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Less Than Zero Turns 25!

Out There

New Special Edition, Plus Latest Bret Easton Ellis Novel, Prods Us To Look Back On The Year 1985.

As weird as it may seem, Bret Easton Ellis’s breakthrough novel about non-parented L.A. nihilists and a new Lost Generation-doing blow and giving blow jobs to pay drug debts-is now 25 years old. To celebrate it, Vintage books is putting out a special edition of the paperback, with a verrry dark cover by design wunderkind Chip Kidd, this May. A month later, Ellis’s new novel-the first since the incredibly lyrical and strangely intimate modern ghost tale Lunar Park-will hit bookstores, also sporting a creepy-genius book jacket by Kidd. The novel is entitled Imperial Bedroom (Random House, hardcover). Unlike so many of his peers who either burned out or actually died, Ellis is at the top of his game, sober, and anything but dated. Here’s a sneak preview of the book jackets. And while we pine to read and re-read both, below, a rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly that was the year 1985.

•AIDS spreads across the land. Blood donors begin getting scanned for signs of the disease.
•The first mobile phone call is made in the U.K. by one Ernie Wise.
•Live Aid pop concerts in Philadelphia and London raise over $50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.
•The Unabomber kills his first victim.
•Microsoft Corporation releases the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0.
•Compact Discs are introduced to American consumers.
•Various artists–including Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Willie Nelson, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder–record the song “We Are The World” to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.
•Coca-Cola Company introduces New Coke (six months later they go back to the original formula).
•Popular films include: Back to the Future, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rocky IV, The Color Purple, Out of Africa, and Cocoon.
•The biggest rock acts include: Duran Duran, Simple Minds, Madonna, Dire Straits (“Money for Nothing”), The Cure, David Bowie (Let’s Dance), and, er, Phil Collins.

-Steve Garbarino