Author Ellis takes "Less Than Zero" past the '80s

Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:12pm EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Less Than Zero" author Bret Easton Ellis is sick of being seen as the poster boy for 1980s narcissism.

In 1985, Ellis was propelled to stardom when he was just 21 years-old and still a college student after his crisply-written tale of a spoiled ambivalence and materialism within his generation of kids became a huge hit and spawned a cult-hit movie starring Robert Downey Jr and Andrew McCarthy.

His newest novel "Imperial Bedrooms" has just been published in the United States, and features the same characters at a time when the 1980s are back in vogue.

"I don't feel like I am the '80s spokesperson," Ellis, now 46, told Reuters in an interview.

Critics may have felt his most famous book and others, such as "American Psycho" were about the 1980s, but Ellis insists otherwise. "They were actually about myself."

Still, Ellis noted that a return to the '80s in pop culture -- as evidenced in the current movie remakes of the "A-Team" and "The Karate Kid" to the latest fashion styles -- could bode well for drawing readers back to check out the mid-life events of his "Less Than Zero" characters Clay, Blair and Julian.

"The people who came of age in the '80s are now controlling the culture, and I think that is why you see a lot of '80s influences everywhere," he said.

Nevertheless, the attraction puzzles him. "I don't why that decade seems to resonate with people," he said.   Continued...