Book Club: Less Than Zero

This Roman à clef is based in part on Bret Easton Ellis’ life, and in part on fiction. Written by Ellis at the tender age of 21, this novel quickly became a cult classic. Through stream of consciousness first person narration, Clay takes us back to his hometown of L.A during college break in the 80s. He returns to find many of his close friends now addicted to heroin and cocaine, succumbing to prostitution to pay their debts. Clay joins his “rich kid” friends in drug fuelled nights, picking up both men and women for various one night stands along the way. But no amount of short term pleasure can fulfil Clay internally, or allow him to escape his thoughts even if only for a night. He visits his psychiatrist to no avail, often reflecting on past vacuous and vulgar summer holidays with his family. I was blown away by Less Than Zero. 

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