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Less than Zero Critical Essay

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Critical Overview

Ellis's first novel, Less Than Zero (1985), began as an assignment for a creative writing course. Upon its publication, he was both praised for his ability to capture the voice of a young generation and criticized for the novel's ambivalent sense of morality. The novel was noted for many reference to many elements of popular culture, particularly pop music. According to Peter Freese:

The reviews of Ellis's first novel were extremely mixed. While one group of critics expressed their outraged rejection of the book's juvenile sensationalism, another group celebrated the novel as "a weirdly fascinating book" and greeted it as the authentic literary expression of a new generation.

Nonetheless, Freese contends: "However drastically the critical estimations diverged, two statements were frequently repeated: Less Than Zero was understood as The Catcher in the Rye updated for the eighties, and the slim book was classified as an 'MTV novel.'"

Freese...

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This section contains 516 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Less than Zero Study Guide
Copyrights
Less than Zero from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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