Less Than Zero

Bret Easton Ellis

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Less Than Zero

Less Than Zero Set in Los Angeles in the early s this coolly mesmerizing novel is a raw powerful portrait of a lost generation who have experienced sex drugs and disaffection at too early an age in a world

  • Title: Less Than Zero
  • Author: Bret Easton Ellis
  • ISBN: 9780679781493
  • Page: 398
  • Format: Paperback
  • Set in Los Angeles in the early 1980 s, this coolly mesmerizing novel is a raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation who have experienced sex, drugs, and disaffection at too early an age, in a world shaped by casual nihilism, passivity, and too much money a place devoid of feeling or hope.Clay comes home for Christmas vacation from his Eastern college and re enters a lanSet in Los Angeles in the early 1980 s, this coolly mesmerizing novel is a raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation who have experienced sex, drugs, and disaffection at too early an age, in a world shaped by casual nihilism, passivity, and too much money a place devoid of feeling or hope.Clay comes home for Christmas vacation from his Eastern college and re enters a landscape of limitless privilege and absolute moral entropy, where everyone drives Porches, dines at Spago, and snorts mountains of cocaine He tries to renew feelings for his girlfriend, Blair, and for his best friend from high school, Julian, who is careering into hustling and 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 and also into the seamy world of L.A after dark.

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      Posted by:Bret Easton Ellis
      Published :2019-01-20T10:18:26+00:00

    One thought on “Less Than Zero

    1. Jessica on said:

      This book seems boring and shallow, and reading it gives me an anesthetized, hollow, detached feeling that I would not describe as entirely pleasant.And yet I cannot seem to stop, and whenever I have to, I become very anxious to return to it as quickly as I can. Its appeal is no less powerful for being difficult to pinpoint or explain.This experience reminds me of something, but I'm not sure what. Oh yeah, I know: Bright Lights, Big City. Way better, though, so far. I love all the characters' cl [...]

    2. mark monday on said:

      some books are like the face of Justin Long:this is a highly punchable face. don't you just want to punch that smug look right off of his corny face? it is a face born for being stomped into the ground. ugh, i hate justin long. although i loved him in the last few seconds of Jeepers Creepers, he was perfect for the role of Gutted Horror Victim.i also hate Less Than Zero. i blame this book for all of the ennui-laden, masturbatory nonsense that was foisted upon the world in the 80s. shouldn't Bret [...]

    3. Krok Zero on said:

      Last year I spent a few months as an intern for a major national arts publication, which shall remain nameless because that makes me look cooler than if I just blurted it out. I had a few regular duties at this (unpaid) gig, the primary one being transcription of interviews. You might think that transcribing is drudgery, and in a sense it is. But if the interview subject was interesting—and, given this publication's bent and cachet, most of the subjects were interesting—it provided a rare gl [...]

    4. Kevin Kelsey on said:

      Unloved rich kids in 80s L.A. desperately try to feel something. 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).

    5. Ratscats on said:

      Rich kids doing drugs. Ugh.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 [...]

    6. Jr Bacdayan on said:

      This novel irritated me but at the same time I couldn’t take my hands off 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 problem is not that he doesn’t know what he wants, but rather the ability to want has been lost in him. His circumstances, which usually is being driven by the person, is rather moving of its own accord, and he is aboard not s [...]

    7. Vanessa on said:

      Reading this book is almost a painful exercise. Everyone is drugged up, f*@$ed up and nobody cares about anything other than getting high and wasted. 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 [...]

    8. Derek on said:

      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: they're emotionally vacant and aimless because of the environment [...]

    9. Kathryn on said:

      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 [...]

    10. Trin on said:

      Another empty novel about emptiness, oh joy! I read this because friends were always like, “You’ve never read Bret Easton Ellis? Whaaaaat?” But now I have and we never have to talk about it again. Yay.

    11. Sam Quixote on said:

      A young student called Clay returns to Los Angeles for Christmas break to see friends and family. His visit reads something like this: “We’re rich kids in LA! Let’s do drugs and have sex – we’re soooo hedonistic and transgressive! Ooo, let’s have sex again and do MORE drugs!” Repeat for 200 pages and you’ve got Bret Easton Ellis’ debut novel Less Than Zero!Ellis can write really well so it’s a shame he doesn’t really have anything to say besides: rich LA brats are aimless, [...]

    12. Alex on said:

      The defense I see most often of Ellis is: "You just don't get the joke." And could there be a more annoying defense? 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 l [...]

    13. Edward Lorn on said:

      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: [...]

    14. Richard on said:

      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 [...]

    15. Neil Walker on said:

      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 1980s, and his favourite location, Los Angeles.The way he captures the mindset of a certain element of society in the 1980s in a particular place and pushes it to it’s logical conclusion is very much something I was trying to emulate in Drug Gang, with my chos [...]

    16. Ailsa Lillywhite on said:

      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 [...]

    17. Joe on said:

      One question before we start, "Anthracite?"Less than Zero is a meditation on the soul-less, physically obsessed world that was born in the 1980s. 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!?! TECHNOLOGY would or will seperate the characters even more. The Internet is the most convenient place at this time to " [...]

    18. Darwin8u on said:

      “Fear never shows up and the party ends early.” ― Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than ZeroI'm afraid I OD'd on LA novels this week. Started with 'Less than Zero', added the Black Dahlia, and finished with The Day of the Locusts. Let me just say, I'm definitely not planning on moving to that City where people and their dreams both go to die. A visit of 3 days was just enough to reestablished my conviction.I had a hard time deciding whether to read Less than Zero. I hold B.E.E. with a certain level [...]

    19. Elizabeth on said:

      Drugs, sex, more drugs, sex, sex, drugs. Repeat. Drive around some. Go to parties. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD make it stop.

    20. Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* on said:

      My random musings onLess Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis.I'll start off this review by informing anyone who may read, or listen, that this book is a terrible idea for a vacation book. Why my deranged mind chose this novel of all things to bring with me is something I may need to see a psychiatrist for. In my opinion Less Than Zero is Catcher in the Rye meets Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Firstly, there is the unlovable main character, Clay, who indiscriminately sleeps with everyone while sticki [...]

    21. Clare on said:

      A large part of this book is boring and the characters are all just horrible people but the overall effect is amazing. It races along full of boring details and you feel like sticking pins in your eyes and shouting at the characters but then it drops in anvil heavy, horrific statements so subtly it just merges into the text. It's so subtle it makes it all the more shocking.Bret Easton Ellis is amzing at writing dialogue. This was a point that kept me going. All his "and then I did this, and then [...]

    22. Annie on said:

      I feel like I've been writing a lot of negative reviews lately. I wish it weren't so but apparently I need to be more discerning in my choices. Sigh.So, whatever. I get it. I'm supposed to hate Clay and everyone else for wanking off 24/7, for spending all their time coked out and fucking each other mindlessly. I'm supposed to be critical of their wanton lifestyle and soulless existence. I'm supposed to actively want to life a life unlike theirs.That's all true. I do. Mission accomplished.But hon [...]

    23. Mark on said:

      There are some books that after you finish, you sit there holding it, the last page, the last word staring back at you, and you just kind of zone out and ponder everything that's happened since you picked it up; everything that happened in the story, everything that happened in real life. Before I drove back from my folks today, back to hit the road again, I was watching the news. On the news crawl at the bottom of the screen a snippet kept passing that said 31 people had died in a blast in Syri [...]

    24. Ryan on said:

      I would give this book Less Than Zero stars if I could.I picked up this book for multiple reasons. But the main reason was because it was in the bargain bin at Books-A-Million for $5.97. Mr. Ellis was my age when this book was published, so I thought I’d get great insight on troubled young adults against the back drop of Los Angeles, but instead I got a bunch of obnoxious teenagers with drug problems.Here's what's wrong: Writing Style One of the main issues I had with this book was the writing [...]

    25. Sean Wilson on said:

      Disappear hereIt’s hard to imagine a better published first novel than Bret Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero, published in 1985, when the writer was just 21. The tender age didn’t seem to bother Ellis as he effortlessly deconstructs the youth of his generation in Los Angeles. It’s cold, nihilistic, raw and driven by emotionless desires. It’s this detachedness that gives power to Bret Easton Ellis’ minimalist prose.Tightly controlled, the novel follows the narrator, Clay, an eighteen year [...]

    26. Jeremy on said:

      I've never read Ellis before, and since he published this when he was just 21, I'm not sure if or how to really come to grips with it. The style is obviously super flat, though whether this is because Ellis simply wasn't able to write otherwise at such a young age or if he was just smart enough to realize he's probably too young to try, I can't say. But I found Clay's cool, detached narration to be, if nothing else, fairly engaging. Not revelatory, not brilliant, but interesting enough to keep m [...]

    27. Jasmine on said:

      azooooooom! Okay I am giving this book five stars for the exact opposite reason I gave amphibian five stars. This book is everything that I want from a book. Moral bankruptcy, intense boredom, and of course a good dose of spoiled rich kids. Although I have to say that Clay is clearly a device being used to stop you from becoming too angry with the books inherent moral bankruptcy, after all the main character is disgusted too, not that he intends to do anything about it but hell at least he isn't [...]

    28. Leonardo Olmos on said:

      "Years ago people could have read some of your books and said, "Oh, this is just nihilism. These people don't exist! There's nobody that rich and stupid and narcissistic!"Well, Surprise, Ellis remarks in a recent interview. Back in the 80s, the bunch of assholes portrayed here might have looked like an exaggeration of youth. Now, in the emerging trend of reality shows, now, where wealthy people get wealthier and famous for doing nothing, they have their perfumes, their TV time, their records, an [...]

    29. Ryan on said:

      Bret Easton Ellis is one of my favorite authors of all time. "Set in Los Angeles in the early 1980's this coolly mesmerizing novel is a raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation".This book contains my favorite exchange between any two characters in any book I have read."Where are we going?" I asked"I don't know," he said. "Just driving.""But this road doesn't go anywhere," I told him."That doesn't matter.""What does?" I asked, after a little while."Just that we're on it, dude," he said.

    30. sologdin on said:

      We wait for most of the novel before Godot actually shows up--but then we just want him to leave and take everyone else in the story with him.Not so dreadfully afflicting as American Psycho--because what is?--but emptier ultimately than Generation X, with which it forms a bookend over the time period typically claimed for the generation. This text contains the lumpenized antisocial nihilist credo, substituting solipsistic aesthetic imperatives for legal rule or ethical principle: "What's right? [...]

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