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Friday, December 15, 2006

Less Than Zero

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
August 4, 2005

"Less Than Zero" is certainly a book the California board of tourism would prefer no one ever read because it paints the Los Angeles area like the new Soddam and Gamorrah. It's 207 pages of going to parties, doing coke (and other drugs), with a little sex and debauchery thrown in for good measure. If I was planning a trip to LA, I'd cancel it after reading this book.

So if you don't know what it's about, the story is simple. Clay returns to LA from New Hampshire and meets up with all his high school chums. They drive around to various places, do a lot of drugs (mostly coke), and in the end Clay feels the futility of it all.

I really didn't think a book about drugs and partying could be boring, but it was. A lot of the reason is simply the monotony of the writing. Which is intentional I know for artistic reasons, but it still gets dull after a while for page after page of, "We went to this party. Someone was there. We went into the bathroom to do a line of coke. We danced to some 80s song. We got bored and left." It just goes on and on like that with a bunch of characters who are all blonde, tanned clones.

So, other than feeling LA back in the mid-80s was really messed up and rich people can eally screw up their lives, I didn't really feel much else. The book never scratches more than the surface of its many characters or the issues it raises which is because as Clay says, he doesn't want to care about people.

This is a quick read and an interesting one, but I can't imagine reading it more than once. After the shock wears off upon the first reading, there's not much point to keeping it around. I'd say you're better off renting than buying this one. Just don't read it if you're planning to visit the City of Angels anytime soon.

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