Review: Less Than Zero

Less Than Zero - Bret Easton Ellis

I'm not even sure what to say about this one.


It's written in first person, which I hate, and definite trigger warnings for drug abuse, rape, and just everything bad from the 80s.


The story follows Clay, a rich kid home from college on winter break.  Clay is a mess.  He is not mentally stable and is self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.  His therapist is a useless dick who is more concerned with writing a screenplay than actually helping his patient.  His family is wrapped up in their own issues and his friends are just as bad off as him--if not worse.


This story is truly an ode to the extremely obscene excess of the 80s, 24-hour MTV (actual videos), cocaine, Quaaludes, alcohol, parties, fashion, therapist and eating disorders are trendy, and racism and sexism are just normal everyday occurrences.


These kids are extremely privileged.  They have money to throw around to their dealers and have extravagant parties.  They go to clubs and fancy restaurants and think nothing of racist remarks, people od-ing, or even raping 12-year-old girls just for shits and giggles.  All of these kids are fucked up beyond belief even with all their privilege, perhaps because of it.  You actually feel sorry for them because they are all a mess and just trying to feel something.  Especially our protagonist Clay who just goes through life on autopilot.  He can't feel for his former girlfriend Blair who wants to still be with him.  He feels/does nothing for his best friend Julian who is strung-out and now whoring himself to pay off his dealers.  This book is a mess...and I kind of loved it.  Looking forward to see the characters years later in the sequel.