Pam's Reviews > Less Than Zero

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
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May 08, 11

Read in May, 2011

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Forget about 90210, The O.C. and Lindsay Lohan.

Take a little trip back to SoCal, 1985, courtesy of one, Mr. Bret Easton Ellis.

Poor little rich girls, beautiful blonde beach boys, all of the fondling, fornicating, ragers and rock that a body can or can’t handle under one smoggy, fame-filled sky.

It turns out that not much has changed since Ellis wove his first novel through the hills and valleys of coked-up, strung-out, over-sexed and under-nourished Tinseltown, decades ago. Still, there is a distinctly vintage feel to the novel as Clay, Blair, Alana and Trent stumble their way through 18 going on jaded.

Though well known for his art-imitating-life-imitating-art books-cum-movies, this is the first taste I’ve had of Ellis. I have to say that it was quite a ride and one I’m not willing to get off of, yet. I have never been one to fawn over the US Weekly crowd; I didn’t even watch the Royal Wedding (shock, I know!) but there is always, probably in all of us, a sort of guilty draw to L.A. and its beautiful self-destruction.

Stop short of tossing this in the tabloid bin, though. It’s hardly a trashcan worthy piece of fluff. It rings more so along the lines of fleshing out a Tom Petty music video or adding substance to an early Mark Wahlberg movie than succumbing to the airhead blather of The Hills. Tripped out and tired, the overgrown children of L.A.’s entertainment elite, roll through existential meltdowns faster than they can sniff their way through a snow drift. The underlying tone of the book is not one of nothing but of exploring that long known issue of an excess of everything resulting in a big, black bucket of absolute nothingness.

Ok, so, it’s not all sunshine and puppies but it’s a great read if you have the stomach for it. This is B.E.E.’s first and it is also part one of two, the second of which was just released, last year. I have the second go round on my nightstand, ready to be devoured in all of its aforementioned guilty pleasure, very shortly.
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