Set in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, 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 reenters a landscape of limitless privilege and absolute moral entropy, where everyone drives Porsches, 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 into the seamy world of L.A. after dark.
©1985 Bret Easton Ellis (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"Catcher in the Rye for the MTV generation." (USA Today)
"A killer - sexy, sassy, and sad.... It's a teenage slice-of-death novel, no holds barred." (Village Voice)
"One of the most disturbing novels I've read in a long time. It possesses an unnerving air of documentary reality." (The New York Times)
"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
I'm afraid I almost OD'd on L.A. 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 of Angels 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 of contempt. My feelings about him are similar to Norman Mailer's:
"How one wishes this writer was without talent!"
I would only add, how I personally wish this writer was without a Twitter account. I debate in my mind if I could, with a switch, delete all of Twitter (every tweet) I think I would just to eliminate B.E.E.'s toxic presence there. Which is I guess throws me firmly into the Franzen camp (and not obviously into the Jennifer Weiner camp).
Ellis' novel is the best novel concerning Gen X. I read this novel over 10 years ago and listening to it just reminded me of the joy that I first experienced reading this novel for the first time.
Clay is my favorite character since the reader notices his transformation into a truly apathetic character.
The scenes where Clay keeps seeing the billboard "Disappear Here"
First of all, the narrator was fabulous. He was just right for this. The book does not have a false word in it, and the author succeeds in making the characters, rich wastrels though they are, into people I cared about. But, you'll be glad they don't live next door. Less Than Zero held my interest all the way through.
Addicted to Audible since 2009
I enjoyed the movie but absolutely loved the book. Ellis is an excellent writer and it's a shame the movie couldn't quite capture his writing abilities. He's so descriptive and details. Great musical references, lots of drugs and sex and overall, I'd certainly recommend this for anyone who could relate to the Hollywood lifestyle from back in the 80s.
It has made me more hesitant to try another book in this genre.
I'm not sure if it was his narration or the material he was reading. The performances were actually quite good.
Disappointment and annoyance at the characters.
I think I was hoping for something a bit more similar to "Catcher in the Rye". I gave up about half way in to the recording when I had completely lost any sense of plot.
I've read Easton Ellis and enjoyed his satire. This book...I just didn't understand. Or maybe the underlying theme is that rich people are really morally poor. That's all I got. How he got there, to that point, was not interesting for me.
A tad boring. The Valley girl accents became annoying.
I think I hated this book, but I don't know why. So...the book had an effect on me which is probably good news for B. Easton Ellis. There were parts of the book that took you to the summit and then you couldn't figure out how to get back down because he just left you there and moved on with not a hint of follow-up anywhere. I really hated that.
I don't like much, but the things I like, I like intensely
A terrible book that serves as an interesting snapshot of a particular time and place and culture. Poorly written, poorly conceived, dull repulsive characters doing bad things. The "Kids" of its time. But brave, of Ellis, to portray the young and beautiful as so totally ugly.
You've got to be kidding! NEVER.
I think that's a fair statement.
Well, I did it, but I certainly don't feel good about it. This is the biggest waste of time and an excursion into utter moral depravity I can recall. The only redemption is Rummel's narration and his control of voices and accents. He's obviously a great talent as a reader. Too bad that Ellis is devoid of any.
Have every one of the characters in the book -- and the author, end up in the morgue, preferably before I had wasted 15 minutes on this detritus. I only wish my purchase had been in paper back format so I could shred it and put it in my compost. There it would at least have had some value.
Excuse me while I go get myself de-loused. Why anyone would buy, much less waste any time trying to read or listen to this is a mystery. This book would be over-priced at free. I wasted a half-credit getting it on the BOGO sale.
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