Banned Book Club

Banned Book Club: Less than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis

January 05, 2021 Banned Book Club Season 1 Episode 2
Banned Book Club
Banned Book Club: Less than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we discuss 'less than zero' the debut novel from one of americas most controversial authors, Brett Easton Ellis. Join us as we stare into the abyss of the 80s L.A. party scene.

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People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles.

Welcome to Banned book club. We are your hosts, Nikolas, Nick,

and Rafaella.

That quote Rafi started us off with was from less than zero by Bret Easton Ellis. This is a very depressing book. I think it has a lot in common with Catcher in the Rye has one of the most boring, saddest, but maybe also most interesting protagonists of any book I've ever read. And we're gonna dive into it. We're gonna dive right in.

Oh, Lord, here comes. Well, what I can't believe is how he wrote this book when he was 18. And I mean, it wasn't published until he was 21. But I don't think I could write a book.

You mean bee

bee Yeah. Bret Easton Ellis, which a lot of people have will know him from American Psycho. And it was a very famous movie they made out of that with Christian Bale. But this was his first book he ever wrote less than zero. Yeah, in college, in college, and it was much longer, and a lot more detailed. And then his teacher basically made him cut it down. And it's a pretty short book.

And he did cut it down. Yeah, it's, it's few pages.

It's only 40,000 something words.

Yeah. It's not that long. So if anybody's looking for a quick read a day read, this is your novel. And this book is all about clay. That's our protagonist. He's your, I guess, typical teenager in Los Angeles, I guess in the 80s. super rich, that's super rich. Oh, by the way, he's really rich, and he does drugs. And he's always at parties. And he has everything.

I like the way Nikola describes him and the kids he meets at these parties as well. Maybe you can say better than me. Yeah. Well,

he takes place to a lot of parties. And I would say, a lot of Drug infused Parties. Yeah. Drug infused. He's coming from a family that is broken up. His parents are separated, his dad is working for the film industry. And his mom is what just housewife

just the lady that drinks white wine and Yep, is depressed. All they do is ask him what he wants for Christmas. Or if he had fun in his last party, but you get the sense they don't really care about the answer. And his dad talks to him almost like an employee. I love the description of the dad by the way with his a plastic surgery and his super white teeth and being tan. Like he I think he could see like the seam on his dad's cheeks or his neck. Oh, my God surgery and he seemed like, I don't know the description was just like this kind of like a monster. But funny.

Yeah, well, overdone plastic surgery.

Everybody is tan in this book, by the way. And and blonde. Everybody's scary in this

book. Yeah, not scary Looking or anything. It's just scary the way they act and the way they want to show off all the time.

Yeah. I took this book as a piece of satire. But really, it felt like a piece of journalism or a documentary. There's no feeling at all, or no commentary even that you get from the narrator. It's so cold and detached from everything that's going on. That it just is like a series of pictures or watching footage.

Yeah, it's just Clay going through the motions he has no, he has no real goal, other than to find his friend Julian. That's really the one goal he has in this book is just he's looking for his childhood friend, Julian. And he just goes from party to party. He's in a relationship with Blair, his girlfriend and their relationship is just really sad. They never really talk. They just kind of have sex, go to parties. And that's it. There's no there's just nothing there.

He's repeating himself a lot. And as you said, there is a reason behind it.

Yeah, I don't think anything in this book was lazy or accidental, which I know you don't agree. I tend to disagree. But it's alright there just he tends to disagree.

There's just they're just beautiful people with Nothing behind the eyes and just empty.

Yeah, the people that everybody wants to be to be.

And so I think this book could be relevant to today's culture. Of course, it's definitely gotten worse. But these are kids in the 80s. I mean, you know, no one finds it, you know, bad or strange that all these kids have, you know, a drug dealer on speed dial. Whereas, even today, I mean, what, it's not like anything's really changed there.

Yeah, I think the 80s was the perfect setting for this story, because that was the age where the economy really boomed in America. Yeah. With Reagan. Not saying that's good or bad. But yeah, that was when everybody was getting crazy, rich. People were doing cocaine stuff and big office buildings, and everything was just big and loud and excessive, and kind of empty. If you take this book at its word,

so why is it banned?

Well, probably from all the drug infused youngsters doing drugs. There's a lot of sexual content. Definitely. There's violent content. There's some pedophilia, yeah, there's pedophilia. There's even there's rape, sex and violence mixed together. Yeah. And some naughty language. Yeah,

I just don't see any reason not to be banned. Yeah,

well, specially back then I have in my notes that it's on the American Library associations list of one of the most commonly challenged books.

Yeah, that's right on the ALA.

Mm hmm. The LA a la is what they call it, man.

Yeah, I see why it earned that distinction.

But you know, Bret Easton, Ellis himself as kind of a guest band guys kind of canceled, as they say today.

Well, he it's interesting, because he's everything he's put out. Book wise has been really controversial. Like you said, most of all American Psycho. But he's still manages to write movies and have a pretty successful podcast, with guests like Tarantino and Marilyn Manson, and Kanye, and a lot of followers. Yeah. So he's seems to have dodged the whole cancel thing in a way that you don't see many people doing these days? Well,

I mean, a lot of people are cancelled, but they still do stuff. I mean,

it's just right. But he's not well respected. He's clearly not blacklisted. Like a lot of people are in the entertainment industry these days. He

kept going.

Yeah, his books are still coming out. But he, I mean, he was dealing with that even back when he was super young. After American Psycho, he got canned by Simon and Schuster, who picked him up for less than zero, because people were so angry about that book. But he's always advocated against canceled culture, which you don't hear a lot of authors doing. Usually, they're very political people.

A lot of people say that this book is supposed to be his life when he was a teenager.

Yeah, he grew up in Los Angeles, like clay. He had very rich parents. And I don't think he had a great time either. He's talked about in some interviews I've listened to, and he said, he was like clay in a lot of ways. But he found writing. And he said, that kind of saved him from getting sucked into that party scene, and, you know, losing himself to all of that.

And he originally wanted to be a musician, or a band. And that's why this book and all of his books seem to have a big music influence in them. And I guess in less than zero, I mean, less than zero itself comes from an Elvis Costello song. He has an Elvis Costello poster in his room. They're always watching MTV. Listening to music. Yeah,

he didn't fail to mention it, like 20,000 times in the book about the music and the actual artist.

Yeah. Which again, I don't think was on accident. I think he was just trying to say, you know, this is all anybody has in their head to talk about kind of like today, if you bump into just a normal young person where they're going to talk about, or maybe it's the big people on YouTube now, and not as well, I guess, musicians to like, you'll hear about cardi, not not as much, though.

Not as much.

I don't know. We don't really have many friends. So yeah, that's why we don't have a sample group to test and it's in his other books too. Like, one of my favorite things about American Psycho is when Patrick Bateman is talking about all the music he loves, and he always brings people over and makes it makes them listen to it. Mm hmm. And he talks about how he loves Genesis, but only the Phil Collins Genesis

says so much about a person.

Yeah, and he thought Peter Gabriel was too complicated. clay is a lot like that too. You get the sense, like, just everybody loves the pop music from the 80s. And so does he. And that was the start of MTV and that sort of era. I don't think they had MTV in the 70s. Did they?

No, no,  it came out in like 1984 and 1985, which was also when this book came out. Yeah. Or early 80s. I don't know. One thing I think we all we can all agree on is the movie adaptation was completely changed. I've never seen a movie made from a book that's just a completely different story, not even inspired by just just completely different.

It was completely disrespectful. It doesn't matter what I think about the book, I think it was totally disrespectful to act this way for the movie. It had nothing to do with the book. It had nothing to do with the characters. He changed the ending he changed the story, everything,

and what I guess is kind of cool is the movie came out not that long after the book came out. And it had Robert Downey Jr. in it. And this was really one of his big breakout roles. So it was it was

his it did something good for it did

something good for Robert Downey Jr. But I don't know, it just it. It was terrible. It wasn't even a good movie. And, you know, if I had never read the book, but I don't know, I've never seen something so different. But we were reading how they showed it to a group of teenagers and people that were the same age as the novels characters. And they showed it to them. And they thought everything was just they didn't like it right? It was just too violent, because they originally already had. Well, the original

guy that was adapting the script was this big, award winning script writer that had written this hardcore stuff. And Bret Easton Ellis and everybody around the book was excited about him adapting it. And then the studio I think it was Fox looked at it, and they thought it was too brutal or didn't have an audience. It didn't appeal to anyone. I guess they kind of felt like Nikola did about it. And yeah,

I can see why they they thought that, but I don't see the reason to change. If you don't like it, then don't make the movie. I don't see why you would change something and you put the same name as the book.

Probably for money. Yeah.

Yeah. I mean, it makes sense that they would make a movie that's going to make money because if they had kept the story the same, it's going to be one of those movies where people just walk out and say, Oh, my God, this is just too disturbing. No one acts like this isn't real?

Yeah, it was it was the worst adaptation of a book into a movie that I've ever seen. Yeah. Well, I mean, if if you know anything, or if you read the book, you know, Clay, what kind of guy he is. He's the least caring person in the world. He doesn't have any values. He doesn't care about his friend Julian or his girlfriend or his family. And he's passive all the way through the book to the point where he's watching Julian getting defiled and assaulted, and he doesn't do anything about it. He kind of enjoys it almost. And in the movie, they make him into this.

He's so emotional. He talks so much

He talks to everyone.

Yeah, yeah. He's


he's super concerned with everybody and their feelings. And

he's like crying all the time. I mean, it was just weird. It was actually more shocking to watch that compared to reading the book. And the stuff that goes on there.

Yeah, this, this book was the anti cute little coming of age story that you would expect, you know, with a protagonist that's home from college on Christmas break. And then the movie just reversed it back into being that so it kind of proved the point of the book. To me.

Yeah, trying to ignore what's really happening.

Yeah. And I don't want to talk about this too much, because it's a different book. But he did write a sequel to less than zero

Imperial bedrooms.

Yeah, about 25 years later or something. I don't know. And after reading that, I think the only reason he did it was to slam the movie into make fun of that, and the people that produced it, and they do that. Yeah, because spoiler alert, he he shows that clay as he got older did not become like the field good, fun, nice clay in the movie, but he actually ended up becoming a murderer and a rapist. I suspect that to put it lightly. Yeah. And he were looking at the cover here. It's nobody likes the cover of this book. It's just clay. I

guess. just a silhouette of Clay

black. And for Imperial bedrooms. It's the same silhouette. He's just a little devil horns on he has devil horns and

oh, that's the one? yeah, I think I saw this cover. Oh, you have it. Yeah, probably

I read this book The day after I finished lesson zero because I love that so much. And it did disappoint me. But, uh, sorry birdie smells if you're listening. I'm hard. Yeah, I I think he did not like the movie so much either.

Yeah, well, I don't know if I'll read the sequel just because you've kind of spoiled it for me. It's

not worth reading.

I want to read them. The rules of attraction. That's, I think it's good. I was good. Bret Easton Ellis.

And the movie was good, too.

I would see the movie just because Dawson is in it.

Yeah. How am I Dawson? James Vander beacon and had that other handsome guy with brown hair.

Oh, my God. I know you're talking about?

Yeah. And actually, Clay makes a brief appearance in that book, too. at the college. He's a college kid. Yeah. And the main, one of the main characters is also for Patrick Bateman from American psychos brother

in summer hold or whatever. That's Yeah. Well, I think everything after this point is gonna be full of spoilers. So get ready.

Um, let me just start by saying that the book didn't satisfy me at all. It started nicely. And I respected all the details that the author gave us maybe too many details, which he never followed through with it. He never opened up for any of his characters. He didn't expect any of his characters. I was expecting for clay to be actually the protagonist, which he wasn't really. And all this stuff really bothered me. Let's let's have from there. Do you disagree with what I'm saying?

Yeah, I think the book did open up a lot about clay and his friends. But there's just nothing there. And that's the point of them. They're less than zero. They have nothing going on, other than the things they actually do and say, and they do it over and over again, and kind of a loop. And they're just empty people. And I think it goes from that to, at least with clay, when he's continuing to be passive in the face of worse and worse stuff happening. Like at first it's just, Oh, I remember that anorexic girl was like doing drugs.

Yeah, she was doing she was like shooting up heroin or something at the dinner table.

Yeah. And nobody really said any care what he reacted like the same way when you see him going to get a hamburger or watching a movie. Then it escalated a little more. I guess,

seeing Julian

yeah ceiling seeing Julian becoming a prostitute. He didn't react to that. He saw the snuff film that had kids in it, getting tortured and raped. He didn't react to that at all.

I was expecting him to do something about it. I was expecting him not to be the superhero, and to have a beautiful ending, and he's gonna get off drugs or something. But I wanted him to follow up with something. He didn't, he didn't follow up with anything. He everything started by saying something about Clay about a fact about what he saw about how someone acted on him or something. And, and he never followed up. He was just nothing.

I think that's how a lot of people are, it's like, you say, Oh, my gosh, I would never stand for something like this. If I saw this, I would say something. And then people when they are in that situation, they just kind of sit there and watch and they don't do anything. It's like people with their phone, filming things in the street. And it's like, so horrible, but just filming it.

I'm sorry. But when there is a rape scene happening in front of your eyes with a little girl, I mean, you wouldn't do anything.

If you're, if you're a normal person, the people in these in this book are messed up from having everything all the time for their whole life. And by the time they're in their 20s or late teens. They're totally broken and not really human anymore.

I think this book, I think one of the main reasons why you didn't like it was it wasn't it wasn't really a story. It wasn't your typical story with you know, the

No, there wasn't gonna go from point A to point B.

Yeah, it was it was literally just you were it clay was a camera. And he was just going from scene to scene showing you what, what these kids are like. And I think probably it was also pretty controversial because probably a lot of people were like, No, that's not what people do. There's no way or youth, you know, act that way. But that is what's happening.

That's why I think I think of this book more as journalism, almost then a novel with a protagonist who has a problem and then he figures it out and then everything's great at the end. It's just like, what are you doing? If you're doing good journalism, you go You document a problem usually that's going on and you expose stuff about it, there's usually not a happy ending, you know, it's like, this pizza company is corrupt. And I followed them and found their bills and their statements and testimonies from other people and they're bad. And that the only point is just to show you, it's just to point you to a problem that's going on. And the problem, I think, what the book is suggesting is not just these rich kids, but maybe American culture in general, especially back then, but I mean, like you said, I think it's gotten worse, even all the things that this book was pointing at.

But is this the thing that you were looking for, for a book? I never, I never read anything like this before. So it caught me by surprise. 

think it was one of those books where I was like, wow, someone said it like somebody actually brought it up. It's something that you don't really talk about. I mean, how many times have you gone somewhere, and everybody dresses the same. everybody cares about their looks? Everybody's on Instagram, looking at the next best thing. Everybody sits around on their phone, and they don't even talk to each other. They just sit on their phone and go home. I mean,

they do open their mouths. It's totally

Yeah, it's just No, it's nonsense. I mean, half the book, people say to clay, You look pale, you should get a spray tan. Here's a spray tan number I replaced I went to

Yeah, or I went to this concert and did drugs. And it was awesome. Haha. Like, yeah, it's just nobody knows, Daddy, nobody goes deeper with anything. They're just bumping into each other. So did you? Did you need bread as an analogy that even? You don't know?

I think we will. Obviously, we grew up in a different culture. Yeah, I was gonna

say for me and Rafi, we both went to a very privileged, rich kid private school. So that was the first thing that was compelling to me about this book was just, he totally captured the type of people that you meet at those schools or the parties that you go to for that. And then he went from there. And I realized when I was around those people and going to those parties, and being one of those people kind of myself, there was always something that felt kind of gross and wrong. And maybe a little bit bad to me. But I never knew why. And one of the reason I loved this book was because it put its finger right on that feeling. And it made me realize, yeah, there was something really wrong going on there. And it's not right. I think

it just this book kind of pushes you and maybe somebody that, you know, doesn't realize they act this way. And they read this book. I mean, I don't know what they would be doing picking up a book in the first place. But you know, just kind of saying, you know, you're doing this, don't you see anything wrong? Like, Aren't you embarrassed of the way you're acting? That you have a friend and you don't really know them? Or you don't talk to them?

Yeah. And I think it also shows you not only is it sad to be that way, like you're missing out on your whole life, but if you do it consistently, you you'll probably end up like clay, where you're you go from passive to actually kind of evil. But I think the most important part of the book is at the end, where he's followed Julian, and he's finding out what he actually does for his job. And he sees him working as a prostitute. And Julian clearly doesn't like it. And it's kind of like torture for him. And clay just sits back in an armchair and watches him basically getting raped by these guys. And that's when I asked myself like, okay, I don't think he's just watching anymore. Maybe. I think he's kind of almost enjoying it. So I think he goes from just a boring empty guy to an actual sadist. And that's the lesson of this book is don't add up like clay.

Yeah, because even clay, you know, yeah, he does drugs and stuff. But you notice he never actually, I guess he never engages in the stuff that the friends are doing. Like he never gives him anything. Well, he's not doing heroin. He's not raping people. But the fact that he just sits there and watches he's so desensitized, that he's almost participating in that by not saying anything, not doing anything. Do

you see that You both are trying to figure it out. Because Brett Easton ellis never gave you enough information for him.

That's what it meant to me. I don't know if I'm interpret I know, I don't know. Maybe

I'm completely wrong. That's

what I'm saying. There's some books, I guess they spoon feed you what the author wanted to, right, you know, but this book, you don't know what he was going for. And I You said you respect his writing. And you think is really an amazing book and his writing is wonderful. Do you think really that It is? I mean,

I do because there's no. First of all, I think it's a mark of a good author, that you're feeling emotion while you're reading the book. But the narrator is also kind of hands off about things. He's not spoon feeding you, or you don't get the feeling like the author is telling you, Hey, this is the part where you're supposed to feel this or this or that. He doesn't even get close to any of that in the book. It all happened very naturally for me. And where was I going with this thought?

I felt dark from the beginning, and it got darker. And it stayed there. Yeah, there wasn't any fluctuation or anything. And that's what bothers me. I just thought that he just went for it. He was young. And he just wrote something, which is so different than real writing.

Well, I'm curious what the first version was like, because it was full of emotion, it did have a ton of details. I mean, it was much longer.

And third person too. And

he was in third person, and he switched it to first person,

I would enjoy that probably more. I just wanted more, I wanted more.

Well, I've read three of his books. Now. I read less than zero Imperial bedrooms and rules of attraction rules of attraction. And the common thing in all these books is I think he's writing about the death of something. Like the death of something in America, for rules of attraction, it was more obvious, like, it's the death of romance and how these people in college are trying to love each other, but they can't. Because they're so messed up. And in this book, I think it's about the death of something to I don't know, if you want to call it like America, or a kind of death that you die if you're if you live this yuppie consumer life, they're

dead inside. Yeah, it's just I know, I've seen people like this. I've met people like this, I've hung out with people like this. And it really shocks me. You know, I look at them. And they really are dead behind their eyes. It's it's like they have nothing else to talk about. They have no values. They have no goal in life. They're just there. They just exist. Yeah, they

love themselves. And then they and yeah,

they're so into themselves that they don't even know how to have a normal conversation with anybody. And

can I say it just really surprises me how much you got out of this book. And I'm just sitting here looking at you talking with all this passion about this book. And I don't understand where you got it from.

I think the problem with how we grew up and the people we were maybe because we were around people like this. I don't know. have you encountered anybody like this in Greece?

Not at that level? No, of course not. But yeah, I don't know. Maybe, maybe it is. Maybe it is that or maybe it's just the genre of the specific book that I don't enjoy. This is the first book that I've read from him. Maybe I change my mind with something else. But I really, I didn't I didn't get all this information from it. I really thought it was just a flat, like, like you said, it's like you're reading a newspaper or something. It was flat. There was nothing there. He just reported something from him from his life. And he left it there. He didn't give you anything more or less. This is it. It's like, he took a picture in one moment of his life, and he put in a book. Well, that's it.

Here's how I take the book, you know, you you idolize people that have everything. You want to be that rich person, you want to make the money, you want to have the Tesla. I mean, you ask kids now, you know, teenagers or even young kids like 10 year olds, and you say, you know, who do you aspire to be one day? Or like, who do you look up to? And they say, David dobrik you know, back then, I mean, it hasn't really changed literally got worse, but that's what people want to be is like they they fantasize and idolize those YouTubers. They have everything. People on TV, people on TV, you know, the Kardashians? Beautiful, beautiful people perfect. Like being perfect getting plastic surgery one day. I mean, you ask girls, like, you know, what are they going to spend their first paycheck on when they get rich and famous and it's to, you know, fix their appearance. And I think it just shows you this book just kind of shows you that's that's wrong. You shouldn't that's not who you should be looking up to. Because look how broken and sad these people really are.

So which people do you think helps the most, it helps people that they're gonna read this book. It helps people with this problem. Trying to be the best. Like a famous Oh, it

helped me because, you know, I feel like when I was younger, and even now you You know, you think about, you know, one day I want to make money or I want to, I want to be like those people like, I want to be able to live comfortably and all that stuff and never have to work. But at the same time, it's like, is this what I'm going to become? Because I'll have nothing left. Or I feel like money, anything. Money doesn't make you clay?

No, no, but having everything given to you from when you're a kid. And not having any values not having to work for anything, and not having to care about anything will mess you up as a person.

Now we could, yeah, it could mess you up, you know, getting into drugs or not being able to connect with people, and then it could get as bad as you know, the guy at the end trend.

Yeah, you know, or you end up like clay in the sequel. Yeah, but yeah, everybody in this book is clearly even the ones that aren't as I think affected. Deep down by all this like as clay, like his girlfriend. I kind of got the sense that you know, she was sad, too. But she handled things a little better than him. Maybe way better. Yeah. And actually careful here. And actually,

I got nothing in the end one. Yeah.

Or Julian, who to me was the most human person in the book, you still see that? They're all trying to fill fill a hole. They're constantly stuffing their holes literally and figuratively, with drugs and sex and drinking. Well,

there's a there's a quote here, I can piggyback off. And at one point, Clay says, I don't want to care if I care about things. It'll just be worse. It'll just be another thing to worry about. It's less painful if I don't care. I think

that was the only candid thought you heard from him throughout the whole book, except maybe when he talks about his grandma. But he doesn't even say like, I felt sorry for her anything. Yeah, that was a sweet moment. I

thought he's gonna take it somewhere. And once again, guess what? Nothing.

That worked really well for me because they reminded me You know, you're going with clay this whole time. And he's just a dead robot. And that kind of reminded me he was a kid.

He's just He's a fighter and for him

there was there was i guess forgot totally stamped out. This book reminded me a lot of madmen actually, cuz the whole point of madmen from my dumb brains analysis was, you know, Don Draper's an ad guy. And the whole series was about, obviously, advertising. And people actually, what make what made America successful is people buying into this idea of, yeah, I can just smoke a cigarette, or buy a new car, or buy this or that, and actually feel happy and not have to think about anything else. And that's what pumped all these companies up so much and made America so rich was a whole culture of people living their lives that way, just not actually thinking about things just buying, filling themselves, smoking, drinking, whatever. And I think it's that's the same sort of underlying idea here in Bret Easton Ellis's work, because Don two ends up totally sad, and alone and unhappy. I think they're both slams against capitalism. consumerism. Bret Easton Ellis always likes to say yuppie consumerism, whenever I listen to him talk. So I think it's valuable for anybody who has been affected by that. Which is probably mainly Americans. I mean, I don't think people in Ethiopia have to worry about, you know, I went and spent $6,000 on, um, hairs, or shoes or hair when or at the casino club or whatever. Polo lounge?

No, I just I feel I feel sorry for the characters. I feel sorry for kids today. I mean, I just I wonder what life will be like in 10 years when, you know, we eventually have kids, and what is that going to be? Like? Just how empty everybody is? They just spend so much you see babies on cell phones, and

people spending money on Instagram to have a higher friend count?

Yeah, like I said, Yes. And

so I think there's a lot of things if you want to talk about that the validate the book, like, I remember one of the reasons we all like 1984 so much is because there are so many things that happened afterwards, for decades afterwards, that proved it right, or that it predicted. And I think to a lesser extent, that's true with this book.

But he didn't invent anything here.  just stated the fact that that's it.

Yeah, he stated the fact like, Americans are super selfish and gross and they love themselves and they're miserable. And go on YouTube, if you don't think that that that's been proven wrong.

 I totally agree with you. And I agree the book was beautiful and the story, it could be something, if there was a story clearly bee has extraordinary mind to write for something like this clearly, people respect him a lot. I'm just here the only one that I don't get it. I don't know if I'm dumb or I'm just, not getting it. So that's why I'm asking you. I'm trying to descend. Maybe it makes me think differently about the book. So I agree with all of this. Yes. I love the feeling that brett Easton Ellis gave me in the beginning. I just wanted a little bit more up in ups and downs. I wanted a little bit more interesting, which, I guess on this part, we agree to disagree.

Well, on one hand, I do totally get what you're saying. Because I had that exact same feeling you're describing when I had to read Catcher in the Rye in high school, which I don't know if you agree with this or not Rafi, but I think you could compare it in a lot of ways to this book. You know, Holden Caulfield? Yeah, because he doesn't care about anything. And the phoneys, but my point is, I get what you're saying, because I was excited about reading that book. I was like, the South Park episode they did about it. When the teacher said, you get to read a banned book, and he passed out Catcher in the Rye. And he's like, it's got cursing and sex and violence. And everybody's like, Oh, yeah. And they read it in one night. And they were like, what the F was that? Nothing happened.

I haven't read it. But I'm looking forward to that.

Yeah, I hated that book. It was just a guy talking about how lame he was. Clay to me, although he was a lot of people I've read compared to Holden Caulfield, he was a way more interesting, and way more evil character too. But I my point is I know what it's like to read a book that everybody says is great. And you just don't get it. And you hate it. But I did not feel that way about this.

I think it's just, you know, when you're reading this, and you know, you have values, you're like, Oh my gosh, like, I would never do that. Or, you know, I would totally stand up for my friend or I would point out if something wrong, like I'd call the police if I saw a dead body in the alley, and everybody just staring at it, you know? And I guess it makes you stop and say would i would i really do something like I hope I'll do something. I've never been in that situation. But I really hope I'll do something and I won't just take a picture of it. I don't know. It just felt like black mirror. The the show to me. just totally desensitized, not caring. And I don't know, I feel like this book just lets people know, you know, look up from your phone or, you know, don't don't watch TV all day and look up to those people. You know, look up to you know, people that really stand for something or connect with your friends. Ask them how they're doing. Instead of just, Oh, you don't look good today. You need a tan. Because we know there's people like that out there. Don't be like those people.

Well thank you so much for listening. Make sure you follow us and we will catch you in the next one.

And Remember, if a book is banned, it's worth reading.