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.
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.
This report 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.
This report prepared by Mark Storey