Less than Zero (Contemporary American Fiction)

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9780140088946: Less than Zero (Contemporary American Fiction)

Clay comes home to L.A. for Christmas vacation and re-enters a landscape of limitless privilege and moral entropy, where everyone drives Porsches, 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. Morally barren, ethically bereft and tinged with implicit violence, "Less Than Zero" is a shocking coming-of-age novel about the casual nihilism that comes with youth and money. "An extraordinarily accomplished first novel." - "New Yorker." "One of the most disturbing novels I've read in a long time. It possesses an unnerving air of documentary reality." - Michiko Kakutani, "New York Times." "The Catcher in the Rye for the MTV generation." - "USA Today." "Remarkable. A killer - sexy, sassy, sad." - "Village Voice."

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Product Description:

Set in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, this coolly mesmerizing novel is a raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation. They experienced sex, drugs, and disaffection at too early an age, and lived in a world shaped by casual nihilism, passivity, and too much money. Clay comes home for Christmas vacation from his Eastern college and reenters a landscape of limitless privilege and absolute moral entropy, where everyone drives Porsches, dines at Spago, and snorts mountains of cocaine. He tries to renew his 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 L.A. after dark.

From the Back Cover:

"Bret Easton Ellis is a very, very good writer [and] American Psycho is a beautifully controlled, careful, important novel...Written out of the American tradition -- the novelist's function is to keep a running tag on the progress of the culture; and he's done it brilliantly...A seminal book."

-- Fay Weldon, Washington Post

"What's rarely said in all the furor over this novel is that it's a satire, a hilarious, repulsive, boring, seductive, deadpan satire...Ellis is, first and last, a moralist. Under cover of his laconic voice, every word in his three novels to date springs from grieving outrage at our spiritual condition... Ambition alone sets it apart from most contemporary fiction. Prudes, squares and feminist commissars aside, the rest of us should applaud Brat Easton Ellis for setting out in this noble and dangerous direction."

-- Henry Bean, front page, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A masterful satire and a ferocious, hilarious ambitious, inspiring piece of writing, which has large elements of Jane Austen at her vitriolic best. An important book."

-- Katherine Dunn

"A great novel. What Emerson said about genius, that it's the return of one's rejected thoughts with an alienated majesty, holds true for American Psycho...There is a fever to the life of this book that is, in my reading, unknown in American literature."

-- Michael Tolkin

"The first novel to come along in years that takes on deep and Dostoyevskian themes...[Ellis] is showing older authors where the hands have come to on the clock...He has forced us to look at intolerable material, and so few novels try for that anymore."

-- Norman Mailer, Vanity Fair

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