Thursday, February 9, 2012

Less than Zero

The website I have found makes reference to comparisons between the film version of the novel and the film 'The social Network'. Although the article was in reference to the film I thought it provided some good ideas surrounding the concept of defining a generation. Less than Zero is often hailed to be a reflection upon the decade and the MTV generation, however the author of the page denounces this and argues that for most people the ’80s included corporate buyouts, layoffs and recession. Less Than Zero did not represent the excess of the ’80s, as much as the idea of excess in the ’80s. Excess that, for the vast majority of people, would always remain a fantasy.'

When reading the novel I felt that the name dropping of bands and brands gave it a distinct tone which not only emphasized the very precise time setting of the novel but the way that certain things became more of a commodity- reflected in the line 'I wonder if he's for sale' in reference to Julian. The novel makes heavy references to brands and emphasised the tight grip of consumerist culture that continues to the present. The novel can't be said to represent the generation of the time entirely, but I think it does represent what people mythologised it to be and the lifestyle people aspired to have at the time. In a deeper sense it reflects the generation, the 'disappear here' billboard being significant of the way that the generation escaped often broken, divorced family lives with absent parental figures through commodities, casual sex and drugs. I think that phrase reflects that the generation felt unnoticed, showered with wealth from their baby-boom high flying parents. The book reflects a generation, the drug culture, LA at the time etc but doesn't define it; instead it reflects a very niche, very contrived version of reality.

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