1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
a hyperreal blur set in an artificial nightmare,
By A Customer
This review is from: Glamorama (Paperback)
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!