Set in affluent Los Angeles, it is a raw and powerful portrayal of a generation of young people who have experienced sex, drugs and disaffection at too early an age. Clay, coming home to Los Angeles for Christmas vacation following his first semester at an Eastern college, tries to make sense of the life he left behind. Clay’s holiday turns into a dizzying spiral of desperation that takes him through the rich suburban homes, the relentless parties, the seedy bars, and glitzy rock clubs. A shocking coming-of-age novel about the casual nihilism that comes with youth and money, Less Than Zero marked the stunning debut of the first voice of a new generation, Bret Easton Ellis. It was also adapted into a movie in 1987, starring Andrew McCarthy, Robert Downey Jr., Jami Gertz, and James Spader.
Bret Easton Ellis’ debut, Less Than Zero, is one of the signal novels of the last thirty years, and he now follows those infamous teenagers into an even more desperate middle age. Clay, a successful screenwriter, has returned from New York to Los Angelos to help cast his new movie, and he’s soon drifting through a long-familiar circle. Clay’s demons emerge once he meets a gorgeous young actress determined to win a role in his movie. When his life careens completely out of control, he has no choice but to plumb the darkest recesses of his character and come to terms with his proclivity for betrayal.
Who are the people you’ll never forget? For Mary Murphy, there are five: A skirt-chasing, car-racing uncle with whiskey breath and a three-day beard. A “walking joke, a sitting duck, a fish in a barrel” named Elwood LePoer. A dirt-poor college roommate who conceals an unbearable secret. A failed piano prodigy lost in middle age. A beautiful mother haunted by her once-great aspirations. In five quirky elegies to lost friends and relatives, Mary tells us the story of her life. With a rhythmically unique voice and pitch-perfect wry humor, Christie Hodgen spins an unconventional and moving story about identity, belonging, and family.