So it took me all the way until April, but the first rejected book of the 2010 Book Challenge has arrived. It was Bret Easton Ellis' Less Than Zero and that thud you heard was me chucking the book across the room. I should have known better - really, I should have.
Less Than Zero is kind of a companion book to Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney, a book that I love and would rank in my top five favorite books. It follows the adventures of Clay, an 18 year old college student back in L.A. for Christmas break as he navigates the party/sex/drug scene of mid 80s Los Angeles. He and most of his friends are beyond wealthy and are consequently neck deep in that scene. I tried reading Less Than Zero when I was in college, and based on its association with Bright Lights, Big City, I figured I would love it. Turns out I didn't get past the first 20 pages. I remember not really liking it, but then I was reading something about it on Goodreads or some place and thought I'd give it a go. Maybe I just got distracted the last time I tried to read it and it was better than I was giving it credit for. And really, it seems like an "important book" for our generation so I felt a little bit obligated to try it again.
It took me 50 pages this time to give up on it, but give up I did. I just got to the point where I couldn't stand to read about these whiny, unhappy people one more second. Their lives were bad, yes - Clay and most of his friends are drug addicts and morally depraved by most everyone's definition. I don't mind a book that is "unhappy" so-to-speak, but I just found nothing in the book worth pressing onward. The plot was barely there and there were so many characters that all seemed the same that I really had trouble telling them apart. Ultimately, I decided that life is painful enough without voluntarily subjecting yourself to it and cast the book aside. After reading the plot synopsis on Wikipedia, I'm glad I threw in the towel when I did. Jesus God.
I guess one emo book about a young adult trying to survive in a large city is all I have room for in my life.