"Let's Fuck Christmas Together" (I will never look at billboards the same way)
What I love the most about Bret Easton Ellis is that he's brilliant. Alright, well, that's kind of an understatement. Let's just start somewhere we can connect, my dear, lovely, reader.
Bret Easton Ellis wrote this novel when he was nineteen (or twenty or twenty-one it depends on who you ask), and it's brilliant.
The thing about Ellis' novels, for those of you who haven't read them, and even for those of you who have, you'll know/notice that he writes the novel in almost two parts. The first part is pretty easy to swallow, and maybe halfway through it, you feel completely braindead because everything is so shallow. The second half, (in this case, last third) are fucked up, completely immoral, grotesque, and the trick here is that it's said in almost the same matter-of-fact tone by the author, and yet the character can't seem to stomach it.
Less than Zero is about the young Clay who returns from University for the holidays after having been gone for four months. Upon his return he slips back into the L.A scene with his friends which constitutes pretty much of drinking, getting stoned, and fucking the occasional human being.
Clay himself was a pretty cool main character. My favorite thing about him was that it seemed like he had no outward reaction to the things going on around him. Someone would say something to him, and there would be little/no narrative analysis of it. Which I absolutely adored. It cut down on the bullshit and got straight to the point. It also showed that aspect of his personality, even though Clay is, essentially surrounded by bullshit.
Julian was by far my favorite character. I felt that his importance was pronounced through the entirety of the novel even though he was rarely physically present. As I was reading the book, I couldn't help but constantly wonder about Julian even though he had only been mentioned in passing, or he had only appeared in passing.
And the end of the book wrapped everything up neatly. On a symbolic level and on a plot level. Though you're still left wondering about Julian, (well I was anyway).
My favorite side character was Dmitri, and that scene where he stuck his hand out of the window was brilliant. He seemed incredibly out of it all the time, almost like Clay in the sense that he had no comment to make on the lifestyle around him, and yet he wanted to express it someway and couldn't.
Of course, you truly understand the gravity of the book by the end. The ending is truly worth reading the book for. You can almost literally HEAR the book rising to a climax. And the scenes described in the end have stuck with me for days. I woke up for two weeks picturing a single chapter in the book in vivid detail.
The movie is not even based on the book. It's just the name of the characters and the idea of drug addiction. Clay was not at all how I pictured him, nor was Blair. Though I though Julian was PERFECT (exactly how I pictured him, and not because I love Robert Downey Jr.) and they left out, what I felt, was one of the most important characters, (FINN, and all of Blair's friends). And the WORST part of the movie, was that they gave away what I felt was the most important part of the book, so FLIPPANTLY. Your imagination can come up with something much better, or better yet, just read what Ellis wrote and you'll understand my point.
Overall, Less Than Zero is amazing. Worth the read, worth the recommendation. Bret Easton Ellis himself writes a certain style, (which seems to be recurring, we'll see how it goes in AMERICAN PSYCHO and RULES OF ATTRACTION), but he writes the style well, and to the point. He incorporates symbolism, and a really deep feel for the characters in what I felt was a very tight, concise and to the point way.
READ THE BOOK.
"They found her body, naked, breasts cut off with candles where they were."