Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

Less Than Zero (original 1985; edition 1998)

by Bret Easton Ellis

Series: Clay (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,309821,559 (3.43)125
Returning to Los Angeles from his Eastern college for a Christmas vacation in the early 1980s, Clay "reenters a landscape of limitless privilege and absolute moral entropy, where everyone drives Porsches, dines at Spago, and snorts mountains of cocaine ... A raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation."--Back cover.… (more)
Title:Less Than Zero
Authors:Bret Easton Ellis
Info:Vintage (1998), Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis (1985)

  1. 61
    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (Anonymous user)
  2. 20
    The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis (puntoenepunto)
  3. 10
    Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney (longway)
  4. 10
    The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll (Anonymous user)
  5. 11
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (PilgrimJess)
    PilgrimJess: Another book full of drug-taking.
  6. 00
    Exile by Jakob Ejersbo (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Also about apparently worldly young passing away the time. More like reportage than a sidelong appeal to readers' symapthies/antipathies and is the better book for that
  7. 11
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (Vulco1)
    Vulco1: A look at elitist rich kids who get in over their heads and spiral out of control.
  8. 11
    The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (amanda4242)
  9. 11
    Choke by Chuck Palahniuk (GeorgeW49)
  10. 00
    Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon (yokai)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 125 mentions

English (73)  French (4)  Swedish (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
Less Than Zero is a terribly chilling book about the woe-is-me white upper class college-aged kids, spending their time partying, snorting coke and whoring themselves out. And the way Bret Easton Ellis tells it, well, it's damn right poetic.

Clay returns home for Christmas break. After spending the last four months in New Hampshire, Los Angeles seems foreign to him. Even worse, the people he knew are less friends than they are strangers. Oblivious ex-girlfriend picks up where their relationship left off. His friends are degenerate junkies. And Clay, while no different himself, begins to see himself for the first time. And the thought depresses him.

The book holds every vice in this ugly world that is glamoured up. Clay friends find it no big deal gang raping a twelve-year-old girl. Pimp Finn finds nothing wrong with subduing Julian into prostituting himself in order to pay back a debt. In fact, Finn even uses heroin to keep him in line. In the world Ellis created, there is no right or wrong. There's just action without consequences.

The reader feels no sympathy for Clay or the people who make up his L.A. life. Even the flashbacks of Clay's childhood bring no connection to him. Bret Easton Ellis created a masterpiece of repugnant people that readers will enjoy hating for years go come. At least for me, anyway. ( )
1 vote ennuiprayer | Jan 14, 2022 |
I got this book at an Oxfam shop and the only reason I picked it up was that it was going for less than £1. I had previously read American Psycho and pretty much hated it. I thought it was a nasty book that was trying too hard to be shocking and had nothing that I could latch on to as interesting. I decided that I would give Ellis another shot and this book seems to get positive reviews so what could I lose?

In short, I want my time back. I found this book to be utterly tedious to the point of hating the book, the author and every single one of the characters. There is only so many times that you can get away with writing 'I went a party, it was rubbish, I left and went to another, it was rubbish'. I know that the vapid nature of the characters is kind of the point but I just found it to be annoying beyond belief.

I some ways I only have myself to blame. Celebrity culture and the likes of Paris Hilton & the Kardashians have passed me by. I don't understand the attraction and in some ways I guess this book is about them. My problem with that, is that I don't need to told how annoying they are, I already know.

I can see some parallels between this book and Money by Martin Amis, albeit with bankers instead of rich college kids. The big difference however is that Amis has a story to fall back to keep the reader entertained. There are details, scenes and characters which come alive, this has none of those.

I think it's obvious I didn't enjoy this book, I guess Ellis just isn't for me. ( )
  Brian. | Jun 20, 2021 |
This book was my first introduction to the mind of Bret Easton Ellis and upon finishing the book and involuntary sigh and mental shake up overtook me.

The premise of the book is quite simple, and on the surface it isn't difficult. Some will consider this book disturbing, so if you're easily offended/disgusted this book might not be for you.
However digging beneath the surface this book makes a huge statement. With a powerful narrative voice we see the horror that can lie behind the seemingly ideal.

I read this in one sitting, and have a feeling it will remain with me for quite a while. ( )
  literarylifelines | May 13, 2021 |
Meh. ( )
1 vote curious_squid | Apr 5, 2021 |
This book is empty, alienating, and perfectly communicates the rich, vapid, etc lifestyle of greater-LA in the early 80s among the Gen-X children of other horrible people. It was important to remember not to judge the book by just how much I hated the characters and environment described, but based on the author’s skill in communicating the horror.

(As a (late) Gen X person from a far more middle class and east coast upbringing, most of this is actually fairly different than how I think of “my generation”; location and social class matters at least as much as time.) ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
The narrator, Clay, and his friends - who have names like Rip, Blair, Kim, Cliff, Trent and Alana - all drive BMW's and Porsches, hang out at the Polo Lounge and Spago, and spend their trust funds on designer clothing, porno films and, of course, liquor and drugs. None of them, so far as the reader can tell, has any ambitions, aspirations, or interest in the world at large. And their philosophy, if they have any at all, represents a particularly nasty combination of EST and Machiavelli: ''If you want something, you have the right to take it. If you want to do something, you have the right to do it.''

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bret Easton Ellisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Antolín Rato, MarianoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
"This is the game that moves as you play..."
"There's a feeling I get when I look West..."
--Led Zeppelin
Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
For Joe McGinniss
First words
People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles.
Disappear here!
The psychiatrist I see during the four weeks I'm back is young and has a beard and drives a 450 SL and has a house in Malibu (...) Sometimes I'll yell at him and he'll yell back. I tell him that I have this bizarre sexual fantasies and his interest will increase noticeably. I'll start to laugh for no reason and then feel sick.
Next day I stop by Julian's house in Bel Air with the money in a green envelope. He's lying on his bed in a wet bathing suit watching MTV. It's dark in the room, the only light coming from the black and white images on the television.
"You must do something"
"Oh, I don't know."
"What do you do?" she asks.
"Things, I guess". I sit on the matress.
"Like what?"
"I don't know. Things." My voice breaks and for a moment I think about the coyote and I think that I'm going to cry, but it passes and I just want to get my vest and get out of here.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Returning to Los Angeles from his Eastern college for a Christmas vacation in the early 1980s, Clay "reenters a landscape of limitless privilege and absolute moral entropy, where everyone drives Porsches, dines at Spago, and snorts mountains of cocaine ... A raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation."--Back cover.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haunting, scary, find fuck.
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (3.43)
0.5 4
1 65
1.5 8
2 160
2.5 26
3 441
3.5 103
4 470
4.5 32
5 202

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 165,907,078 books! | Top bar: Always visible