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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Less Than Zero

Less Than Zero, by Bret Easton Ellis is everything it is cracked up to be--a discontented, illicit, rich-kid romp through the drug-addled '80's in Los Angeles.  And how interesting it was.

At times my head was spinning from Ellis's style of writing--almost stream of consciousness.  However, that being said, his writing is very indicative of the action that is happening throughout this novel.  The story moves quickly as if you, the reader, are in a drug-induced haze and are stuck in the mire of this disaffected young man, Clay, the young protagonist (if you would even call him that).  Clay's family is highly dysfunctional and what everyone would imagine the life of a Hollywood family to be: disconnected, unaware, and distant from each other.  Distant being almost an exaggeration, of course.

You watch Clay drift through Christmas break of his freshman year with these people who are his "friends," although you get the feeling that Clay is still hanging around with them only because he hasn't discovered his true self yet--and since they have been his friends since childhood, who else would he hang out with?  I got the feeling as I read this that Clay would have given his right arm to not go home for the holidays--if he, in fact, cared enough to care.

This book is often called minimalist, and I would entirely agree with that.  You don't get much closure on the characters, but maybe that's what the sequel, Imperial Bedrooms, is for.  Or maybe it's the reality of these children's (because they are just that--children) lives, that in the end they get no closure.  Who is to say? 

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