Reading Less Than Zero was just like when I'm at the gym and the people in the office downstairs start dicking about with the television reception and all of a sudden we get The Jeremy Kyle Show instead of MTV. It's horrible, I don't want to see it and yet I just can't seem to look away.
Less Than Zero is the story of Clay, a young man who is back in LA from university for the Christmas holidays. He and his friends are all ridiculously wealthy and instead of actually doing anything with their lives, they all seem to be engaged in this massive game of See Who Can Be The Most Abhorrent Human Being. Spoiler alert - no one wins.
And yet, for all that the characters in this book are vile and do awful things, they don't seem to get off on it. They have no emotions. They're not even enjoying the depraved things they're doing. And I get that it's supposed to be because of the environment they're in and everything, but really? Not one emotion in an entire city of dreadful people? It was very bizarre, like watching the Cybermen in Doctor Who.
The short little vignettes that Less Than Zero is carved up into are kind of like Clay's coke-addled brain: all choppy and flickering. The writing is good, and I'm told it's incredibly evocative of early 80's LA. I wouldn't have a clue, but if it's true and I ever invent a time machine, that's sure as hell one place I won't be visiting.