It’s hard to review a book you’ve read at least ten times because you’re instantly hung up on it all when you start. A friend (the same one who couldn’t work out why he didn’t have an Aston Martin) asked me how I could possibly read the same book more than once. Friend is a strong term actually, especially considering he said that.
The wonder of Less Than Zero is just how stark it is, all of the characters may as well be Clay [the protagonist], everyone is blonde, tan, thin, high. The things he sees and experiences don’t seem to register and it’s hard to like someone who is so non committal to an opinion (I know that’s ended relationships for me in the past). What makes it work is that everyone is so rich and thin and tan and young but they’re all complete fuck ups. That’s the real joy of it. I done know much about Easton Ellis’ approach to research for the novel but it feels personal and I can only assume he knows these kids, or knew these kids, and they’re a similar breed to what pop up in his other work (even American Psycho has a crossover with Camden).
I’d tell you to go and pick up a copy, but assume everyone has read it. It makes me think of the Beatles lyric: ‘I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love’. The characters carry on in their eighties vision of ownership and material worth and it’s so empty, they might as well be fucking a crack in the wall.
Read it though, it’s very interesting.