Joe's Reviews > Less Than Zero

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
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's review
Jun 09, 2007

it was amazing
Read in May, 2007

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 "Disappear here." One could deconstruct the novel in how we look at Web 2.0; people afraid to merge, full of amoral pornography, hollow identities easily maintained. Look at any comment list on, it would read exactly like any conversation in Less than Zero! Even the title comes from an Elvis Costello lyric where he also sings, "Let's talk about the future, now we've put the past away."

Like Sarah mentioned at the book club, Easton Ellis doesn't blatantly show Clay making the last step into (I guess) "empathetic-human-mode." But somehow I would like to think that Clay has moved on, after he left. So matter-of-factly, he didn't disappear.

I absolutely adored this book because it made me think, and that is possibly the best reason to like a book. It made me explore new avenues, and it made me realize that I also need to stop and smell the flowers once in a while.

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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Lily What?

message 2: by Joe (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joe That was my first's in the book, and I have no idea how, what or why it is there? I have no idea what it means. It's on page 47, the girls Clay is looking at are talking about getting a "streak" in their hair. Is it supposed to be funny? I was confused.

Lily anthracite is a somewhere between coal and graphite...sometimes used as a pigment, which I suppose would make something black?
Confused was I during that whole book. And now I'm thinking like Yoda....

message 4: by Joe (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joe I can't wait to talk about this more. I just finished the book. There is a "parallel" episode that relates to an anthracite-colored hair streak...notice did you?

message 5: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey What a great review this is of LTZ-I was just thinking about why I liked this book so much and you've summarized it nicely.

I too heard that BEE was writing a follow-up to LTZ which would be quite exciting-have loved all his books up through and including the most recent Lunar Park.

I just read this wonderful book called The Delivery Man which in many ways feels like an updated version of and really an homage to LTZ (down to the tile even--The Delivery Man is also an Elvis Costello song...). Your comment about how the web, full of amoral pornography and hollow identities, would play an increased role precisely describes the vibe of The Delivery Man--anyway, thanks for this thoughtful review.

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