An anonymous, omniscient narrator unrelated to any of the characters tells A Confederacy of Dunces primarily in the past tense.There are, however, a series of first-person entries in the protagonist Ignatius' self-serving and pretentious "Journal of a Working Boy" and strident letters between him and his activist former girlfriend, Myrna Mirkoff.
Victor's CV to date consists of a lean portfolio of ads (Paul Smith and Calvin Klein), but all he really wants in life is a role in Flatliners II.
Since the first angst-ridden outing of Less Than Zero, where the trivial teen traumas of his rich-kid protagonists propelled them towards suicide and psychotherapy, the people who inhabit Ellis's world have been growing progressively less three-dimensional, more like stick figures on a story-board.
The psychotic bond trader Patrick Bateman, who turned serial killing into an upmarket adventure sport in American Psycho, Ellis's last novel, was cold and affectless, strangely obsessed with labels and lists and the surfaces of things but Bateman's utter lack of emotion could be defended as the case study of a murderous sociopath, a personality type not often given to the finer things in life.
However, he has just been hired as manager of a new, hip nightclub probably because he is dating Chloe Byrnes.
None of these career options demands very much in the grey matter department, which is just as well, because Victor is desperately, cripplingly, outrageously thick.
``Tatum O'Neal, Chris O'Donnell, Sinead O'Connor and Conan O'Brien all yes, but nothing from Todd Oldham, who I hear is being stalked and really freaking out, or Carrie Otis.'' I have preserved you from the list of Cs (should Helena Bonham Carter be a B or a C, they wonder), but Ellis is unstoppable, and once he gets into his stride, there are lists everywhere.
His description of Chloe's apartment lists photographers' names, designers' names, names of stars on her answering-machine.
But it's a world in which Bret Easton Ellis, once hailed as a bright new star in the firmament of American fiction writers, finds himself worryingly at home.
And it's a world in which Victor Ward, our hero, is a raving success.
In the multifarious anti-Nice coalition comprising of the hard Left, the Catholic ultra-Right, the Provos and their even greener off-shoots had had their way then Slobodan Milosevic would be a free man today.
This same diverse alliance that defeated the Nice treaty formed the opposition to Nato's war against genocide in the Balkans.
References to television programs and movies demand its action take place no earlier than 1963, but references to political events like the Kennedy assassination or civil rights marches and inner city riots are carefully avoided by the author.