Jens Lekman sent me an email once. According to him, if you want to impress a girl by making a mixtape featuring one of his songs, go for anything but Psychogirl. Really need to listen to When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog soon.
Literally finished reading this about 5 minutes ago. I'd never read anything by him before and if I'm being honest, I only picked it up because my local library didn't have anything by Saul Bellow or Vladimir Nabokov. But hey, this is rural Norfolk, so what do I expect?
So anyway, Less Than Zero. Basically it's 195 pages of a spoilt brat moaning about how boring the lifestyle he and his friends lead is. This 'lifestyle' revolves round doing huge amounts of coke, going to clubs (usually hoping to see the hardcore band X, but failing) and driving around LA. All the of the boys in the book, the narrator Clay included, are 'blond and tan' and impossibly handsome. So why is Clay such a self pitying tosser? The book never reveals this, but to BEE's credit, I still enjoyed it a great deal. The blurb on my copy describes the book as 'a shocking come-of-age novel about the casual nihilism that comes with youth and money'. I'd argue with this. Very little in the book is shocking. The teenagers have fake IDs and do drugs. Not a huge deal. The scene which I assume is intended to shock the reader involves some of the male model types watching a snuff movie involving a 'huge hard on', an underage girl and testicles being removed. I felt slightly uncomfortable reading it, but not shocked or sickened.
The narration is pretty wonderful, written in the present ('I'm sitting in Spago with Trent and Blair and Trent says he's positive that there were people doing cocaine at the bar and I tell him why don't you go join then and he tells me to shut up' etc) and despite the monotony of Clay and his friends (including male model Trent, drug dealer Rip, gigolo Julian and on/off girlfriend Blair) life, the book never bored me. Complete teenagers book though; if I read it again in ten years I think I'd just want to murder every single fucker mentioned.