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Less Than Zero Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
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Less Than Zero Quotes (showing 1-29 of 29)
“But this road doesn't go anywhere,” I told him.
“That doesn't matter.”
“What does?” I asked, after a little while.
“Just that we're on it, dude,” he said.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles. This is the first thing I hear when I come back to the city. Blair picks me up from LAX and mutters this under her breath as she drives up the onramp. She says, "People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles." Though that sentence shouldn't bother me, it stays in my mind for an uncomfortably long time. Nothing else seems to matter. Not the fact that I'm eighteen and it's December and the ride on the plane had been rough and the couple from Santa Barbara, who were sitting across from me in first class, had gotten pretty drunk. Not the mud that had splattered on the legs of my jeans, which felt kind of cold and loose, earlier that day at an airport in New Hampshire. Not the stain on the arm of the wrinkled, damp shirt I wear, a shirt which looked fresh and clean this morning. Not the tear on the neck of my gray argyle vest, which seems vaguely more eastern than before, especially next to Blair's clean tight jeans and her pale-blue shirt. All of this seems irrelevant next to that one sentence. It seems easier to hear that people are afraid to merge than "I'm pretty sure Muriel is anorexic" or the singer on the radio crying out about magnetic waves. Nothing else seems to matter to me but those ten words. Not the warm winds, which seem to propel the car down the empty asphalt freeway, or the faded smell of marijuana which still faintly permeates Blaire's car. All it comes down to is the fact that I'm a boy coming home for a month and meeting someone whom I haven't seen for four months and people are afraid to merge.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“Disappear here”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“Disappear Here.
The syringe fills with blood.
You're a beautiful boy and that's all that matters.
Wonder if he's for sale.
People are afraid to merge. To merge.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“Clay, did you ever love me?"
I'm studying a billboard and say that I didn't hear what she said.
"I asked if you ever loved me?"
On the terrace the sun bursts into my eyes and for one blinding moment I see myself clearly. I remember the first time we made love, in the house in Palm Springs, her body tan and wet, lying against cool, white sheets.
"Don't do this, Blair," I tell her.
"Just tell me."
I don't say anything.
"Is it such a hard question to answer?"
I look at her straight on.
"Yes or no?"
"Why?"
"Damnit, Clay," she sighs.
"Yeah, sure, I guess."
"Don't lie to me."
"What in the fuck do you want to hear?"
"Just tell me," she says, her voice rising.
"No," I almost shout. "I never did." I almost start to laugh.
She draws in a breath and says, "Thank you. That's all I wanted to know." She sips her wine.
"Did you ever love me?" I ask her back, though by now I can't even care.
She pauses. "I thought about it and yeah, I did once. I mean I really did. Everything was all right for a while. You were kind." She looks down and then goes on. "But it was like you weren't there. Oh shit, this isn't going to make any sense." She stops.
I look at her, waiting for her to go on, looking up at the billboard. Disappear Here.
"I don't know if any other person I've been with has been really there, either ... but at least they tried."
I finger the menu; put the cigarette out.
"You never did. Other people made an effort and you just ... It was just beyond you." She takes another sip of her wine. "You were never there. I felt sorry for you for a little while, but then I found it hard to. You're a beautiful boy, Clay, but that's about it."
I watch the cars pass by on Sunset.
"It's hard to feel sorry for someone who doesn't care."
"Yeah?" I ask.
"What do you care about? What makes you happy?"
"Nothing. Nothing makes me happy. I like nothing," I tell her.
"Did you ever care about me, Clay?"
I don't say anything, look back at the menu.
"Did you ever care about me?" she asks again.
"I don't want to care. If I care about things, it'll just be worse, it'll just be another thing to worry about. It's less painful if I don't care."
"I cared about you for a little while."
I don't say anything.
She takes off her sunglasses and finally says, "I'll see you later, Clay." She gets up.
"Where are you going?" I suddenly don't want to leave Blair here. I almost want to take her back with me.
"Have to meet someone for lunch."
"But what about us?"
"What about us?" She stands there for a moment, waiting. I keep staring at the billboard until it begins to blur and when my vision becomes clearer I watch as Blair's car glides out of the parking lot and becomes lost in the haze of traffic on Sunset. The waiter comes over and asks, "Is everything okay, sir?"
I look up and put my sunglasses on and try to smile. "Yeah.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“But you don't need anything. You have everything,' I tell him.
Rip looks at me. 'No I don't.'
'What?'
'No I don't.'
There's a pause and then I ask, 'Oh, shit, Rip, What don't you have?'
'I don't have anything to loose.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“I don't want to care. If I care about things, it'll just be worse, it'll just be another thing to worry about. It's less painful if I don't care.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“She laughs and looks out the window and I think for a minute that she's going to start to cry. I'm standing by the door and I look over at the Elvis Costello poster, at his eyes, watching her, watching us, and I try to get her away from it, so I tell her to come over here, sit down, and she thinks I want to hug her or something and she comes over to me and puts her arms around my back and says something like 'I think we've all lost some sort of feeling.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“I come to a red light, tempted to go through it, then stop once I see a billboard sign that I don’t remember seeing and I look up at it. All it says is 'Disappear Here' and even though it’s probably an ad for some resort, it still freaks me out a little and I step on the gas really hard and the car screeches as I leave the light.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“And later when we got into the car, he took a turn down a street that I was pretty sure was a dead end. "Where are we going?" I asked. "I don't know" he said "just driving". "But this road doesn't go anywhere" I told him. "That doesn't matter." "What does?" I asked, after a little while. "Just that we're on it, dude." He said.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“The images I had were of people being driven mad by living in the city. Images of parents who were so hungry and unfulfilled that they ate their own children.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“People are afraid to merge.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“And as the elevator descents, passing the second floor, and the first floor, going even father down, I realize that the money doesn't matter. That all that does is that I want to see the worst”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“Fear never shows up and the party ends early.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“Where are we going?" I asked
"I don't know," he said. "Just driving."
"But this road doesn't go anywhere," I told him.
"That doesn't matter."
"What does?" I asked, after a little while.
"Just that we're on it, dude," he said.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“What do you do?' she asks, holding out the vest.
'What do you do?'
'What do you do?' she asks, her voice shaking. 'Don't ask me, please. Okay, Clay?'
'Why not?'
She sits on the mattress after I get up. Muriel screams.
'Because... I don't know,' she sighs.
I look at her and don't feel anything and walk out with my vest.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“I'd get confused and write down things just to write them down and I came to this realization that I didn't do enough things to keep a datebook.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“there was a song i heard when i was in los angeles by a local group. the song was called "los angeles" and the words and images were so harsh and bitter that the song would reverberate in my mind for days. the images, i later found out, were personal and no one i knew shared them. the images i had were of people being driven mad by living in the city. images of parents who were so hungry and unfulfilled that they ate their own children. images of people, teenagers my own age, looking up from the asphalt and being blinded by the sun. these images stayed with me even after i left the city. images so violent and malicious that they seemed to be my only point of reference for a long time afterwards. after i left.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“Will you call me before Christmas?' she asks.
Maybe.' I pull on my vest, wondering why I even came here in the first place.
You've still got my number, don't you?' She reaches for a pad and begins to write it down.
Yeah, Blair. I've got your number. I'll get in touch.'
I button up my jeans and turn to leave.
Clay?'
Yeah, Blair.'
If I don't see you before Christmas,' she stops. 'Have a good one.'
I look at her a moment. 'Hey, you too.'
She picks up the stuffed black cat and strokes its head.
I step out the door and start to close it.
Clay?' she whispers loudly.
I stop but don't turn around.'Yeah?'
Nothing.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“What's the difference between a J.A.P and spaghetti? Spaghetti moves when you eat it.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“and the girl and I get into her car and drive off into the hills and we go to her room and I take off my clothes and lie on her bed and she goes into the bathroom and I wait a couple of minutes and then she finally comes out, a towel wrapped around her, and sits on the bed and I put my hands on her shoulders, and she says stop it and, after I let her go, she tells me to lean against the headboard and I do and then she takes off the towel and she's naked and she reaches into the drawer by her bed and brings out a tube of Bain De Soleil and she hands it to me and then she reaches into the drawer and brings out a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses and she tells me to put them on and I do. And she takes the tube of suntan lotion form me and squeezes some onto her fingers and then touches herself and motions for me to do the same, and I do. After a while I stop and reach over to her and she stops me and says no, and then places my hand back on myself and her hand begins again and after this goes on for a while I tell her that I'm going to come and she tells me to hold on a minute and that she's almost there and she begins to move her hand faster, spreading her legs wider, leaning back against the pillows, and I take the sunglasses off and she tells me to put them back on and I put them back on and it stings when I come and then I guess she comes too. Bowie's on the stereo and she gets up, flushed, and turns the stereo off and turns on MTV. I lie there, naked, sunglasses still on and she hands me a box of Kleenex. I wipe myself off then look through a Vogue that's lying by the side of the bed. She puts a robe on and stares at me. I can hear thunder in the distance and it begins to rain harder. She lights a cigarette and I start to dress ....”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
tags: l-a
“where are we going?' I asked.
'I don't know,' he said. 'just driving.'
'But this road doesn't go anywhere,' I told him.
'That doesn't matter.'
'What does?' I asked, after a little while.
'Just that we're on it, dude,' he said.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“You're a beautiful boy, Clay, but that's about it.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“– Ну что тебе не все равно? Что тебе нравится?
– Ничего. Мне ничего не нравится, – говорю я.
– Я когда-нибудь что нибудь для тебя значила, Клей?
Я молчу, опять смотрю на меню.
– Я когда нибудь что нибудь для тебя значила? – снова спрашивает она.
– Я не хочу, чтобы кто-то для меня что-то значил. Так только хуже, одно лишнее беспокойство. Когда ничего не волнует, не так больно.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“– Мне кажется, лучше умереть при крушении самолета, чем любой другой смертью, – спустя некоторое время произнес отец.
– Я думаю, это было бы кошмарно.
– Ничего бы не было. Ты вваливаешься в самолет, принимаешь либриум, самолет взлетает и падает, а ты так ничего и не знаешь. – Отец закинул ногу на ногу.
За столом воцарилось молчание. Единственные звуки исходили от моих сестер и кузин, тешащихся в воде.
– А ты что думаешь? – спросила тетя мою мать.
– Я стараюсь не думать о таких вещах, – ответила мать.
– А ты, мам? – спросил отец бабушку. Бабушка, не произнесшая ничего за целый день, вытерла рот и очень тихо сказала:
– А я бы вообще не хотела умирать.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“Hubo un largo silencio y sólo se oyó la brisa del desierto y el sonido del jacuzzi calentándose y de la piscina vaciándose. También se oía a Frank Sinatra cantando «Summer Wind», y recé para que el director dijera el nombre. Por algún motivo me parecía muy importante. Necesitaba que el director dijera el nombre. El director abrió la boca y dijo:
—Lo he olvidado.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“Nothing. Nothing makes me happy. I like nothing...”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“And as the elevator descends, passing the second floor, and the first floor, going even farther down, I realize that the money doesn't matter. That all that does is that I want to see the worst.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero
“Nothing. Nothing makes me happy. I like nothing," I tell her.”
Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero

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