As part of its Big Books Issue this week, the Baltimore City Paper included a collaborative piece titled "The Storyteller: 27 Writers on 27 Short Stories from 27 Authors." Below is my entry:
Bret Easton Ellis, "Discovering Japan" from The Informers (Vintage, 1994)
Set in 1984, "Discovering Japan" follows aging rock 'n' roll Godzilla Bryan Metro during a several-day tour sojourn in the titular country, through bouts of groupie abuse, drug binges, darkly comedic business meetings, and varying degrees of penthouse suite desecration. Metro's core tragedy? Chemically fried, he exists in a bewildered, Neanderthal stupor that leaves him socially and emotionally impotent, stripping him of the ability to recognize that his nursemaid-cum-enabler-cum-manager is casually robbing him blind. The act of one man adjusting another's sunglasses has never seemed quite so sinister.