Customer Reviews for

Less Than Zero

Average Rating 4
( 146 )
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(59)

4 Star

(44)

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(27)

2 Star

(9)

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(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

The worship of drugs, vanity, and indulgence

Bret Easton Ellis writes this coming of age book with unrelenting grit and down-right graphic accounts of teenage life for the privledged LA-ites. Easton Ellis follows Clay, a socialite who slowly recognizes the reality he faces with his drug-laced friends, Julian and B...
Bret Easton Ellis writes this coming of age book with unrelenting grit and down-right graphic accounts of teenage life for the privledged LA-ites. Easton Ellis follows Clay, a socialite who slowly recognizes the reality he faces with his drug-laced friends, Julian and Blair. At times shocking, Clay becomes more engrossed in this over-indulgent world when he comes back home for Christmas break. It is difficult not to get the feeling that non of these characters actually care about one another unless they can provide them with more drugs or cruder forms of entertainment. Although you will see a tranformation in Clay from beginning to end, you will grind your teeth at his blatant inaction in serious situations. Easton Ellis' writing sytle is genius: Clay's narrative changes with his use and non-use of drugs, and his fleeting memories of Julian in earlier years are crushing. This is an incredible debut novel from Bret Easton Ellis. I look forward to the 'in-the-works' follow-up to Less Than Zero.

posted by Anonymous on August 2, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Yes, it is less than zero

This depressing story is a quick read and difficult for me to wrap my mind around. Do people like this actually exist? I can visualize how some young people with too many choices and no parental guidance might fall into an abyss, but there doesn't appear to be one per...
This depressing story is a quick read and difficult for me to wrap my mind around. Do people like this actually exist? I can visualize how some young people with too many choices and no parental guidance might fall into an abyss, but there doesn't appear to be one person in any of these characters' lives that might prove to be an anchor. It doesn't seem plausible. I also had difficulty connecting with the main character. While witnessing some truly horrific incidents, he remains completely apathetic. There is no growth of his character thus by the end of the story you don't care about him in the least. And yet I finished reading it. I put the book away wondering what does that say about me?

posted by Anonymous on September 7, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2006

    The worship of drugs, vanity, and indulgence

    Bret Easton Ellis writes this coming of age book with unrelenting grit and down-right graphic accounts of teenage life for the privledged LA-ites. Easton Ellis follows Clay, a socialite who slowly recognizes the reality he faces with his drug-laced friends, Julian and Blair. At times shocking, Clay becomes more engrossed in this over-indulgent world when he comes back home for Christmas break. It is difficult not to get the feeling that non of these characters actually care about one another unless they can provide them with more drugs or cruder forms of entertainment. Although you will see a tranformation in Clay from beginning to end, you will grind your teeth at his blatant inaction in serious situations. Easton Ellis' writing sytle is genius: Clay's narrative changes with his use and non-use of drugs, and his fleeting memories of Julian in earlier years are crushing. This is an incredible debut novel from Bret Easton Ellis. I look forward to the 'in-the-works' follow-up to Less Than Zero.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2006

    Amazing!!

    This is a fantastic author and book. Ellis portrays the characters in only a way he can. All of these people portrayed in this book have no sense of time, direction and they do not place a value on anything. Ellis makes this funny, horrific and tragic all at the same time. You are left satisfied with the content at the end of the story but also feeling empty for the characters. It is a world where everything is taken for granted and nobody in the story understands or cares about consequences of their actions or desires. Confusion prevails and Ellis makes it interesting and compelling. Definately a must read!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    The first time I read this book, I agreed with most of the one a

    The first time I read this book, I agreed with most of the one and two star ratings. I thought it was odd and depressing and I had no idea what to think when I finished. When I read it the second time, I realized it was one of my favorite books. Clay isn't as difficult to relate to as some reviewers claim because at some point, you will feel this jaded or someone who's supposed to support you (like Clay's psychiatrist) will let you down. If you read this book and didn't like it, I urge to you wait a month, a year or what have you and read it again. It will be worth it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    I Give Praise to Bret Easton Ellis.

    I'm not yet finished with the book but am thoroughly enjoying. Bret's attention to detail mirrors that of American Psycho, my all-time favorite book. The reader is submerged, and drowns in the emptiness of our protagonist, Clay, and watches him drown as well. His life is a hollow shell, filled with overabundant drug use and meaningless sex. His friends carry equal parts fake skin and careless personality. This book is nihilism in every sense of the word and BEE is by far my favorite author.

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  • Posted February 22, 2012

    Perhaps not for the "casual reader"...

    It's a book that only people who really love to read will be able to appreciate, and I think that because it certainly is not a fun adventure story or anything of the sort, but a novel that has something to say and makes you think. It's about the lives of a group of teenagers, wasting their lives away on drugs, sex and cheap thrills. The book is satirical, very disturbing but important.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    You either get it or you don't

    Ellis has created with his books a excellent satire of the 1980's. If you lived through them you would understand his books. That means if you were under 15during the 80's you will not get what he is protraying. If you were over 25 you won't get it. Ellis is one of the most orginal and distinctive voices of my generation.

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  • Posted December 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    amazing

    this is the first Ellis book I read and now im hooked. I've been reading imperial bedrooms which is the sequel and loving it. I would recommend any book by this author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Fantastic Tale. Better Than The Movie!

    'Less Than Zero' was an intense,dark disturbing crash course of coming-of-age tale. Clay came back home for X-mas vacation to spend it with his family & friends. It seems that all has changed for his friends now lost into gruesome sitations, and their drug addictions. Clay's persecptive has changed when he went to college, and he realize if he didn't go to study at East than he would have been lost in the nothing like his high school friends became.

    I really enjoyed this novel very much. The writing was excellent. I have to give it up to Bret Easton Ellis. That was really genious of him to write a book about the time of the 80's LA scene beyond the vanity & the consequences. When you think about it's pretty awesome that he had written it at age 18. Most 18 year olds are just too busy playing, and being immature than picking up a pen, or type something interesting.

    The story was awesome and unforgettable. I would recommend anyone to read it. As for the movie, it was way too sugar coated for me. It doesn't compare to the novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2006

    Captivating

    Written at only 23, It was said that Bret Easton Ellis's first book: Less than zero, lacked in a lot of things, Character development, plot and so on... But in my opinion that is what makes the novel so brilliant. From the first sentence it had me captivated. Bret Easton Ellis's writing style is unique and gripping. Less than zero, is one of the first books I have read in some time, that touched me so much and so deep inside. I am surprised I was able to finish the book since by the last 60 pages I was sobbing after every page. Extremely disturbing, but more touching than anything else. The only book that was more disturbing and funny to me was McCrae¿s KATZENJAMMER. Don¿t be fooled by the title¿it¿s one funny, harrowing, bizarre, and A new type of book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2006

    A great read

    This book really made think about society. I live in LA and it affected me knowing that the book takes place in areas where i hang out and spend alot of my free time. while reading this book i got chills because i know kids at my school who live the way these characters do. They do all the tainted actions described in this book, having sex, doing drugs.Its kinda scary, you wish you can reach out to these charaters and help them. This book may be fiction, but it may be as well a true story, its so real its it makes you think about the people around you.It was a quick read and youll never want to put it down i literally read it in 3-4 days!WHich is amazing for me. Not being a big reader this is probably the only book i read all the way through and felt that it touched me in a way that i dont want to ever fall into this life of morol entropy. Definitely a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2005

    Fantasic, sad, and prophetic

    By far my favorite book of all time. Ellis' ability to portray alienation and anomie are second to none. While Camus and Kafka are rightly anointed as avatars of twentieth century angst, Ellis brings us to new heights (depths) of despair. His cunning use of humor throughout the work makes for moments of cynical laughter. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2005

    Whoa

    This is one of the best books I've read in a while. I read it in one day. It flows so easily you'll wonder where all your time went. If your a fan of Ellis, or like the movies made from his books, your love this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2004

    Loved it!

    The book is absolutely amazing! It's well written. The book is so captivating that I read it in one day. I absolutely couldn't put it down. Ellis portrayed Clay's social scene with great detail which led me to believe that he was all too familiar with the drugs, money and girls. A staple for the '80s children.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2003

    Great book

    Great book, really gives you a close look at heroin and how it can ruin someone's life..you can also rent the movie but i recommend reading the book first.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2003

    Being rich is not what it seems.

    Bret Easton Ellis has captured the life of the rich where no other author has gone before not attacking the wealthy and ignorant but exposing what really goes on in a world so far apart from reality that could only be dreamed of. Everyone growing up has a dream to become rich wealthy and glamorous being surrounded by models money fast cars worth more than most of the populations annual income and sex, yet no one pays attention to the reality of participating in a community filled with people who have these things. With money comes great responsibility learning how to manage your money is not easy in Less Than Zero Ellis shows us how a young student returning from college coming from a very Wealthy family spends his time trying to do nothing but entertain himself and get sexual gratification. All of this takes place in a world where things can be acquired by doing nothing and working for nothing where everything that is needed can be given in an instant. ¿Clay 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.¿(Ellis) Clay has time spent with his family yet nothing is achieved except acquiring more money. Money is spent in abortions and drugs and expensive snuff films. The book at some point brings tears and pity for the characters that have lost complete sense of reality at some points the reader will be disgusted and made to purge at the sadness and desires of the rich and wealthy. When ages are given and the reader sees that the characters are but teenagers and maybe twenty to 15 year olds participating in explicit acts of sex the book will puzzle the reader to ask themselves if this is possible in a culture where everything seems to be so refined and educated. The book will crawl in you and make you insomniac until you have read the last word, after reading it I took a deep look at myself and asked myself again weather I still dreamed of living a life of wealth and luxury, and if money was still all that I desired.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2003

    Excitingly disturbing

    Less than Zero disturbed me to a level unlike any novel has in a long long time. It crawls under your skin and wiggles around for a while. Anyone who grew up in the 80's can relate to the characters even if you have never sniffed a single line. It shows the world of the privelaged kids is not always as glamorous as one might think. If you want to read a book that actually makes you feel something, Less than Zero is your book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2002

    Raw & Entertaining

    I can't believe it took me this long to read Ellis, as a college graduate with a degree in American lit. Easton is amazing - doesn't saturate the text with description and maintains a fast-paced story. I felt somewhat desensitized after it was over. But it was gritty and raw - very truthful and a very quick read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2002

    Still a favorite fifteen years later

    I first read this book in high school over fifteen years ago and have picked it up again every few years since. I still find it luridly fascinating, plus it's a quick read (at the time it was said to be written in MTV-like style...lots of quick cuts and flashy details). It's a great snapshot of Los Angeles in the early Eighties and a haunting portrait of despair and detachment amidst the beautiful people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2002

    a great read

    dark, disturbing and brilliant

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2001

    Less Than Zero

    One of the most thought provoking, yet sickening novels i have ever read. it is great, however, if you liked the book don't see the movie....my god what they've done to it

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