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0082 | Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis


Context: Read this as we travelled from Korea by sea and train to Japan.
This started out as an interesting alternative to American Psycho, which I read before Arukiyomi got off the ground. It was like Psycho with far less of the sex and gore although Ellis still seems to have a need to fill sections of his novels with graphic descriptions of both to the extent that you wonder whether it’s him and not his characters which has the problem. Best skipped over in my opinion, despite any literati claims to brilliant descriptive writing – it is, after all, easy to describe the graphic but far harder to describe the mundane.

I like the way that Ellis takes you into the mind of his protagonists in the style of Bellow in Herzog which I enjoyed. It’s idealism done very well. And, like Psycho only more so, you’re not really sure what is going on – realities are blurred which is a nice play on philosophy of idealism too. I found myself at once sickened by Victor Ward/Johnson and then sympathetic to him.

The novel does draw heavily on 90s western (aka American) culture and anyone not familiar with that would feel a bit out of their depth from time to time.There’s a camera crew that follow Victor around too although I was never sure if this was simply one of his delusions or real. In all, the novel is about the blurring of reality that infests the lifestyles of the rich and famous and is an interesting take on that.I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it though. My copy eventually found its way into a recycled paper bin on platform 24 of Shin-Osaka bullet train station!

Specks – specks all over the third panel, see?

The future is that mountain.

terrible > poor > mediocre > okay > good > very good > excellent > superb

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