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People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles. And so begins the tale of Clay, an eighteen-year-old student returning home to LA for the Christmas vacation. Troublingly, his holiday rapidly becomes a dizzying spiral of desperation, filled with relentless drinking in louche bars and glamorous nightclubs, wild, drug-fuelled parties, and dispassionate sexual encounters in the rich suburban homes of affluent America. A fierce coming-of-age story about the casual nihilism that comes with youth and money in a world where people are truly afraid to merge, Less Than Zero is morally barren, ethically bereft, and tinged with the often violent but always inexorable consequences of such depravity. 'One of the most disturbing novels I've read in a long time. It possesses an unnerving air of documentary reality' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times 'The Catcher in the Rye for the MTV generation' USA Today 'Remarkable. A killer -- sexy, sassy, sad' Village Voice 'Never has Hollywood's version of success looked so frightening in a piece of contemporary literature' Newsday 'Ellis captures the tiresome "kool" and laid-back cadences of this group with deadening precision' Vogue 'An extraordinarily accomplished first novel' New Yorker
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