"For a postmodern novelist, Ellis had to deal early on in his career with a very modernist conundrum—of the Beckettian 'I can’t go on, I’ll go on' sort—and after the seeming endgame of Less Than Zero, continue writing anyway. In the novels that followed, he went on by combining his interest in the surface of contemporary culture with an increasingly baroque and particularized literary style. If Less Than Zero approached the ethical and intellectual impoverishment of late 20th-century Los Angeles through pared-down nuggets of prose Ellis’s subsequent books became much more verbose and obsessive."