Less Than Zero Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Less Than Zero

    The narrator, Clay, comes home to Los Angeles for Christmas after having wasted his first year at a college in New Hampshire in a lifestyle of drugs and sex that is similar if not the same as the life he left behind in Los Angeles, so in the opening section of the novel we are presented with a futilistic outlook in which an inescapable moral decay has spread from coast to coast.
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The novel is a journal of Clay's wanderings in the city and in the loop of wealthy teens who are bored with life. Clay feels a chill in the hot desert wind and counts down the days until he will be through with his Christmas vacation and leave his friends behind again. Clay's friends elite but interchangeable in that nobody stands out as a unique character. We are to glean from the novel that their lack of personality is a product of their lifestyle of excess. The party scene of these friends is appealing at first glance with the swarms of beautiful people eager to please and infinite ways to have a good time, but the party scene gets old after a while and boring to read. The novel is most upsetting with the depiction of eighteen year olds who can have anything that they desire but use this power in sole purpose of drug consumption and sex.

    Los Angeles is a scary city full of violence, which Clay witnesses firsthand with his friends. The city seems to numb their moral senses. The culture is saturated with pop songs, video games and pornography that is empty in content but sought after by teens driven crazy with it all. Los Angeles is a moral, mental and physical wasteland blasted by relentless, hot desert wind and sun.

The review of this Book prepared by Winston Lamb

Clay, the narrator, comes home from college for his Christmas vacation. He goes to parties, hangs out in bars, hangs out in malls, drives around in his car, sleeps with his girlfriend, and ultimately realises that the Los Angeles he knows is an empty and vacuous place, populated by young people stripped of their moral consciousness.
The review of this Book prepared by Mark Storey

Chapter Analysis of Less Than Zero

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Age group of kid(s) in story:    -   college Wild kid(s)?    -   druggie culture (& crime) Loving/sexing?    -   girl chasing

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student    -   wealthy Age:    -   a teen    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American) Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () United States    -   Yes Desert?    -   Yes Desert:    -   funny heat-delusions City?    -   Yes City:    -   Los Angeles Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   orgies    -   impregnation/reproduction    -   lesbians!    -   actual description of hetero sex    -   Boob talk!    -   Vagia talk!    -   Weiner talk!    -   two guys doing it    -   rape/molest Lot of foul language?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Bret Easton Ellis Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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