'I realize that all it comes down to is that I'm this eighteen-year-old boy with shaking hands and blond hair and with the beginnings of a tan and semistoned sitting in Chasen's on Doheny and Beverly, waiting for my father to ask me what I want for Christmas.' (Clay)
The presentation of 'youth culture' of the 1980's American, in Bret Easton Ellis' 'Less Than Zero' , that is highlighted in many review works such as the article written by the New York Times, in 1985 provides a insight into the immediate reactions to Ellis' presentation of west coast junior elites and their pursuit and infusing of sex, drugs, music and other consumerism. establishing a view that 'youth culture' is in a state of moral and social decadence,
Perception of 1980's lifestyle and culture, especially in elitist settings i.e. Bel Air, Beverley Hills, Malibu, (new money America, in California), is not a clear representation of the lifestyle of all 80's youth culture. However, the patterns of social behavior of the protagonist and other characters (including, adults, peers and younger teenagers) that becomes apparent in the novel, present a sub-culture within that of the YUPPIE. This subculture of highly funded consumer capitalists, focusing on the condition of the YUPPIE's immediate juniors, who maintain similar characteristics and idea (other than working hard) on liberalized drug use, extensive spending of capital (to achieve happiness through the possession of material wealth), an apprehension of conformity to standard social norms and they maintain the means and motivation to avoid responsibility. In the book review, the priorities, actions and ambitions of of the characters,(mainly those of the protagonists Clay's age group) are composed to show that the youth elites of 80's California to be - [And they are] willfully intent on numbing themselves to life - Valium, Thorazine, downers and heroin are their favorite drugs; soap operas, MTV, and video games, their idea of recreation. Most of the time, they are too stoned - wasted or strung out - to remember whom they slept with the night before; too out of it to even get to the right restaurant or right party on the right day.'