&KINDLE ↟ Less Than Zero ↙ Ebook or Kindle ePUB free

some books are like the face of Justin Long this is a highly punchable face don t you just want to punch that smug look right off of his corny face it is a face born for being stomped into the ground ugh, i hate justin long although i loved him in the last few seconds of Jeepers Creepers, he was perfect for the role of Gutted Horror Victim.i also hate Less Than Zero i blame this book for all of the ennui laden, masturbatory nonsense that was foisted upon the world in the 80s shouldn t Bret Easton Ellis be in jail for this crime who gives a fuck about the so called lives of a bunch of entitled twits and their nonsensical concerns, their tedious yearnings for chrissakes, in a civilized society, they would all be taken and shot in the college basement, before they became the financial magnates and doyennes of style whose sole goal seems to be to eat the world the worst crime of this gag worthy book is that Ellis appears to take his characters issues to be genuinely weighty that is as deluded as the delusions of his extremely lightweight and eye rolling characters.instead of reading this jackassery, watch Walt Stillman s Metropolitan instead a muchpleasant experience Rich kids doing drugs Ugh.Actually, my view of this book was kind of distorted by this man I used to work with at this coffee shop.He was a huge fan if this author And he was also a writer himself published in Hustler He was in his 40 s and still trying to break out He had a son that was autistic and had tons of medical bills but because he still wanted to be a struggling artist his family had to suffer.So, he gives me the manuscript of one of his books that was rejected by several publishers because, as he stated, It was too cutting edge.It was is a super bad version of less that zero but really really raunchy and dirty and goobity gobbledy goo.He was also always quoting Dante s Inferno, but he only knew one line about all ye who enter here or whatever And he would always come into work an hour early and work off the clock so he could have everything already done before his shift started It pissed me off so I started to make sure everything was done before he got there so he had nothing to do for an hour before his shift began.Sure, it created extra work for me but the satisfaction was worth it That showed him.Once, I was taking out the trash and he comes up and grabs it out of my hands and I was infuriated I know he was just trying to be a gentleman or some shit but I ran after him and snatched it back out of his hands and snarled I can take my own damn trash out He would also refer to all our cups in Starbuck s sizes tall, grande, and something else and that pissed me off because we didnt work at Starbucks He also thought this chick that we worked with was deep because she said she liked some classic author.And the girl was a fucking moron Trust me, if anyone was fucking deep in that coffee shop it was ME And that is not saying a whole lot She would talk in this cartoon voice all day long and I wanted to stab her There is nothing worse that having to spend an 8 hour shift with another adult that talks in a baby voice on purpose I think she even believed in God.And he also bragged that his daughter memorized the letter from Hannibal Lector wrote to Clarice in Silence of the Lambs or whatever.We also had a chat about how everyone has an little OCD.His was coming to work an hour early and many other things.And I was all like I never do anything regularly, I hate repetition And he was all like, That s your OCD, you are obsessed with irregularity true, but not when it comes to bowel movements And he kind of convinced me that everyone in Hudson, Ohio is on drugs and screwing one another fact.So of course, I read his book thing aloud to the rest of our co workers and we had a good hearty laugh, the kind that makes your face turn red and your upper lip sweat.I really regret not making a copy of that manuscript.P.S I know it doesnt need to be said, but Robert Downey Jr was really hot in that movie I also kind of had a thing for James Spader But not now, because he s kinda fat Who am I kidding I would still hit that P.P.S You know what, Im not really sure I even read this book, or if I just think I did Memory is deceiving. Last year I spent a few months as an intern for a major national arts publication, which shall remain nameless because that makes me look cooler than if I just blurted it out I had a few regular duties at this unpaid gig, the primary one being transcription of interviews You might think that transcribing is drudgery, and in a sense it is But if the interview subject was interesting and, given this publication s bent and cachet, most of the subjects were interesting it provided a rare glimpse into the messy vocal raw material of an interview, as opposed to the cleaned up, translated into printed words final product.One of the most fascinating interviews I transcribed was with none other than Bret Easton Ellis The occasion of the interview was the release of the film version of Ellis The Informers, which, according to Ellis and just about everyone else who saw it, was pretty much of a misbegotten failure Ellis co wrote the script, but the film was apparently hacked to bits in the editing room his tone toward the film was one of aggrievement, and he insisted that the longer, un fucked with cut of the film it was supposed to be a sprawling, Altman esque epic was good It s doubtful we ll ever see it I m actually not sure how much of this stuff made it into the printed interview, since some of it was supposed to be off the record Listening to the interview was an odd experience, because Ellis is an odd man He was very personable and friendly toward the interviewer, so than any other subject I transcribed he seemed to believe that he was just shooting the shit with this critic over the phone rather than giving an interview, and consequently he didn t seem to care much about staying on topic or saying things that made sense As on his Twitter feed, he mostly talked about movies Apparently a huge cinephile, Ellis kept prodding the interviewer with questions about which films he d seen lately, what did he think of film X, how much he hated film Y, etc My favorite moment went like this Interviewer Thoughtful, penetrating question about Ellis work Ellis Loooooooooooooooong pause Ellis Did you see Monsters vs Aliens I shit you not, folks I can t remember if Ellis eventually answered the question but I do know he went off on how much he loved Monsters vs Aliens for a few minutes And I loved him for that But sometimes he was cogent and he said some smart, interesting shit he went off an inspired riff about aesthetics vs morality, and while he was ostensibly talking about the Irish hunger strike film Hunger his comments obviously applied to his own work And he was really, really nice Like, weirdly nice He has this reputation for bad boy nihilism or misogyny or whatever, but the guy I listened to seemed like wayof a mensch than, say, Jonathan Fuck You Franzen Having never read a word by the man, I went home that day liking him.Just the other day, over a year after the events related above, I went back to the offices of the aforementioned major national arts publication to interview for a copy editor position Afterwards, not feeling too great about how it went, I consoled myself by hanging out in the used bookstore around the corner, where I walked out with copies of American Psycho and Less Than Zero In fact, the inspiration for this purchase was not so much a sense memory recall of last year s Ellis transcript as it was the recent GR review of American Psycho by Brian That review was totally badass, and made me want to give this controversial writer the old college try.So, Less Than Zero 200 pages in the company of the overprivileged, morally vacuous sons and daughters of neglectful Hollywood royalty in the cocaine addled 1980s I loved it, man It feels like an important book, and that Ellis was only 19 when he wrote it makes it at onceimpressive because the writing is so confident andauthentically disturbing because no matter how much Ellis protests that his shit isn t autobiographical, let s look at the facts Ellis wrote this book as a teenager from L.A going to college on the east coast the book is about a teenager from L.A home from college on the east coast and even if nothing that happens in the book specifically happened to him in real life, he was clearly doing what teachers tell you to do he was writing what he knew And what he knew wasn t pretty So yeah, five stars here s a few reasons why I m all about this shit It s viscerally effective The vignette structure and clipped prose style propel the book along in a speedy, disorienting haze that mirrors protagonist Clay s fucked mental state It moves, and if you wanted to just read this book in one quick burst of a sitting without really thinking about it at all you would probably still have a worthwhile experience Like I said, visceral.It s majorly evocative of time and place I m sure you ve heard that thing James Joyce said about how if Dublin burned down it could be rebuilt based on Ulysses Well, if the dream architects from Inception wanted to recreate 1980s Los Angeles they would need a copy of Less Than Zero to use as a reference guide I haven t felt so immersed in the 80s since I watched Earth Girls Are Easy, or so L.A ified since I read Chandler So many references to Tab, Betamax, MTV and of course cocaine and that s just what s on the surface.It s deceptively complex There are interesting questions of form here The novel is in the first person, but Clay s narration subverts our expectations about first person narration, in that his flashes of introspection are few and far between we know very little of his inner life and we learn jackshit about other characters inner lives Instead, Clay s narration provides a just the facts ma am account of events that in a healthy person would provoke some kind of emotional reaction On top of that is a fascinatingly discordant effect we can tell that Clay is desperately miserable because it s reflected in the actions he relates, but he doesn t give us access to the thoughts and emotions by which we would typically understand his misery By leaving this question mark, Ellis heroically refuses to supply facile answers about What s Wrong With The Kids These Days, letting us draw our own conclusions Perhaps only a writer as young as Ellis was at the time could have been smart enough to do it this way If he d tried to fill in the blanks, to offer even the most poetic of explanations, the book would ve been sunk by smarmy self importance.Underlying the horror is both a strain of dark humor and a stream of unexpectedly lovely grace notes This is an effect I associate specifically with the films of Harmony Korine finding beauty in even the ugliest human environments Korine would be a great choice to adapt Ellis for the screen, though I doubt Harm would be interested in fucking with other people s work The masked, murderous redneck freaks of Trash Humpers aren t so very different from Ellis fucked up Angeleno nihilists In Less Than Zero some of those grace notes can be found in the italicized interstitials recalling Clay s antediluvian trip to visit his grandparents some are found in Ellis physical descriptions of the L.A landscape and some pop up amidst the soulless anti hedonism that makes up the bulk of the novel s action As for humor, you have to squint a little bit to see it, but check out those scenes of Clay talking to his awful therapist, who just wants Clay to help him with his screenplay Or the back and forth, gossipy inanities that some characters sling at each other about who slept with who, or the frequent refrain stating or asking if somebody O.D d Hell, most of the book is funny if you look at it from a certain angle And from a different angle it s a despairing tragedy.In the years since this novel was published I think the moneyed youth of America has gotten evenhorrible, or at least equally horrible in different ways Gary Shteyngart sort of tried to write about this in Super Sad True Love Story, but he failed My generation needs its Bret Easton Ellis And I need to read the rest of this guy s stuff. Unloved rich kids in 80s L.A desperately try to feel something It s depressing and disheartening, but worth it if you can stomach the apathy and hedonism It s pretty awful at times the events of the book. TW drug abuse, pedophiliaThe person who recommended this to me cited it as her favorite book of all time, but she had read it for a class, so I think we had different experiences with it This book is steeped in melancholy and nihilism, which I typically enjoy, but the format and emotionlessness of this often made it difficult to read, so it took me over a month to complete Still, I enjoyed its themes and totally understand why my friend connected with it so much I m jealous that she got to discuss it in a class because I think I would have gottenout of it that I didn t even realize This is one of those books that looks simple on the surface but is packed with so much meaning and intricately laced themes It s definitely not for the lighthearted, though. This novel irritated me but at the same time I couldn t take my hands off it I so clearly recognized the hardened apathy reflected in the eyes of Clay He is a young man immobile, paralyzed by indecision, slowly rotting as he waits for whatever doom comes his way His problem is not that he doesn t know what he wants, but rather the ability to want has been lost in him His circumstances, which usually is being driven by the person, is rather moving of its own accord, and he is aboard not steering but watching indifferently as his fate is sealed without any resistance from him which could have prevented the crash he might be moving towards It is a disease, this disregard, and it is terminal He is alienated from himself, locked inside a wall of nothingness, and thus also unreachable to those around him He is resigned to his life, a third person looking at his own body unconcerned with its wellbeing, going with the flow, only a voyeuristic sort of fulfillment in his gut And as the days go by, he is disappearinganduntil the day that nothing remains and his invisibility is deemed permanent Less Than Zero is the story of a university student who comes home and discovers that there never was such a thing as a home for him Clay was born of a rich family in Los Angeles His grandparents own hotel chains, his father is a big shot in Hollywood, he lives in a mansion in Beverly Hills, all his friends are high society people It is apparent that he was raised in an environment that fostered dysfunction, an environment so enad by its own wealth and glamor that it kills off any other function it has to offer And so fresh off his freshman year from the relatively quiet place of New Hampshire, he goes home for summer vacation to kill time until classes start Uncertain that there is anything else to do he goes on a psychedelic romp and engages in all sorts of debaucheries from snorting cocaine by the minute, gender indifferent acts of sexual deprivation, not to mention other sort of drugs, liquor, and all the twisted novelties Hollywood has to offer, moving from party to party in search for some unreachable form of satisfaction He goes through all this in a kind of painful stupor trying to feel something, anything while balancing his rocky relationship with his girlfriend Blair, and trying to make sense of his best friend Julian Amidst all that is happening there lingers a dreadful clarity, a soberness that can only be found as one dwells in the most chaotic of places, like a man in the middle of a bacchanal, realizing that he feels awful A lot of people will read this novel and hate it A few, however, will sense an unsettling familiarity in its hollow pages There needs to be a certain disposition for someone to truly appreciate this novel, a disposition so readily seen in the addled millennial Those who can understand Clay when he says Nothing Nothing makes me happy I like nothing Because as a book, this is infected with the same disease that Clay is suffering from, an emptiness seeping away the lifeblood of its unfocused words This novel doesn t know what it wants It reminds me of a certain passage from its body that goes 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 There is no other purpose to this story It moves resigned to its writing with no higher aim or message Ellis, then a 21 year old, writes his work and in his prose he injects a virus that permeates an enigmatic lifelessness, a wayward languor that eats away the vital soul.In the end, in order to not feel depressed, I shall borrow a line from Yukio Mishima, something I read I few days ago that pierced me deeply I dream of a moment when, without my asking, my actions will betray completely this part of me that asks for nothing Maybe Clay, in one of his reveries, had this thought Maybe you ve had it too Maybe then it s not too late for us. Why should I care about Bret Easton Ellis characters if he doesn t care about them The aptly titled Less Than Zero didn t bother to go into the character s inner dialogue anythan it bothered to show a character that anyone might care about Sure, the things they do random sex, drug abuse, etc make great fodder for fiction, but if there s no counterweight of compassion, what do I care if they fuck up their lives I get it they re emotionally vacant and aimless because of the environment they grew up in, and that is reflected by the deadpan delivery of the writing I get the point, over and over again And then he goes ahead and makes the point again But I m not interested in emotionally vacant writing Sex slaves, underage girls, cheating, cocaine abuse, and crime it can only carry itself so far, and the shock value wears off quickly I was taught in a fiction class that emotionally numb characters are not interesting ones I wish someone would ve shared this with the emotionally numb, 19 year old Ellis when he wrote this book from the comfort of his Bennington dorm room.I have a hard time understanding how Ellis was put in the same high regard the so called literary brat pack as his brilliant friend, Jay McInerney Bright Lights, Big City portrayed the same type of disillusioned young adults in an infinitelysatisfying and emotionally involving way This one trick pony only scores points for X and Elvis Costello references Maybe the Fashion Network can film an adaptation so that the story can reach the target market it tries so desperately to criticize. &KINDLE ↶ Less Than Zero ↟ Set In Los Angeles In The EarlyS, This Coolly Mesmerizing Novel Is A Raw, Powerful Portrait Of A Lost Generation Who Have Experienced Sex, Drugs, And Disaffection At Too Early An Age, In A World Shaped By Casual Nihilism, Passivity, And Too Much Money A Place Devoid Of Feeling Or HopeClay Comes Home For Christmas Vacation From His Eastern College And Re Enters A Landscape Of Limitless Privilege And Absolute Moral Entropy, Where Everyone Drives Porches, Dines At Spago, And Snorts Mountains Of Cocaine He Tries To Renew Feelings For His Girlfriend, Blair, And For His Best Friend From High School, Julian, Who Is Careering Into Hustling And Heroin Clay S Holiday Turns Into A Dizzying Spiral Of Desperation That Takes Him Through The Relentless Parties In Glitzy Mansions, Seedy Bars, And Underground Rock Clubs And Also Into The Seamy World Of LA After Dark Reading this book is almost a painful exercise Everyone is drugged up, f ed up and nobody cares about anything other than getting high and wasted Everyone is literally sleeping with everyone Many meaningless sexual encounters where morals are left by the highway The 80 s were really about living the excess lifestyle and no placethan L.A where this book centres around The book is one painfully awful situation after another, a lot of aimless wanderings, with lots of bad pointless dialogue Nihilistic youths with too much money, too much time and hormones is always a cocktail for unhealthy choices Despite the seeming negatives I didn t completely hate this book, if that was it s intention to shock and display the vulgarities and vapidness of youth of the 80 s then this delivers it s purpose. Books of this nature age well with me I keep thinking about what happened, what Ellis might have meant I find it fascinating what people walk away with from this and American Psycho It seems rather obvious to me that this book is not just about spoiled rich drug addicts wasting away while taking some of their world with them The characters actions,specifically their lack of action, says so much for the state of the times in this book, for LA, for American culture, all of which I find maybe evenrelevant today The fact that people can walk away from this book thinking it is only about drugs, that they did not get it , or they thought it pointless, just makes me sad Ellis is an extremely talented writer His writing is deceptive and layered The best way for me to convey why I so far love his books is to relate what I think when I read them I wonder what his characters say about me, why I am able to relate and what my reactions to what happens reflect about me About LA a place I hope never to return to and other such cities, with sterile environments and filthy underbellies, places where people come together to consume and waste About the indifference of youth and American culture About relationships and detatchment, self abuse and self worth, vanity and denial What Ellis writes feels real, no matter how awful or horrific That is truly frightening This book is especially disturbing to me because the youth protrayed are now everywhere, no longer only the rich or confined to the cities Indifference spreads with each generation.The main character has zero emotional attachments to his world, his family and friends He has desensitized himself into acceptance When he faces things in the book that shock or bother him, his true self shines through Three scenes really shocked me and that is all I will say about that since I did not see them coming at all.Some of the most disturbing parts of this book are simple comments made by Clay s family Family should protect and it is little wonder how Clay started on his current path Clay and his friends are at that age when they are becoming adults and are now responsible for their actionsthan ever before I am a firm believer that people instinctively know basic rights from wrongs and when a youth becomes an adult and chooses a knowing wrong, then they may be close to evil Ellis characters choose evil and let the guilt run off instead of settling in I think the book tried a little too hard towards the end but it worked so I bumped 4 stars to 5 stars The typical use of brand names, music, and posh scenes, cities and clubs and film and music, all shine through as in American Psycho, though maybe not as strong here This is an incredibly sad book about, as one character describes, a beautiful boy who makes no effort, and though I am having problems writing coherently, summing up my thoughts and reactions in an organized manner, I know I could ramble all night about this book and still be slightly confused as to why I like it so much.