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The author of American Psycho and Less Than Zero continues to shock and haunt us with his incisive and brilliant dissection of the modern worldIn his most ambitious and gripping book yet Bret Easton Ellis takes our celebrity obsessed culture and increases the volume exponentially Set in 90s Manhattan Victor Ward a model with perfect abs and all the right friends is seen and photographed everywhere even in places he hasn't been and with people he doesn't know He's living with one beautiful model and having an affair with another onthe eve of opening the trendiest nightclub in New York City historyAnd now it's time to move to the next stage But the future he gets is not the one he had in mind With the same deft satire and savage wit he has brought to his other fiction Bret Ellis gets beyond the facade and introduces us unsparingly to what we always feared was behind it Glamorama shows us a shadowy looking glass reality the juncture where fame and fashion and terror and mayhem meet and then begin to resemble the familiar surface of our lives

10 thoughts on “Glamorama

  1. says:

    Pure disgust for humanity in every single sentenceMight be true in certain ways might be well written but it made me feel subhuman and aggressively angry for weeks I do not see any point in immersing oneself in this kind of violent sex driven hate relationships based on a primitive animal instinct to mate and killI have read many dark accounts of humankind's degeneration but this is just filth And a desire to shock an audience that has heard seen and read it all and thus needs brutal violence complicated sex positions vicious competition to satisfy numb sensesIf this is reality I opt for escapism

  2. says:

    Bret Easton Ellis is my literary hero but I don't really recommend him to anyone This is the only Bret Easton Ellis book with a plot; his longest work so far and definitely the hardest book in terms of difficulty to read It's downright disgusting creepy and ugly I'm not even denying it but that's what I normally dig so it works Don't judge me I've Oscar Wilde backing me up 'At first I was confused by what passed for love in this world people were discarded because they were too old or too fat or too poor or they had too much hair or not enough they were wrinkled they had no muscles no definition no tone they weren’t hip they weren’t remotely famous This was how you chose lovers This was what decided friends And I had to accept this if I wanted to get anywhere' Does BEE somehow end up being clairvoyant? Like he mentions something a lot and those things end up being relevant later Donald Trump becomes president some decades after the release of American Psycho 911 takes place only two years after the publication of Glamorama The first two three hundred pages of the book almost reads like American psycho Replace all the descriptions of brands and bands in American psycho with Models and Hollywood and a lot of namedropping; replace pornographic descriptions of sex with pornographic descriptions of sex music in background with music in background violence with terrorism Yuppies with models late eighties with late nineties All that remains is consumerism people shallow as fuck and a sick immoral world Typical Bret Easton Ellis 'did i end up wearing khakis because of that fucking ad?'This just became my second favourite uote of all time I loved Glamorama than American Psycho in a way but this one was overdone Even though I enjoyed the satire initially it took forever to finish first two parts of the book But then it becomes a clusterfuck of spooky events add celebrities and terrorists and bombs I can just write down Victor is everyone of us we're products of consumerism and all that but you'd just be rolling your eyes all over and I'm way too biased to rate this book a full five

  3. says:

    How to put this? GLAMORAMA is many many things GLAMORAMA is one very very long novel; GLAMORAMA is one of those books you’ll probably find on a 500 level English MA course; GLAMORAMA is not easy to read and GLAMORAMA is something of a work of genius Now it may not be as lengthy as say Adam Levin’s THE INSTRUCTIONS or Don DeLillo’s UNDERWORLD but GLAMORAMA has so much going on behind the scenes and so much that is ultimately left unexplained to the reader and features so many different characters doing different things and introduces so many different themes and ideas and offers so many instances of writing genius that in the end it all feels a bit overwhelming—a recurring theme in GLAMORAMAAbstractly GLAMORAMA is to Bret Easton Ellis’ writing what FIGHT CLUB iswas to Chuck Palahniuk—and here I am not talking plot or characters or success rather breadth and scope—but also I feel that it is important to add that Palahniuk’s TELL ALL with all its name dropping ness and discussion on celebrity stuff feels like a terribly flawed and less interesting GLAMORAMA but it’s also unfair to compare two books that are not that similar in reality And at first GLAMORAMA feels like it could have been two different books written by two very different authors but GLAMORAMA is one of those stories that feels absolutely and this needs to be emphasized confusing during the read but then after it is all over and in reflection it gradually begins to make sense sort ofAgain GLAMORAMA is not an easy read and really good books sometimes aren’t and you have to be patient with this one but like I said earlier a lot of things will go unnoticed after a first read and Ellis purposefully throws in a bunch of red herrings and several what the hell moments—and he does this with super explicit sex amazingly graphic violence and several scenes featuring confetti—but when it all comes down to the nit picking I guess GLAMORAMA is really a story about excess and superficiality and the limits of control And also it’s about sex drugs guns super models New York life the cult of personality extreme wealth terrorism Paris celebrity conspiracies imposters photo manipulation hallucinations ultra violence pop culture deception confetti music the movie making process memories and dreams post modernism expectation and eventually regret And while some reviews claim that GLAMORAMA is a jumbled mess of a novel—I agree it is something of a beautiful mess; it’s not perfect and it’s not supposed to beThe first part of the book will read like an annoying YA book written for adults It’s packed with famous people names the word “baby” in almost every line of dialogue a severe amount of what seems like throw away dialogue a plot that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere characters who all sound alike a story that really isn’t a story super hyphenated made up terms and did I mention a nonexistent plot? An example of the super annoying YA like dialogue from the fist part of the book“Yoki Nakamuri was approved for this floor” Peyton says“Oh yeah?” I ask “Approved by who?”“Approved by well moi” Peyton says“Who the fuck is Moi?” I ask “I have no fucking idea who this Moi is baby”“I’m Moi” Peyton says nodding “Moi is um French”And ironically this is the sort of setup—annoying dialogue and vague story with super shallow people in boring situations—that is necessary for the second part of the book to truly shine It’s a classic and simple case of opposites and role reversalsIn the second part New York becomes Paris Victor’s position of power becomes a lack his drug of choice becomes a necessity and he switches to Xanax the vapid tameness becomes dynamic brutality and even the way Victor thinks and speaks changes dramatically An extreme example“The manneuin springs grotesuely to life in the freezing room screeching arching its body up again and again lifting itself off the examination table tendons in its neck straining and purple foam starts pouring out of its anus which also has a wire larger thicker inserted into itthere is I’m noticing no camera crew around”And though we are never sure that everything Victor says or sees is real—and here we have the classic case of the unreliable narrator—GLAMORAMA is really a story that is less worried about the satisfying conclusion and concerned with the process meaning the characters the dialogue the bizarre scenarios the violence the ambiguity the—everything; that’s what matters most in a story A FEW SPOILERS SORT OF And no I can’t tell you why everything’s always “freezing” or too cold and I can’t tell you why there’s confetti everywhere and I couldn’t tell you why only Victor notices that it smells like shit and I couldn’t say if the cameras the PA’s the best boys the film crew the whole shebang was really real or just a fabrication and I don’t really know how they were able to impersonate Victor Lauren Bruce Jamie or everyone else and I don’t know if Palakon ever really told Victor the truth and I don’t know what really happened to Marina and I couldn’t tell you why Christian Bale keeps showing up and I don’t know why there is an entire chapter that is basically an explicit sex scene between three people and I don’t know what it means when Victor keeps saying “we’ll slide down the surface of things” and I couldn’t tell you what it means when Victor keeps telling people that “the better you look the you see” and I couldn’t begin to explain the uote “it’s what you don’t know that matters most”—but does it really matter? END OF SPOILERS Or rather consider this Is it better and easier to admit that the entire story was maybe just a movie? And that—the dialogue the memories the people the bodies the sex scenes the bombings all the crying and all the dying and all the inconsistencies the plot holes—none of it was real—just part of some movie script?

  4. says:

    Cover Story Fashion Models and B class celebrities turned International Terrorists Or Wait Do these plastic explosives match my Armani? Call the camera crew We have to go back to wardrobe Reset the timer Andwhere’s my Zanex? OMG ummmmyawn?This isn’t World Weekly News but a novel that didn’t know where or how exactly to end And I’m shocked really because I adore Bret Easton Ellis I also secretly enjoy World Weekly News which could arguably at times be a better read than this novel Maybe he could have used Batboy or those giant army ants that eat giant housewives in rural Texas Something I could connect to something I could try to care about Still I think if Bret Easton Ellis were in need of a kidney and we matched – I’d be down I kept hoping the main character Victor WardVictor Johnson potentially two separate people would just die already But this hope occurred for the first time for me on like page 50? or so I trudged on in hopes that hethey’d become less vacuous or maybe get impaled or strangled or blown up or attacked with a chain saw á la Patrick Bateman “American Psycho” style It would have been nice to read about Victor’s entrails being spun onto a wheel the way they did in the middle ages when they’d burn trapped rats to dig into people’s stomachs Rats and wheels it’s torture genius It proves that human ingenuity is linear I think Later on we made light bulbs and 100 calorie packs Rats and wheels this is how much I disliked Victor Whatever Then I’m wondering am I supposed to hate Victor WardJohnson? He’s a man so obviously disconnected from reality – like in the way that Michael Jackson is disconnected from reality Except Victor WardJohnson isn’t so far gone that he sleeps in Tupperware just yet And his nose doesn’t fall off – just yet He just thinks a camera crew is following him everywhere sprinkling confetti all about This is maybe his way to cope with being involved in gory terrorist activities I think I can’t however figure out the confetti metaphor Can someone fill me in? Lost But I don’t care enough to be found really It’s all insert random celebrity names here Cerruiti Huey Lewis and the News Brooks Brothers Cristal blah blah blah Did I floss today? I’m tired and bored I’m down for the count And so – the book gets put on the nightstand for another night or another week until primetime TV is bad and I’ve had a glass of wineThe plot begins half way through the novel just at about the time you’re finally ready to put it down and give up Thank God a point to this empty madness But is it? Really? I’m thinkingnot so much no The over materialist banality was eating at my soul for the first 250 pages I didn’t recover when things became interesting Victor’s father wanted him sent away because he was running for Senate or was it a Presidential nomination? His uasi gay unsuccessful college drop out son was not good for campaigning or something like that Victor WardJohnson is lured by a person potentially hired by his father a man named Palakon Palakon is somehow associated with the French embassy and then not It’s not so clear as the lines between reality and “World Victor” become blurred Palakon et al decide to take advantage of the situation they have with Victor in order to transport some uber modern super secret plastic explosives en route to Europe After this lots of drugs and death disguised as movies sets disguised as real death disguised as film making Interrogations Love triangles A graphic ménage á trios that spans a full chapter Confusion about the motive behind the violence because the narrator is unreliable More death yawn Not your best work Mr Ellis but still call me if you need a kidney

  5. says:

    Hi Leo Hi Leo Are you seriously gonna do this? Yeah I’ve got a friend who will likely read this whom I’m hoping will find it funny that I’ve done this ahahahah What have you been reading Leo? Stop saying my name It’s creepy I actually tried another Bret Easton Ellis book thinking I’d enjoy it Wanted to give the guy another chance Hah Not content with people taking advantage of your meekness IRL you’re now extending the courtesy to books? It’s too easy for you to dislike me man You know too much In this one there’s a model dude who endlessly list celebs goes to parties fairly plotless affairs drugs he sees confetti everywhere smells shit is cold may or may not be a film Oh cool Well it’s not that bad then If you were gonna try BEE again better you pick some novella— It’s 500 pages I’ve no idea Oh Well you made it to the end right? Don’t— listen don’t you start with me on this Okay What? You’re gonna back out now? There’s no need to get all riled up— Yeah but it’s because of your passive aggression that I felt the need to finish this one You’re so insecure about ditching bad books I’ll work on it Just tell me what this one means so we can move on This guy sees confetti everywhere Why? One admission first I didn’t make it to the end Cringes Page number? 400 Not bad If you didn’t have the point by then Exactly Yeah so he sees confetti everywhere and it’s never falling it’s always landed because it’s like he’s late to the party If I remember correctly first he sees it on a table he’s at and it’s on his shoulders and later it appears on the street and in blood and stuff So it was falling on him then it’s already fallen everywhere he goes He’s becoming a has been at 27 and “the party’s over” feeling refers to the party of life Early on a character mentions the lifecycle of the celeb nobody rising star star has been The only lifecycle these celebs are concerned with is the lifecycle of the celeb It may as well mean death once the cycle comes to an end This is cute I guess but it’s nothing people hadn’t figured To say nothing of the fact that years of dedication to the writing of this to me demonstrates an unironic interest in this culture nullifying anything vaguely satirising it would have to say What’s that uote about satire? If you don’t know it I don’t Something about it being a mirror or a sphere of glass in which you see everything but yourself? But there’s BEE’s magnified face right in the centre genuinely giving a shit IMHO What do I know? My American Psycho thoughts were not appreciated Oh yeah? What were they? Sighs I deleted the review in the end Couldn’t be bothered defending it Didn’t care enough— and what internet stranger thinks they’re gonna change another internet stranger’s opinion through the magic of condescension? There are many entertaining ways to waste your time Like writing book reviews forgetting about them and then defending 5 year old opinions even although you forgot what they were For all the internet’s merits the whole permanent record thing makes people’s worldviews seem artificially static Yeah make sure and write a BEE reminiscent novel about that and make sure you can tell me when it’s done so I can go ahead and not read it— anyway wasn’t there like a weird manneuin purple blood hallucination thing in the middle? It’s so convenient how much you do and don’t know about what I just read mate Given BEE’s commitment to soullessness— not the voice he has created for Victor just a genuine soullessness of his mission a novel that is indeed pages of words but with no heart behind it— it’s some Don DeLillo steal probably Doesn’t mean anything The smell of shit? A nab from Infinite Jest which is obsessed with waste IJ came out in 1996 this came out in 1998 and the shit smelling starts about halfway into the text It seems to have taken BEE about four years to write this so he’d be right in the middle of writing it when IJ came out Ahaha Pffft I doubt either was the first to wade about in waste— I just thought it was a funny coincidence Anyway these little symbols are supposed to make us think that Victor’s different from the rest somehow like we should feel sorry for him because he’s caught up in a superficial world when he was meant for better But nothing in his actions or even his words gives evidence of this If it ain’t true of BEE it ain’t true of his characters There’s also this bit where the protagonist of this novel is on an ocean liner and Jurassic Park is playing and he has dinner with “The Wallaces” In DFW’s “A Supposedly Fun Thing an essay about a cruise holiday Jurassic Park plays repeatedly IDK what BEE’s trying to do here but it’s a faux pas nonetheless Wallace’s BEE insecurity manifested itself when he pretended he hadn’t read any BEE at the time of writing his BEE adjacent stories He pure had Neither BEE’s nor DFW’s strategies are recommended Just tell us you hate the guy and can’t stand that you think he can write well We would love you all the for it The main character’s cold all the time The frigid nature of the text tells you that one People’s breath “steams” a lot? BEE’s stab at joining the canon of great American writers who are careless with science Or all the characters were really kettles Edit I've read at least three violations of this kind in other texts since writing this review for the first time yesterday Another common one if a substance is water based I don't think it should be described it as oilygreasy but I read all the time oily blood and greasy tears etc In general I don't enjoy authors who are so afraid of cliches that they'll deliberately imbue their text with weird expressions they've never seen before Sometimes there's a reason something hasn't seen before it's wrong The literary world is all too kind about science violations Don DeLillo can think lightyears are a type of year if the mistake appears in a pretty sentence The literary world could use scientists Or engineers mebs ; What about the mentions of a director a cinematographer learning the script calling out “action” all of that? Was it all a film or not? I need to know Hahahaha no you don’t Probably a metaphor for la la land of celeb culture the cliché of narcissists that they see life as their own film It’s the pointlessness of the lives they lead they’re just “reading scripts” going through the motions dead in life late to the party What with all the terrorist stuff introduced it shows a real cognitive dissonance taking place in Victor’s head when it comes to heavy stuff going on on the planet at the same time as he’s thirsting after all of his silly pursuits I do know if it’s a film or not You do? Which is it? It may or may not be Who would watch a film this dull anyway? What kind of an answer is that? It’s the same as American Psycho did he kill those people or not? He may or may not have I mean to say that’s about as far as the author took that idea It’s not as I think he would pretend that he holds a secret answer in his heart and asks the reader to formulate their own solution Instead I just feel in my heart how soulless this text is Snarky tone Yeah well Leo that’s the point I’m glad you got that one in before a BEE fan reading this could I agree that you may well feel that’s the case but I don’t Seems like uite a convenient get out clause If the writer doesn’t care about the answer to a uestion his text raises why the hell should you? I suppose you also feel that when people compare your writing to BEE’s it’s inaccurate? Dude my review of his book is a dialogue conducted with myself I wish it was inaccurate At least with this book he’s proven he can write passable female characters and for that it gets one star than American Psycho

  6. says:

    I might actually have liked this one than American Psycho now that I think about it It's actually kind of a 90's version of what AP was to the 80's a sort of indictmentcelebration? of materialisticconsumer culture at least at the begining Featuring a main character just as vapid as Patrick Bateman Victor Ward is a male model who spends the first 200 pages going to night clubs and hanging with tons of eually vacant celebrities Ellis's style makes this all pretty funny but then the book takes a total 180 and Victor gets pulled into a world of model terrorists and loses sense of who's who and what's what in a haze of sex and violence This book is just fucking awesome And yes it can definitely be described as Zoolander meets Fight Club

  7. says:

    Glamorama is a twisted disgusting brilliant parody of all that was the early 1990s This book is Valley of the Dolls meets Naked Lunch meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets James Bond Don't think the combination is possible? Think again Ellis demonstrates a superb understanding of cultural critiue and is creative enough to satirize with seriousness and hilarity simultaneously If you can get through the first two hundred or so pages of idiotic dialogue another stroke of narrative brilliance really but still hard to wade through you will be rewarded Mid way through the novel the story takes an unexpected and inexplicable turn Truly the twist is never reconciled within the novel and the reader is left feeling literally mind fucked No one is who they appear to be no one works for whom they appear to work sometimes the characters themselves don't even realize it Everyone gets blown up drugged out beaten sodomized and the smell of feces permeates the latter portion of the story which takes place in France coincidence or another cultural critiue? I don't understand the confetti I don't understand the camera crews or the many many scripts but am I supposed to? The better you look the you see

  8. says:

    if you were to ask my what my favorite work of fiction was on most days I would respond with Glamorama Celebrity fashion models become terrorists Photographs and appearances in the gossip columns of the worlds major newspapers begin to replace reality Sex and drugs are consumed in mass uantities Bombs go off Celebrities die horrific deaths told in a cold obsessively detailed manner There is a chapter long description of an passanger airlplane explosion that I now unfortunately think of every time I am strapped into one preparing for takeoff This book is not for the sueamish

  9. says:

    I read this book like eleven years ago or maybe it was twelve or inevitably even longer in the future I don't remember much about it I remember taking it out of the library it was in the new release section so I only had ten days to read the book I then remember reading part of it sitting at the counter of a coffee shop that would be soon banning me from being their customer but that has nothing to do with the book I do remember that the part of the book which I remember reading at the above mentioned counter took place in a boat I liked this book I remember that I remember thinking that it was a let down after the amazing American Psycho which I do not care if you agree or disagree with my opinion about AP even mentioning this book causes extreme reactions from people I liked it if you didn't that's ok If you feel the need to froth at the mouth about liking or disliking the book take it too another review I don't feel like being a part of a discussion about the book and that the book was disjointed with the first half and the second half being night and day and that the links between high fashion celebrity culture and international terrorism were a little eh But I also remember that silly Bret Easton Ellis was still an enjoyable read And that I feel like I've been a major douche bag by being a Bret Easton Ellis hater of sorts; just because every hipster that can read or at least wants to make it look like he or she can read has asked for his books doesn't mean that I can't still like him becasue he was good and maybe the books that came after this one are still good or book does he have anything than Lunar Park? as of this writing? I know he has one this summer and once again he will be reading at our store and I will try not to think bad thoughts of him this time even if the store fills to capacity with the turdiest of the turds from Williamsburg I kind of miss reading him now that I think of it I think I'm going to go find a copy of Less than Zero read the fuck out of it in preparation for the seuel coming out this summer to his debut novel And maybe I'll enjoy it that's right hipsters I'll enjoy it in spite of you

  10. says:

    After finishing this book I went to bed and stared at the ceiling for ages just like What the fk? Glamorama is not only a satire of the filmmodelling agency and celebrity culture but also explores the threats of terrorism and surveillance The first third paints a bleak portrait of the 90s high life Victor Ward is a model unsympathetic and shallow but represents everything about 90s minimalism and desensitisation The importance rests on celebrity names the only important this is where you are seen and who you are seen with Yet this also opens up the terrifying possibilities of journalism and it's power over both celebrities and the mass public The second third starts getting interesting as Victor realises he is in something bigger than he can understand yet it is still shadowed under the saturation of celebrity culture that he is obsessed withThe last 100 then completely messed me up Like American Psycho Ellis leaves you wondering if anything you just read even happened Yet it is perhaps even shocking than Psycho in its metafiction and realism The references to the camera and director make me wonder if the whole thing was just happening on the set of a movie I couldn't stop reading honestly I was in absolute pieces I still can't even deal with the intensity of what I just read Oh my goddddIf you aren't liking this novel then PLEASE stick it out for the last 100 pages They are so addictive and Ellis is so clever