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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 August 2008
Whereas I found `American Psycho' an easy and absorbing read, I found this much harder work. Although rewarding in the end it took a while to get into. The part on the cruise ship became confusing for me and I was uncertain at times when we were focusing on a real plot or not. I enjoyed the concept of the camera crew, always having your life in the spot life etc but then I felt it lost something. If you don't reflect too much and try to analyse as you are reading it then this is a great read. I found myself trying to link characters together and once all the pieces of the jigsaw started to fall into place it was as if one of them wasn't quite right and you had to start all over again. However, it is a clever thriller and you never know which character to trust. Your ideas are continually blown to pieces as another piece of the puzzle is unravelled.

I loved the chapters going down in number, like a countdown. But a countdown to what exactly? A new script, a new scene, a new conspiracy? Both clever and intriguing to read this novel rather surprisingly sucked me in and even though at times I didn't have the foggiest idea what was going on, I was in the full long journey. It's difficult to work out Victor with his change of surnames - can we change our identity so easily and become someone different? Or is it something new to hide behind, to prevent us from having to reveal what lurks underneath the skin? Bret Easton Ellis takes celebrity culture and slowly picks away at it to let us see what exactly goes on behind the images we see on screen and in print.

I've had this book lounging on my shelves for quite a few years now, (6 to be exact) and I finally decided it needed to be read. I wish I'd read it sooner! Although not quite five stars for me, I'd happily recommend this novel and I certainly look forward to reading the other Ellis novel I own - The Rules of Attraction. It's a clever book and it's one that needs time devoting to it. You can't pick this up and then put it one side whilst you read another. It'll keep reminding you that it needs to be read! Devote some time to it and you will be rewarded with an intelligent and interesting masterpiece.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 26 August 2008
Whereas I found `American Psycho' an easy and absorbing read, I found this much harder work. Although rewarding in the end it took a while to get into. The part on the cruise ship became confusing for me and I was uncertain at times when we were focusing on a real plot or not. I enjoyed the concept of the camera crew, always having your life in the spot life etc but then I felt it lost something. If you don't reflect too much and try to analyse as you are reading it then this is a great read. I found myself trying to link characters together and once all the pieces of the jigsaw started to fall into place it was as if one of them wasn't quite right and you had to start all over again. However, it is a clever thriller and you never know which character to trust. Your ideas are continually blown to pieces as another piece of the puzzle is unravelled.

I loved the chapters going down in number, like a countdown. But a countdown to what exactly? A new script, a new scene, a new conspiracy? Both clever and intriguing to read this novel rather surprisingly sucked me in and even though at times I didn't have the foggiest idea what was going on, I was in the full long journey. It's difficult to work out Victor with his change of surnames - can we change our identity so easily and become someone different? Or is it something new to hide behind, to prevent us from having to reveal what lurks underneath the skin? Bret Easton Ellis takes celebrity culture and slowly picks away at it to let us see what exactly goes on behind the images we see on screen and in print.

I've had this book lounging on my shelves for quite a few years now, (6 to be exact) and I finally decided it needed to be read. I wish I'd read it sooner! Although not quite five stars for me, I'd happily recommend this novel and I certainly look forward to reading the other Ellis novel I own - The Rules of Attraction. It's a clever book and it's one that needs time devoting to it. You can't pick this up and then put it one side whilst you read another. It'll keep reminding you that it needs to be read! Devote some time to it and you will be rewarded with an intelligent and interesting masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2013
Pretty much all of Ellis' work should come with a health warning that it is not meant to be read, except by final year students working on the effects of post-modernism on literature. Basically this is the story of a male model, who goes to the right restaurants, meets the right people, and takes the right drugs. One major slip-up however sees him cruise-linering off to Europe, into the hands of a model / terrorist organisation, who are behind a massive bombing campaign. Can you say Der-e-leeect?
Actually when I first read this, I presumed it was Ellis writing something truly unfilmable, just because all of his other books had ended up on screen; the irony that Zoolander basically took this premise and turned it into something entertaining is... quite wonderful.
Back to the novel, you can never tell what is true, what is really going on, and what is real. There is no resolution (there never is with Ellis). His characters are cyphers, indicators of general malaise, empty shells, not people in themselves, or people who participate in cause and effect plots. They are designed to inform us that our souls are dead, and that there aren't enough drugs to fill the gap. They are not designed to entertain us, and that is the problem - Ellis' books aren't entertaining, are a slog to read, and don't provide any payback for reading them (unless you consider the bitter after taste to be worth the while). Therefore I simply can't recommend reading them to anyone, unless you are someone who is quite happy to be bored by the books you read, and read for mood, not plot. Because there is no plot because either nothing happened or hundreds of people were blown limb from bloody limb by model agency bombing attacks; and no matter how many times you read this book, you will never know which of these scenarios occurred.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2010
I will be brief.
I would consider myself to be an 'above-average' reader and I found this book quite difficult to read. The plot bounces around a bit and the pages of dialogue did not help my understanding. That said I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having read American Psycho first I knew what I was letting myself in for in terms of following the plot.
In short, Glamorama is American Psycho meets Zoolander. A brilliant read but not Ellis's best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2000
Glamorama is essentially two books.
The first is an extremely wry observation of an extreme celebrity culture as witnessed and lived through the eyes of the "it" boy of the 90s. It is really funny and satirical and highlights the mundanity, triviality, artificiality of the culture in which he lives, how the other half lives.
At first this is exciting, and you really want to be there, but even reading about it eventually becomes mundane, becomes boring and even the reader is looking for that spark that will add a bit of something more to the experience of reading the story, to the experience of being Victor Ward, of going through the motions, of being a large, glossy fry in a world which is larger and glossier than life.
The reader's relationship with the story falls in line with Victor's relationship with his life in that you are crying out desparately, wanting something big to happen.
Victor's is a world of celebrity culture that does not exist to a mass market except as a series of mass media images. Glamorama actually puts us into his world amongst the camera crews and expensive stage sets, amongst writers and producers, within a story that is story-boarded and directed. In Victor's world these scripts are still read and the characters still take their cues, but it is when the characters stray from the scripts that the surprises reveal themselves. Victor's perspective allows us to see a world that occurs around the cameras, off-stage, in the camera's periphery.
Glamorama becomes its second part just as I thought I could take no more. I was sick of the name dropping, sick of knowing what the characters and extras were wearing, sick of knowing which drinks were "in" and which poses and gestures were cool and which ones could cost you your status. Names of mega-stars are reeled off and become nothing more than names, said for the sake of sounding cool, but in reality it is just repetitive, like Victor's life, like this story, like Victor's life, like this story...we are meant to feel this way.
This is when things pick up. This is where the whole experience becomes deadly, political, hyperreal and often gruesome. So many twists and turns, so many directions, so much death, attempted murder and mayhem. We see a Victor who runs the gamut of emotions and experiences and whose life suddenly becomes very real and becomes a fight for survival within a plot that speeds towards a final conclusion in an often drugs and drink fuelled blur.
Everything in Glamorama is there for a reason and it is directed as closely by the writer as the lives in the book are by the film crews. We feel things because we are directed to do so by Easton-Ellis. Observations, head turns, colours, tones, body language. All of it serves a purpose as if the novelist is the film's auteur himself.
If you struggle with the first part - stick with it, it will be worth it....an eye opening and entertaining read. Under-lying philosophies entwined with political and social commentaries.
Glamorama is a fantastic book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2008
There's been enough stylish reviews of this book so I'm going to make it short and sweet. As a fan of Ellis' work for almost 10 years I can say that this book did not need to be almost 500 pages long, for a book of this genre it really should have been shorter, if only for the sole purpose of simpllification, something it desperately needs.

Beneath the *Endless* lists of celebrties - lists to long and obscure that it makes you wonder how the writer spends his days - there is a diamond of a story, a story that's very well written.

If you finished it, give yourself a pat on the back.

Gary
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2000
I don't really know where to start but suffice to say that it took me just over two months to read this book. At least three times I considered stopping and moving on to the fourth Harry Potter book but I stuck with it. Yes it really is hard going at times and you begin to ask yourself whether any kind of story will ever develop. However, and this is the crux, keep going, because once the main protagonist ends up in Europe, things do begin to get interesting and highly perverse.
It's difficult to describe exactly what this book is about but at least by the end page you have some idea as to why Victor was sent to Europe. However you are left to make your own mind up about the film crews, about the apparent schizophrenia, about the double life. Now on paper this may not sound like the perfect way to wrap up a novel of this kind, but Ellis manages to come up with an ending which will satisfy you but always stay with you.
This is a dark, paranoid book cloaked in name dropping and popular culture but amongst the glamour and the money is a sickening look at nineteen nineties society and the terrible cult of celebrity. If you manage to stick with it you really will be rewarded with one of the most powerful novels around at the moment.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2006
It has to be said that this is quite possibly the best book written by Mr. Easton Ellis, bar American Psycho which is a classic in it's own right. Do not listen to anyone who says that this book (or anything else by him for that matter) is rambling, they just don't understand his style of writing.

This book is amazing and the main protagonist is inspired, and we are constantly left wondering whether events are really happening or whether they are just a product of his psychosis.

Read this book! But read American Psycho first!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2000
Judging from the number of stars given by other reviewers, this is a either love or hate book. I love it. It turned my stomach at several points, but I find Ellis' ability to disect shallowness brilliant. Notice how not one conversation in this book is connecting the persons involved (expect for the one between Victors double and Laurens double!). Notice how the sex is as graphic and as unpleasant as the violence (except for the sex between Victors double and Allison!). It is a sharp critism of a world, where fame is the only true asset (along with information if you subscribe to William Gibsons points of view) and where beauty is a superficial achievement - not something that you can expect to come from the heart. I find it a great slab in the face of the spirit of the 90's, where the ego is worth more than the matter. Where ethics and moral are so lost, that no one would care if you took the farthest possible actions to challenge them. Read it and mirror yourself in this. Does this book offend your ethical standards - or are you left cold in the conception, that this is only a confusing (one-star-review!) tale of fantasy and terrorism?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Perhaps Ellis's most accomplished piece, 'Glamorama' continues on in the vein of 'Rules of Attraction' and 'American Psycho'. Victor Ward (Victor Johnson from 'RoA') is a semi-famous model, the 'IT' boy of the moment, in the 1990s; but his whole world begins to unravel when he finds himself among a group of international model/terrorists. Unfortunately Victor doesn't have the common sense to extricate himself from it all, and soon his role is recast. The better you look, the more you see.
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