“There’s a pause and then I ask, ‘Oh, shit, Rip, What don’t you have?’
‘I don’t have anything to lose.’”
Ok, I think I’m done with Bret Easton Ellis now. I gave him a shot. I read American Psycho, because I felt like I had to have some knowledge of that and my husband told me I wouldn’t be able to handle the movie (after reading the book — he was right). Next up: The Rules of Attraction, which was a breezy sort of read about some privileged shits in in the 80s in New England, and honestly it’s barely stuck with me at all other than a feeling of general contempt for the rich brats. So out of two books, one gave me nightmares, and one just kind of irritated me. Then I read Less Than Zero, which is full of over privileged shitheads as well, only these kids are even more vicious. I could easily imagine one of these guys growing up into Patrick Bateman.
Not the main character though. He’s too boring and too bored. Clay comes home to California from college on the east coast, and resumes his lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, clubs and sex. Ellis’s typical stream of consciousness-style of writing does give you a sort of woozy feeling that fits the material well. Nothing really happens–it’s just four weeks of general discontent and partying.
I wonder if reading this book when it was first published may have been more outrageous. It came out in the mid-eighties, but reading it in 2013 just feels like an extension of watching teenagers on some reality television show. As shocking as some of the scenes should be — kids doing drugs, whoring themselves to pay back their dealers — it’s almost blase now, which is really the saddest part.
Y’know, after reading American Psycho, I finally worked up the courage to watch the movie, and it was *tame* in comparison. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. But it was a memorable read. Whereas I feel like you on Less Than Zero: I couldn’t connect with it at all. I think your analysis is spot-on.