Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

zero plus oneOne year after I learned about it, today was the release date for Bret Easton Ellis‘ latest opus, “Imperial Bedrooms”. It’s nothing less than a direct sequel to his groundbreaking debut novel, “Less Than Zero”.

And I scooped it up first thing this morning. Via the Amazon Kindle app for iPhone. This would be my very first ebook purchase (not counting a couple of freebie titles that I downloaded, mainly just to practice reading on the iPhone screen).

Why did I inaugurate my digital-literature collection with this title? One reason is that I’ve been craving a must-read book for a long while now. Nothing else I’ve come across in the past several months has come close to engaging me. Ellis’ body of work certainly delivers for me, so I gladly committed to a pre-order for his newest output. A revisiting of the nihilism of “Zero” is just the ticket.

The other reason is that, frankly, I resent having to shell out an inflated pricetag for a hardcover edition. Because I hate hardcovers. I vastly prefer paperback/softcover formats, sheerly for their easier portability and handling. I understand how the book publishing business works, and how the hardbacks generate the lion’s share of revenue. But I still don’t like it. So the opportunity to pick up the ebook edition, at a steep discount, was too good to pass up. My only reticence came with my level of comfort in reading a bona fide novel on a mobile device’s small screen; turns out that the Kindle app is a good reading medium. So, I’m set.

I’ve already knocked down the first couple of chapters (I’ve no illusions about stretching out this read — I fully expect to devour it within the week). It’s already immensely entertaining, with Ellis’ spare elegance providing a compelling narrative. Clay, Julian, Blair, et al are definitely being set up for a wild ride in the onset of their middle age, some 25 years after the events in “Zero”. One immediate distinction between then and now: Seemingly all those characters now have last names, implying that they’ve grown up to be more “real”.

Finally, it’s imminently appropriate that I’m reading “Imperial Bedrooms” on an iPhone. Because the ebook is sharing space with my Elvis Costello songs. The connection, of course, is Ellis’ seeming obsession with Costello’s oeuvre — to the extent that he named “Less Than Zero” and “Imperial Bedrooms” after a song and an album by the musician. Technology happily melds popular culture in the palm of my hand…

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/15/2010 11:36pm
Category: Book Review, Pop Culture, Tech, iPhone
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