Set in Los Angeles in the early 1980’s, this mesmerizing novel is a raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation who have experienced sex, drugs, and disaffection at too early an age. They live in a world shaped by passivity. The place lacks feeling and hope. Three high school buddies, 2 male and 1 female, venture down very different paths after graduation. Clay comes home for Christmas vacation from his Eastern College and re-enters a landscape of limitless privilege. In this immoral world everyone drives Porches, dines at Spago, and snorts mountains of cocaine.
He tries to renew feelings for his girlfriend, Blair, and for the third best friend, Julian. Julian ends up getting into hustling and doing heroin. Clay’s holiday turns into a dizzying spiral of desperation that takes him through the relentless parties in glitzy mansions, seedy bars, and underground rock clubs. This is illustrates the seamy world of L. A. after dark. This book is a teenage slice-of-death novel with no holds barred. This was one of the first books about success and wealth that was so frighteningly realistic. It was one of the most disturbing novels Ive read in a long time.
It possesses an unnerving air of documentary reality. All the obstacles facing the characters were fairly easy for me to relate to. Less Than Zero is not a long book but it contains reflections upon the entire world. The images described of youth adrift, of neon towers, palm trees, black nights, parties, clubs, drugs and cars and sex will never leave me. This amazing story sounded extremely real and scary to the reader, me. I recommend it highly and will argue that it is the Catcher in the Rye for the MTV generation and should be examined by all who can read.
This well written modern literature story targeted and catered to the short-attention-spanned teenagers that were hooked on MTV and glam rock. This book should be required reading for anyone who finds themselves lucky enough to fall between the 14 to 21 period in their lives. It’s a book that doesn’t glorify the lifestyles chosen by the characters (i. e – drug addiction, $ex, hustling, etc. ) Teenagers can fully identify with it. Im 22 and I know I did, because it’s themes are universal when you’re at this age. Ellis doesn’t sugarcoat or beat around the bush, he gets to it swinging his fists with elaborate detail and imagery.
I thought that this was good reading for the one reason that it was different. I’m sick of the formulaic novels that have been churned out for years. It’s only 200 pages or so, so it’s worth the time to read it. I learned about Bret Easton Ellis and his work from an interview in High Times magazine. His age at Less Than Zeros publishing was 21, which interested and fascinated me the most. I read rave reviews and decided to read the book. From the first few lines the reader is thrown into a world that is at a much more extreme level than everyday people are accustomed to.
Ellis hides from no subject and tells everyone to open your eyes and open them wide. He also manages to slip in many of the literary techniques and characteristics commonly used by writers. Ellis’s style was a pleasant surprise because it was fast paced and quick chaptered. His language is precise and to the point. It shows you what our society has turned into and what has happened to the meanings of people in this generation. Truth is our worst enemy but we must face it and this is book will show you how. Less Than Zero is the one of the greatest novel in the history of contemporary American literature.
It is a devastating comment on materialism and superficiality, refuting both in an amusing and entertaining way. Spoiled, unlikable characters pitifully indulging themselves with too much of everything and an insipid lost narrator makeup the text. As I kept reading I became aware of a weird sensation, a perverse, almost vicarious need to keep reading. Ellis is wonderful at creating a mood and infesting the reader with it. This book left me examining my outlook on life, friends, and drugs. I will also remember the lessons learned from reading this book.