Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis | Digested read

Picador, £16

The movie was based on a book written by someone we knew. It was labelled fiction but most of it – the snuff movie, the gang rape – was true. The only bits that hurt were those that chronicled my relationship with Blair as the writer was in love with her himself, though too immersed in the passivity of writing and too pleased with his own style to bother with many commas to admit it so he wrote me into the story as the man who was too frightened to love. Make of that what you will though the real message I want you to take is that I'm a smartass seller of banal meta-fictions.

I went to the premiere in 1987 with Blair, Rip, Julian and all the other empty narcissists who had somehow dazzled the literary establishment. The movie had been a pile of shit. Bret had hated the movie too and what follows is I guess his revenge. Shame he involved you in it because the real Julian didn't die in the movie he died on the page more than 20 years later.

The jeep had been following us back from LAX to my apartment in Doheny Plaza. It's meant to be haunted by a boy who killed himself but you can probably do without that kind of banal symbolism. We're in LA everyone is shallow and on the make. Wow what insight. I nearly do some coke drink a lot of vodka take Ambien put on the Eurythmics and answer my iPhone. Julian wants to meet.

I'm back in LA to help cast The Listeners for which I've written the screenplay. I still think I'm being followed as I drive out to Blair's Beverly Hills mansion but I'm too detached to care so I just drink five bottles of vodka and think about Amanda whom I flirted with in New York.

"You're looking very thin Clay. I guess it didn't work out with Meghan," Blair says. I've no intention of ever explaining anything so I shrug in a cool sort of way and hope the critics will love the empty unreliability of my narration.

"Are you trying to fuck me?" I ask.

I meet Julian. We don't really talk so I go back to my apartment on Doheney Plaza. I'm still being followed and I drink 20 bottles of tequila do some coke and go off to the casting where a third-rate actress is auditioning. Later that evening I meet Rip at a restaurant. He looks like he's had too much surgery then as he points out this book hasn't had nearly enough. The third rate actress is behind the bar. Her name is Rain. "If you come back to my place you might get the part," I say.

We start drinking gallons of vodka and I bully her into having constant sex and she wants to know when she's going to get the part. I look moody and hit her. Messages appear on my iPhone. I'm watching you. Certainly no one's reading me. I get another call on my iPhone. Kelly Montrose has been tortured and killed. I yawn. I'd seen it on the YouTube app of my iPhone.

Someone is still following me as I have more meaningless sex. Rain says she's got to go to San Diego to see her mom. I don't believe her so I rape her but she goes anyway. Rip calls. Or is it Blair I've lost track. Rain is still going out with Julian and Julian runs a vice-network and Rain is one of his girls and she also used to go out with Kelly and Rip. Rip tells me to stay away from her but I've fallen in love in four days even though I've shown no sign of it.

So what else can I tell you? I could say that I drove Julian to be killed by Rip who had killed Kelly that Amanda lived with Rain that Rain didn't get the part that I sodomised a boy and a girl and that it was Blair who had been following me and gave me an alibi. But I guess you don't really care any more and frankly I don't blame you. If I don't give a shit about anything why should you?

"Don't worry about anything," Blair says. "I won't," says Bret. "I've come to realise I don't like anyone. Especially my readers."

Digested read, digested: Still Less Than Zero.


John Crace

The GuardianTramp

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