

Entertainment Weekly

In fact, in the broad publishing picture, it barely represented hipitude nine years ago, when Less Than Zero put the now 30-year-old writer on the nightclub map with his scenes of rich, zombied young people in Los Angeles, circa 1984.

Aug 19 1994 | Read Full Review of The Informers

The Independent

There's also the fact that although the effect of an Ellis book is cumulative - you get the point quickly, but to feel the lethal effects of its ennui you have to read the whole thing: parts of this book are just plain boring.

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The Telegraph

This self-penned adaptation of his 1994 short story collection - a period piece set in 1983 Los Angeles - has supposedly been cut to ribbons, and it shows.

Jul 16 2009 | Read Full Review of The Informers

Pajiba

William wants to move back in, though he still has feelings — you can’t really call it love, since that’s an emotion, and nobody in the film was permitted to bring those on set, lest it set off Rourke — for local news anchor Cheryl (Winona Ryder).

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San Francisco Chronicle

"The Informers," based on Bret Easton Ellis' collection of interconnected stories, explores the hedonistic circle surrounding a Los Angeles rock band, a world of privilege in which people have the leisure to drink, do drugs and have sex all day - and they're miserable.

Apr 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Informers

Oregon Live

Ellis apparently co-wrote a longer, more freewheeling version of the screenplay that included bloodsuckers, and he hasn't exactly come out swinging for what ended up onscreen: a grim, open-ended study in smooth surfaces, skin and 25-year-old pop-culture references.

Apr 23 2009 | Read Full Review of The Informers

Time Out New York

Instead, ‘The Informers’ flits from an unfaithful studio head (Billy Bob Thornton) to his estranged trophy wife (Kim Basinger) and troubled son (Jon Foster) with only the slightest interest in meaning.

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Rolling Stone

One of the worst movies of this or any year, The Informers is a complete misreading of the collection of linked short stories by Bret Easton Ellis, which is odd since Ellis wrote the script with Nicholas Jarecki.

Apr 23 2009 | Read Full Review of The Informers

HitFix

Her character is crucial to the movie, but it seems like all of her dramatic scenes must have been cut, leaving only the nudity.

Jan 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Informers

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Katrina Bernardo 18 Mar 2013

Rated the book as 2 out of 5

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