View Poll Results: Less Than Zero : Final Verdict

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  • * Waste of time. Wouldn't recommend.

    0 0%
  • ** Didn't like it much.

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  • *** Average

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  • **** It is a good book.

    5 100.00%
  • ***** Liked it very much. Would strongly recommend it.

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Thread: March '14 / Postmodernism Reading: Less Than Zero by B.E. Ellis

  1. #16
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse View Post
    I thought the style worked well in both Less Than and American Psycho, but but if he uses this style consistently I can see how by the third or fourth book it might feel a bit diminished.

    So far I have only read the two books by him.
    Yes. It does work well in this one.

    There was a good point about the isolation of the characters - not meeting and being unable to find each other.

    Another thing I've just thought of is the lack of any comment on the characters interiority by the narrator remindex me of Blood Meridian. Is Ellis taking the angle tbat the thoughts and feelings of others are essentially unkbowable? Is this a post modern theme?

  2. #17
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulclem View Post
    Yes. It does work well in this one.

    There was a good point about the isolation of the characters - not meeting and being unable to find each other.

    Another thing I've just thought of is the lack of any comment on the characters interiority by the narrator remindex me of Blood Meridian. Is Ellis taking the angle tbat the thoughts and feelings of others are essentially unkbowable? Is this a post modern theme?
    That makes me think of the conversation Clay has with Blair near the end when she asks him if he ever loved her and at first he seems incapable of answering the question, and even after he finally denies that he ever really cared about her he still asks her to stay.

    If Clay is incapable of understanding his own feelings, and doesn't even know how to respond when he is asked what he thinks or feels about something, than how can he begin to have any understanding of what anyone else is thinking or feeling?

    He is completely disconnected from all those around him.

    Clay hasn't even begun to truly know himself yet so he has no way of understanding or relating to anyone else.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  3. #18
    Registered User Iain Sparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulclem View Post
    I agree with the comments above, and Ellis' characterisation is consistent with his telling of the story - the people are described in terms of their tans, t shirts or hairstyles. I wonder if this way of characterising people is only sustainable in a short novel? I think it achieves its purpose in conveying the isolation of everyone - or their non-merging - but could it sustain a longer novel?

    Is this an aspect of Easton's style in other books or is it a technique he just employs in this one?

    I've read Lunar Park by Ellis, and his character sketches have far more depth than Less Than Zero... but interestingly enough, the story is rather flat and tedious. In fact it's just plain self-absorbed crap.

  4. #19
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Muse View Post
    That makes me think of the conversation Clay has with Blair near the end when she asks him if he ever loved her and at first he seems incapable of answering the question, and even after he finally denies that he ever really cared about her he still asks her to stay.

    If Clay is incapable of understanding his own feelings, and doesn't even know how to respond when he is asked what he thinks or feels about something, than how can he begin to have any understanding of what anyone else is thinking or feeling?

    He is completely disconnected from all those around him.

    Clay hasn't even begun to truly know himself yet so he has no way of understanding or relating to anyone else.
    Yes. At the end the narrative voice - Clay's - seems to indicate that he has come to some kind of understanding, but it all seems to be about him leaving that environment.

  5. #20
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iain Sparrow View Post
    I've read Lunar Park by Ellis, and his character sketches have far more depth than Less Than Zero... but interestingly enough, the story is rather flat and tedious. In fact it's just plain self-absorbed crap.
    American Psycho might be a better read. The flatness in Less Than Zero is in the characters.

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