Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, January 17, 2021

To make it crystal-clear that Joe McGinniss Jr. is channeling Bret Easton Ellis’ “Less Than Zero” in his debut effort “The Delivery Man”, he starts off the novel with these three words:

Find Yourself Here

A literary echo of the signifier from “Zero”: Disappear Here. It sets the stage nicely for parallels between the moral nihilism of 1980s LA youth culture and the spiritual hollowness to be found among denizens of present-day Las Vegas.

I think “Delivery” did a pretty good job of convey that, although ultimately it doesn’t paint as dire a picture as Ellis’ decadent landscape. The flashback-delivered backstory concerning the protagonist’s sister was all-too-obvious in informing the main characters’ motivations, and thus is probably the weakest part of the book. Otherwise though, I think it was a very good effort, and I enjoyed the read.

McGinniss’ hat-tip to Ellis isn’t surprising, since the two writers share an extensive common history, including mentorships and entrees into book publishing. So it’s only right that elements of his novel’s structure pay homage to Ellis’ iconic fiction.

Next step for McGinniss, of course: Getting his motto worked into a Brit-pop song. Only then will he have arrived.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 01/17/2008 08:11:12 AM
Category: Book Review, Pop Culture
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