Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Written when the author was 20, this first novel tells Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note Kindle Store · Kindle eBooks · Literature & Fiction $ Read with Our Free App; Audiobook. $ Free with. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Written when the author was 20, this first novel tells Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note Kindle Store · Kindle eBooks · Literature & Fiction . $ Read with Our Free App; Audiobook. $ Free with. Less than Zero (Contemporary American Fiction) [Bret Easton Ellis] on Amazon. com. *FREE* Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.
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The NOOK Book (eBook) of the Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis at Barnes & Noble. FREE Shipping on $ or more!. Downloading an eBook which isn't free, without paying for it, is called STEALING. people buying eBooks are extremely happy to be paying much less for them than You are showing a total lack of ethics, and you would appear to have zero . Free-eBooks is an online source for free ebook downloads, ebook resources and ebook authors. Besides free ebooks, you also download free magazines or.
While I appreciate there are people who cant afford it, nothing about your question suggests this is your problem. The vast majority of people buying eBooks are extremely happy to be paying much less for them than the paperback would have cost. But not you, you want it free. I not sure what your problem is, but you have one. You are showing a total lack of ethics, and you would appear to have zero compassion for struggling authors trying to make a living.
Aliens for a few minutes. And I loved him for that. But sometimes he was cogent and he said some smart, interesting shit—he went off an inspired riff about aesthetics vs. And he was really, really nice. Like, weirdly nice. He has this reputation for bad-boy nihilism or misogyny or whatever, but the guy I listened to seemed like way more of a mensch than, say, Jonathan "Fuck You" Franzen. Having never read a word by the man, I went home that day liking him. Just the other day, over a year after the events related above, I went back to the offices of the aforementioned major national arts publication to interview for a copy editor position.
Afterwards, not feeling too great about how it went, I consoled myself by hanging out in the used bookstore around the corner, where I walked out with copies of American Psycho and Less Than Zero. In fact, the inspiration for this purchase was not so much a sense-memory recall of last year's Ellis transcript as it was the recent GR review of American Psycho by Brian.
That review was totally badass, and made me want to give this controversial writer the old college try. So, Less Than Zero: I loved it, man. It feels like an important book, and that Ellis was only 19 when he wrote it makes it at once more impressive because the writing is so confident and more authentically disturbing because no matter how much Ellis protests that his shit isn't autobiographical, let's look at the facts: Ellis wrote this book as a teenager from L.
A going to college on the east coast; the book is about a teenager from L. And what he knew wasn't pretty. So yeah, five stars; here's a few reasons why I'm all about this shit: It's viscerally effective. The vignette structure and clipped prose style propel the book along in a speedy, disorienting haze that mirrors protagonist Clay's fucked mental state.
It moves, and if you wanted to just read this book in one quick burst of a sitting without really thinking about it at all you would probably still have a worthwhile experience.
Like I said, visceral. It's majorly evocative of time and place. I'm sure you've heard that thing James Joyce said about how if Dublin burned down it could be rebuilt based on Ulysses. Well, if the dream architects from Inception wanted to recreate s Los Angeles they would need a copy of Less Than Zero to use as a reference guide.
It's deceptively complex. There are interesting questions of form here. The novel is in the first person, but Clay's narration subverts our expectations about first-person narration, in that his flashes of introspection are few and far between; we know very little of his inner life and we learn jackshit about other characters' inner lives. Instead, Clay's narration provides a just-the-facts-ma'am account of events that in a healthy person would provoke some kind of emotional reaction.
On top of that is a fascinatingly discordant effect: By leaving this question mark, Ellis heroically refuses to supply facile answers about What's Wrong With The Kids These Days, letting us draw our own conclusions.
Perhaps only a writer as young as Ellis was at the time could have been smart enough to do it this way. If he'd tried to fill in the blanks, to offer even the most poetic of explanations, the book would've been sunk by smarmy self-importance.
Underlying the horror is both a strain of dark humor and a stream of unexpectedly lovely grace notes. This is an effect I associate specifically with the films of Harmony Korine—finding beauty in even the ugliest human environments.
Korine would be a great choice to adapt Ellis for the screen, though I doubt Harm would be interested in fucking with other people's work. The masked, murderous redneck freaks of Trash Humpers aren't so very different from Ellis' fucked-up Angeleno nihilists.
In Less Than Zero some of those grace notes can be found in the italicized interstitials recalling Clay's antediluvian trip to visit his grandparents; some are found in Ellis' physical descriptions of the L. As for humor, you have to squint a little bit to see it, but check out those scenes of Clay talking to his awful therapist, who just wants Clay to help him with his screenplay.
Or the back-and-forth, gossipy inanities that some characters sling at each other about who slept with who, or the frequent refrain stating or asking if somebody O. Hell, most of the book is funny if you look at it from a certain angle. And from a different angle it's a despairing tragedy. In the years since this novel was published I think the moneyed youth of America has gotten even more horrible, or at least equally horrible in different ways.
My generation needs its Bret Easton Ellis. And I need to read the rest of this guy's stuff. View all 10 comments. Unloved rich kids in 80s L. It's depressing and disheartening, but worth it if you can stomach the apathy and hedonism. It's pretty awful at times the events of the book. View all 6 comments. Jul 16, Ratscats rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Rich kids doing drugs.
Actually, my view of this book was kind of distorted by this man I used to work with at this coffee shop. He was a huge fan if this author. And he was also a writer himself published in Hustler! He was in his 40's and still trying to break out.
He had a son that was autistic and had tons of medical bills but because he still wanted to be a struggling artist his family had to suffer. So, he gives me the manuscript of one of his books that was rejected by several publi Rich kids doing drugs.
So, he gives me the manuscript of one of his books that was rejected by several publishers because, as he stated, "It was too cutting edge". It was is a super bad version of less that zero but really really raunchy and dirty and goobity gobbledy goo. He was also always quoting Dante's Inferno, but he only knew one line about all ye who enter here or whatever.
And he would always come into work an hour early and work off the clock so he could have everything already done before his shift started. It pissed me off so I started to make sure everything was done before he got there so he had nothing to do for an hour before his shift began.
Sure, it created extra work for me but the satisfaction was worth it. That showed him. Once, I was taking out the trash and he comes up and grabs it out of my hands and I was infuriated. I know he was just trying to be a gentleman or some shit but I ran after him and snatched it back out of his hands and snarled "I can take my own damn trash out!
He also thought this chick that we worked with was "deep" because she said she liked some classic author. And the girl was a fucking moron. Trust me, if anyone was fucking deep in that coffee shop it was ME. And that is not saying a whole lot. She would talk in this cartoon voice all day long and I wanted to stab her.
There is nothing worse that having to spend an 8 hour shift with another adult that talks in a baby voice on purpose. I think she even believed in "God". And he also bragged that his daughter memorized the letter from Hannibal Lector wrote to Clarice in 'Silence of the Lambs'. We also had a chat about how everyone has an little OCD.
His was coming to work an hour early and many other things. And I was all like "I never do anything regularly, I hate repetition. So of course, I read his book thing aloud to the rest of our co-workers and we had a good hearty laugh, the kind that makes your face turn red and your upper lip sweat.
I really regret not making a copy of that manuscript.
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I know it doesnt need to be said, but Robert Downey Jr. I also kind of had a thing for James Spader. But not now, because he's kinda fat.
Who am I kidding? I would still hit that. You know what, Im not really sure I even read this book, or if I just think I did. Memory is deceiving. View all 38 comments. Sep 25, Jr Bacdayan rated it liked it. I so clearly recognized the hardened apathy reflected in the eyes of Clay.
He is a young man immobile, paralyzed by indecision, slowly rotting as he waits for whatever doom comes his way. His circumstances, which usually is being driven by the person, is rather moving of its own accord, and he is aboard not steering but watching indifferently as his fate is sealed without any resistance from him which could have prevented the crash he might be moving towards. It is a disease, this disregard, and it is terminal.
He is alienated from himself, locked inside a wall of nothingness, and thus also unreachable to those around him. He is resigned to his life, a third person looking at his own body unconcerned with its wellbeing, going with the flow, only a voyeuristic sort of fulfillment in his gut.
And as the days go by, he is disappearing more and more until the day that nothing remains and his invisibility is deemed permanent. Less Than Zero is the story of a university student who comes home and discovers that there never was such a thing as a home for him. Clay was born of a rich family in Los Angeles. His grandparents own hotel chains, his father is a big shot in Hollywood, he lives in a mansion in Beverly Hills, all his friends are high society people. It is apparent that he was raised in an environment that fostered dysfunction, an environment so enamored by its own wealth and glamor that it kills off any other function it has to offer.
And so fresh off his freshman year from the relatively quiet place of New Hampshire, he goes home for summer vacation to kill time until classes start. Uncertain that there is anything else to do he goes on a psychedelic romp and engages in all sorts of debaucheries from snorting cocaine by the minute, gender indifferent acts of sexual deprivation, not to mention other sort of drugs, liquor, and all the twisted novelties Hollywood has to offer, moving from party to party in search for some unreachable form of satisfaction.
He goes through all this in a kind of painful stupor trying to feel something, anything while balancing his rocky relationship with his girlfriend Blair, and trying to make sense of his best friend Julian. Amidst all that is happening there lingers a dreadful clarity, a soberness that can only be found as one dwells in the most chaotic of places, like a man in the middle of a bacchanal, realizing that he feels awful.
A lot of people will read this novel and hate it. A few, however, will sense an unsettling familiarity in its hollow pages. There needs to be a certain disposition for someone to truly appreciate this novel, a disposition so readily seen in the addled millennial.
Those who can understand Clay when he says "Nothing. Nothing makes me happy. I like nothing. It reminds me of a certain passage from its body that goes: It moves resigned to its writing with no higher aim or message. Ellis, then a 21 year-old, writes his work and in his prose he injects a virus that permeates an enigmatic lifelessness, a wayward languor that eats away the vital soul.
In the end, in order to not feel depressed, I shall borrow a line from Yukio Mishima, something I read I few days ago that pierced me deeply.
Dec 22, Whitney Atkinson rated it really liked it Shelves: This book is steeped in melancholy and nihilism, which I typically enjoy, but the format and emotionlessness of this often made it difficult to read, so it took me over a month to complete.
Still, I enjoyed its themes and totally understand why my friend connected with it so much. I'm jealous that she got to d TW: I'm jealous that she got to discuss it in a class because I think I would have gotten more out of it that I didn't even realize.
This is one of those books that looks simple on the surface but is packed with so much meaning and intricately laced themes. It's definitely not for the lighthearted, though. View 1 comment. Jul 31, Derek rated it it was ok.
Why should I care about Bret Easton Ellis' characters if he doesn't care about them?
The aptly titled Less Than Zero didn't bother to go into the character's inner-dialogue any more than it bothered to show a character that anyone might care about. Sure, the things they do random sex, drug abuse, etc make great fodder for fiction, but if there's no counterweight of compassion, what do I care if they fuck up their lives?
I get it: I get the point, over and over again. And then he goes ahead and makes the point again. But I'm not interested in emotionally vacant writing. Sex slaves, underage girls, cheating, cocaine abuse, and crime: I was taught in a fiction class that emotionally numb characters are not interesting ones; I wish someone would've shared this with the emotionally numb, year old Ellis when he wrote this book from the comfort of his Bennington dorm room.
I have a hard time understanding how Ellis was put in the same high regard the so-called "literary brat pack" as his brilliant friend, Jay McInerney. Bright Lights, Big City portrayed the same type of disillusioned young adults in an infinitely more satisfying and emotionally involving way. This one-trick pony only scores points for X and Elvis Costello references. Maybe the Fashion Network can film an adaptation so that the story can reach the target-market it tries so desperately to criticize.
View all 5 comments. Reading this book is almost a painful exercise. Everyone is literally sleeping with everyone. Many meaningless sexual encounters where morals are left by the highway.
The 80's were really about living the excess lifestyle and no place more than L. A where this book centres around. The book is one painfully awful situation after another, a lot of aimless wanderings, with lots of bad pointless dial Reading this book is almost a painful exercise. The book is one painfully awful situation after another, a lot of aimless wanderings, with lots of bad pointless dialogue.
Nihilistic youths with too much money, too much time and hormones is always a cocktail for unhealthy choices. Despite the seeming negatives I didn't completely hate this book, if that was it's intention to shock and display the vulgarities and vapidness of youth of the 80's then this delivers it's purpose.
View all 26 comments. Nov 13, Kathryn rated it it was amazing Shelves: Books of this nature age well with me. I keep thinking about what happened, what Ellis might have meant. I find it fascinating what people walk away with from this and American Psycho. It seems rather obvious to me that this book is not just about spoiled rich drug addicts wasting away while taking some of their world with them.
The characters' actions, more specifically their lack of action, says so much for the state of the times in this book, for LA, for American culture, all of which I find Books of this nature age well with me. The characters' actions, more specifically their lack of action, says so much for the state of the times in this book, for LA, for American culture, all of which I find maybe even more relevant today.
The fact that people can walk away from this book thinking it is only about drugs, that they "did not get it", or they thought it pointless, just makes me sad. Ellis is an extremely talented writer. His writing is deceptive and layered. The best way for me to convey why I so far love his books is to relate what I think when I read them. I wonder what his characters say about me, why I am able to relate and what my reactions to what happens reflect about me. About LA a place I hope never to return to and other such cities, with sterile environments and filthy underbellies, places where people come together to consume and waste.
About the indifference of youth and American culture. About relationships and detatchment, self abuse and self worth, vanity and denial. What Ellis writes feels real, no matter how awful or horrific. That is truly frightening. This book is especially disturbing to me because the youth protrayed are now everywhere, no longer only the rich or confined to the cities.
Indifference spreads with each generation. The main character has zero emotional attachments to his world, his family and friends.
He has desensitized himself into acceptance. When he faces things in the book that shock or bother him, his true self shines through. Three scenes really shocked me and that is all I will say about that since I did not see them coming at all.
Some of the most disturbing parts of this book are simple comments made by Clay's family. Family should protect and it is little wonder how Clay started on his current path. Clay and his friends are at that age when they are becoming adults and are now responsible for their actions more than ever before. I am a firm believer that people instinctively know basic rights from wrongs and when a youth becomes an adult and chooses a knowing wrong, then they may be close to evil.
Ellis' characters choose evil and let the guilt run off instead of settling in. I think the book tried a little too hard towards the end but it worked so I bumped 4 stars to 5 stars. The typical use of brand names, music, and posh scenes, cities and clubs and film and music, all shine through as in American Psycho, though maybe not as strong here. This is an incredibly sad book about, as one character describes, a beautiful boy who makes no effort, and though I am having problems writing coherently, summing up my thoughts and reactions in an organized manner, I know I could ramble all night about this book and still be slightly confused as to why I like it so much.
Apr 18, Trin rated it it was ok Shelves: Another empty novel about emptiness, oh joy! View 2 comments. Nov 06, Alex rated it it was ok Shelves: The defense I see most often of Ellis is: How can you even respond to that?
It's meaningless. And it's not a joke. It's satire; that's totally different. I spent tonight arguing about Ellis with some very smart contrarians, and here's what they said: Ellis has captured the soulless Me First Generation, and their failure to connect with life, in a really effective way. He refuses his rival David Foster Wallace's edict that literature has to solve something; he insists, with merciless implacability, on simply showing it to you.
No solutions, no conclusions. They're right, and that's not valueless. Ellis has achieved something. I actually know these people - not Ellis' caricatures of them, but the real people - and I see what he's describing. The only problem is here's the first sentence of this book: And it's his big theme!
People are afraid to merge! Like he's discovered some grand truth! He'll return to it like fifty times!
It's not a useless book. It's a decent satire of shallow pop culture sociopathy. Like Wallace, Ellis is concerned with connection: To "merge," even! Unlike Wallace, he refuses to make helpful suggestions; if you're irritated by Wallace's desperately wide-eyed sincerity, Ellis might speak to you. But for fuck's sake, it is all awfully tedious.
A young student called Clay returns to Los Angeles for Christmas break to see friends and family. His visit reads something like this: Ok — and? At no point did I care about any of them or their depressing lives. It also feels like Ellis is trying too hard to shock. The shock shtick is all this novel has: His early books like Less Than Zero and American Psycho feel like a writer with enormous talent distracted with being edgy and cool — a one-note author repeating himself ad infinitum rather than one who knows how to develop a theme more roundly and compellingly.
But I suppose a lot of that has to do with him being in his twenties when he wrote these too. Nobody does teenage nihilism better than Bret Easton Ellis. This is the sort of book you'd read and say, 'I'd have loved it if I'd read it in my twenties', if you read it in your forties. Talking about the shock factor, it isn't really as shocking as it was in s.
Nothing seems shocking in , even American Psycho wouldn't have been much of a shocker if it was published recently. American Psycho isn't all about that anyway. At the same time I can imagine what it's like for someone not in their twenties, in 's, apparently shocked by this. Whatever BEE writes about, he makes sure he gives you the whole picture of the era. He brings out the lives of bunch of rich, immoral, junkie teenagers in 80's LA in less than zero.
Like 90's American Zeitgeist American Psycho, this one works well for 80's. Drugs, Rock n Roll, swanky cars, apathetic sex; just another tale of hedonism, springing from one pleasure to another.
If you ask me why I love this guy's books I might come up with pretentious replies like, 'cool neutral writing', 'transgression, nihilism' or something like that. But to be honest, I don't really have an answer.
Less Than Zero is an affecting ridealong in a car full of coke-addled rich kids. The ending is properly shocking. I was, as was intended, thoroughly disgusted, as I'm sure you will be too. I didn't like a single character. The book has all the appeal of a trainwreck that causes a chemical spill at your local kindergarten. You don't read this book for fun. You read it to justify your hatred of humanity and all things wealthy.
Christian Rummel does a fantastic job with the audiobook. In summation: The stars are for the writing and the fact that the book accomplishes what it sets out to do. It means to sicken, and it does.
Kill 'em all and let Tom Cruise sort them out. Apr 30, Richard rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Okay, so I was willing to accept this book as a criticism of the emptiness of modern culture. I was willing to overlook the dullness and amateurishness. But it just got duller and duller and duller. And yes, we know American culture is a wasteland. But there has to be a more interesting way to get this across. And if I am to accept this book as metaphor, I'm going to have to disagree with its premise because I think it's cynical to the point of inaccuracy.
It was like a Wes Anderson movie: I can Okay, so I was willing to accept this book as a criticism of the emptiness of modern culture. I can only take so much "art" centered around the neuroses of wealthy assholes. I appreciated the bit about how when the old lady fell down or whatever and all these people outside La Scala attended to her and an ambulance came and nobody inside the restaurant gave it any notice. I thought that worked. And the crazy homeless lady squatting on a sidewalk by the freeway.
But, just as I was beginning to appreciate these details a voice in my head reminded me that my time would have been better spent reading stories about those characters. I'm sure Ellis was being critical of his milieu but much of it comes across as a sort of earnest reveling. There were a few things I liked here but mostly my response is a mixture or boredom and "barf! View all 19 comments. Dec 03, Neil Walker rated it it was amazing.
Bret Easton Ellis is listed on my author page as of my four biggest influences as a writer, the other three being Chuck Palahniuk, Stephen King and William Shakespeare. In Less Than Zero, he is writing about his favourite time period, the s, and his favourite location, Los Angeles. Less Than Zero is an incredible debut novel and a nihilistic masterpiece.
Sep 18, A. Lillywhite rated it liked it Recommends it for: No one I currently care for. This book probably deserved more than three stars. But I just can't give it any more than that. I HATE this book. I hate it with my whole soul. It's so true and I am massively depressed after reading it. It perfectly illustrates the life of a completely useless waste of a human being and all his useless friends and their useless lives.
It's awful. They should all be put out of their and our misery. The best thing I can say is that this book serves as a glorious example of how not to be. The sc This book probably deserved more than three stars.
The scary thing is that's it's probably a pretty accurate portrayal of a certain type of people. If I had the choice, I would have put it down after I finished the first twenty pages and wanted to shoot myself, but I had to finish it for a class.
I would not recommend this to anyone who is already depressed. There is a slight risk of becoming suicidal. I would also not recommend this to anyone who is currently blissfully happy.
You should enjoy that while you can.
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I can say that this is very well written. I typically cannot stand first-person present tense. It's like running when you could walk along leisurely, but it's not so bad when it's a quick read like this. Ellis makes an incredibly good point about the shallow lives that some people live through. Also, it did help me appreciate my own life a lot.
I feel like a really good person now, because I'm nothing like these creeps, which is all you can hope for in life. View all 3 comments. May 17, Joe rated it it was amazing. One question before we start, "Anthracite? Yes, perhaps the pedulum has swung to and fro since the publication, but I find the relevance striking to today's pop-culture aesthetic.
If Easton Ellis was writing this story today, which his website says he is working on a sequel!?! The Internet is the most convenient place at this time to " One question before we start, "Anthracite? The Internet is the most convenient place at this time to "Disappear here.
Look at any comment list on mySpace. Even the title comes from an Elvis Costello lyric where he also sings, "Let's talk about the future, now we've put the past away. So matter-of-factly, he didn't disappear. I absolutely adored this book because it made me think, and that is possibly the best reason to like a book. It made me explore new avenues, and it made me realize that I also need to stop and smell the flowers once in a while.
Jul 17, Elizabeth rated it did not like it Shelves: Don't have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Literary Fiction.
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Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. There seem to be two fairly distinct camps here in the reviews of this book. Camp One: Bret Easton Ellis can't string two words together, is an amateur, is a wannabe with a backpack full of cliches -- how could he be anything else; look at the way he writes! Or Camp Two: The very criticisms that provoke the naysayers of Camp One represent conscious choices on the part of Ellis, the style and the nothing-really-happens plot are meant to work together and were done on purpose, and he's a genius -- how could he be anything else; look at the way he writes!
It's intriguing that he was only 20 when he wrote this, and raises the question of whether a What we see here is an early-life development of a rather brilliant writing style or b a young man apathetically writing about his own life and surroundings to produce a largely autobiographical work. I don't know the answer to that.
I do know that I was about 30 pages into the book when I realized that there really wasn't going to be much in the way of a plot, yet I finished the book in a day and didn't want to put it down. What other reviewers have said about the plot or lack thereof is pretty much true: But I don't believe you can use a criticism of that to make an apples-to-apples comparison to other books that do have faster-moving plots; you have to suspend all that with a book like this.
One of the beauties of "Less than Zero" is that the monotony, the ennui, the over-and-over-againness of everything is kind of the point. It helps to very effectively create this world, which is ultimately a world of fishbowl desperation where nothing ever changes but the host of the party, the mixing of the cocktail or the sexual partner -- and even those elements are repeatedly recycled numerous times from beginning to end.
The characters are shallow; their friendships are shallow; their lives are shallow. Is that a mistake in character development or a really interesting device by a very talented writer? I'm not sure; I haven't read enough of Ellis's work to know. I was disappointed in "Imperial Bedrooms," but because I'm not yet ready to close the door, plan to read "The Rules of Attraction" next. I enjoyed "Less than Zero," monotony and all.
I also thought it was badly miscast, with the possible exception of Robert Downey, Jr. Paperback Verified Purchase.
If I hadn't read Ellis' work, American Psycho, I would have said this is a good first try for a budding writer. Though, seeing the similarities between the two novels -- and there are a fair number -- I'm beginning to wonder if Ellis has very much to say.
Granted, the protagonists are sharply different. One's a homicidal maniac; the other is an emotionally distraught drug addict. But each character inhabits the same world, that of wealth and excess, full of shallow people and lack of genuine purpose.
And since it is the setting that makes Ellis' novels so striking, I'm a bit disappointed he fails to do more creative exploration. That may not be a fair opinion to render given Less Than Zero is the first book Ellis wrote. Regardless, although I find Californian debauchery as titillating as the next man, I couldn't stomach its relentlessness throughout. Perhaps, that was Ellis' intent. These characters are all supposed to be bored with their fabulous lives.
I just wish Ellis didn't take too seriously his ambition to have the reader share in that ennui. Hardcover Verified Purchase. I never read this book, but liked the movie when it came out. So, recently I decided to buy the. Book, I didn't realize how different the book was from the movie. I read it 3 times.
Buy for others
I already knew I liked the authors style of writing from reading American Psycho. Great book. I have read Ellis' Glamorama and was struck by the biting satire and astute social commentary.
Less Than Zero is the author's first novel published while he was a college student. I had some reservations about the book, but was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the prose and the characters. The story follows clay on his coke-dusted, alcohol fueled adventures on his Christmas break from university.
There isn't much of a plot to the book, which works in some respects and doesn't at times. The main 'plot' is the narrator's struggle if you could call it that to understand why his friends do the things they do, with regard to their nighttime activities. The only external plot is Clay trying to get in touch with one of his friends to get money back from him.
Ellis does not use his characters' depravity as a crutch. He effectively shows Clay's rationalization of the things he sees. The narration kept me from putting the book down as a jumble of shocking scenes meant only for shock value. Less Than Zero is one of the few novels I've read recently that really effected me emotionally. I actually found the book more thematically cohesive than F.
Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise which has a similar concept and was also a first novel. The lack of a concrete plot may turn off some readers, but the narrator's emotional journey is worth the read. Ellis' astute social commentary shows even in his debut book.
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