The Shards by Bret Easton Ellis

The Shards is an absorbing, riveting, and terrifying exploration of numbness, obsession, and sexual nostalgia.

Part metafiction, part coming-of-age story, part serial-killer thriller, The Shards is classic Bret Easton Ellis. Fans of Bret's earlier works will be well fed.

The story follows the author, Bret, autobiographically remembering his senior year at Buckley College in 1981 Los Angeles. When a serial killer named The Trawler begins stalking Bret's classmates, Bret becomes obsessed with the idea that his new friend Robert may be behind the killings. What follows is a spiral of suspicion, paranoia, jealousy and sexual desire.

Yes the novel is incredibly long, yes the narrative is meandering, and yes we get a constant update on every road the protagonist drives on and every song he listens to, but this is all part of Bret Easton Ellis' style and world-building. The girls who get it, get it.

I highly recommend this book - but be warned, there are a few descriptions of animal abuse that are horrifically off-putting and I could have done without.

Title: The Shards

Author: Bret Easton Ellis

Publisher: Swift Press / Allen & Unwin

Publication date: 25 January 2023

RRP: $32.99 AUD