Sunday, September 19, 2010


I have been a fan of Mr. Ellis since I read "Less Than Zero", which he wrote and was published while he was in college. Quite an accomplishment. The movie adaption came out a few years later, with Robert Downey Jr, Andrew McCarthy, and one of my favorite "bad guy" actors of the 80's James Spader. If I think back in time, three movies that tried to capture teen / high school life in the early 80's were: "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", "Valley Girl", and "Less Than Zero". The thing is that all of these were based in California, and this was nothing like how it was growing up in the northeast US. "Dazed and Confused" was a much more realistic portrayal of how it "really was".

When I read that a follow-up to LTZ was in the works, I was intrigued. I wanted to know what happened to Julian, Blair, Clay, and especially Rip. So when it came out, I ended up buying it for my Nook $9.99, saving $15.00 of the $25.00 hardcover. As it turned out, this was a wise decision.

The novel starts off by slamming the film version of LTZ, setting the reader straight on the facts, and gives some nice harbingers of what's in store for this installment. I was intrigued and ready for the show to start. I'm not going to give spoilers of details about the plot, but I will say that BEE has a big problem with finishing, and I noticed this with "Glamorama"( 4 out of 5 stars) and Lunar Park (3 out of 5 stars). I'm giving "Imperial Bedrooms" (2 out 5 stars). Each of these three BEE offerings would have earned another star, if they didn't completely go off the deep-end in the final chapters.

The 2 star rating is a shame in my opinion because for about 3/4 of the novel it was at about a 4, but I have to call it like I see it. I never read Amazon / B&N reviews before I read a novel, but I do after I'm done. It is good to know I am not alone in my opinion. I would be glad to elaborate on this in the comment section, if anyone so chooses


  1. Dazed and Confused. Classic film.

    "Behind every good man there is a woman, and that woman was Martha Washington, man, and everyday George would come home, she would have a big fat bowl waiting for him, man, when he come in the door, man, she was a hip, hip, hip lady, man."

    I still look up to Slater.

  2. I've seen the film of Less Than Zero but not read the book. I've read the book of American Psycho and tentatively watched the film that, for me, let the book down. Saying that, if the film was made exactly like the book, it probably would never have got a cretificate to be shown.

    I do have LTZ somewhere so I'll dig it out and read it then I'll read the follow-up.

    After making LTZ, wasn't that about the time RDJ went off the rails? Maybe the film pushed him over the top?

    Thanks for the info, Sean.

  3. Lee- Wooderson is my fav character in Dazed. Lot's of actors who went on to be famous in it. I think I went to HS with someone who fit every character in that movie. Every time I hear Kid Rock's "All Summer Long" it brings me back to those days. Great soundtrack as well!

    Dave- The American Psycho movie that was released pushed the boundaries and if it stayed true to the novel, it would never have been released. And in retrospect, I think RDJ may have been doing some "method acting" when filming LTZ. A sequel to Am psy was made and was complete rubbish.

  4. Yes, I noticed a DVD on the sequel but thought better of it. I'm glad I never watched it. Some movie makers don't know when to say no.

  5. I never read Less Than Zero but did see the movie. The character portrayal was unrealistic to me. Perhaps it was my sheltered northeast lifestyle, but I could not imagine that way of life to be true for young adults at that age.

    Dazed and Confused was an awesome and very true to life movie. I also knew and dated guys just like that. Heh, I'll keep which ones to myself.

    Wooderson was also my favorite character. "That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age."