This is essentially an urban Lord of the Flies story, about social breakdown in a high-rise apartment building. But Ballard takes this up a notch, exp...moreThis is essentially an urban Lord of the Flies story, about social breakdown in a high-rise apartment building. But Ballard takes this up a notch, exploring the dark and irrational side of human nature and turning this story into something transgressive.
This isn't a perfect book, but it's memorable and has some truly splendid, wonderful passages. To its credit, it's also an easy read and not overly long. It would be perfect for a movie treatment.(less)
After the success of the movie version of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, the reclusive Harris offered this sequel, which has met with mixed reviews.
Don't belie...moreAfter the success of the movie version of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, the reclusive Harris offered this sequel, which has met with mixed reviews.
Don't believe it: this is an excellent novel, and for my money, it's the best in the series.
It's more readable than his earlier work. Where SILENCE OF THE LAMBS goes on and on, HANNIBAL is more punchy and progresses rapidly.
It is a split narrative, occurring in different locations and following separate characters. But each setting is fascinating, and everything comes together.
The changes to the characters, while shocking to some, are entirely realistic and logical progressions of where those characters were left, at the end of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. They're also wonderfully surprising and transgressive.
Several sequences in this novel are quite divine and memorable. I'm usually a fan of far less popular work, but this is a popular novel that rises to that higher, literary level. It's both fun and excellently done.(less)
The first part, which could stand as its own brief novel, is about the length of LESS THAN ZERO, but set in...moreGLAMORAMA is really split into two halves.
The first part, which could stand as its own brief novel, is about the length of LESS THAN ZERO, but set in New York City. It satirizes the vapid who desperately wish to rise socially in a society in which one rises only through the most trivial and meaningless of things.
The second half, consisting of several parts with their own separators, goes in a very different direction. It's a lot more compressed -- perhaps even too much so: Ellis could have added a solid 100 pages here, and the result might have been better. But it's also the most searching and surprising that Ellis has ever gotten. It also contains one of the very few passages of prose that has ever made me feel physically ill to read.
By the end, you won't feel that everything comes together, the way LESS THAN ZERO is a slice of life. If you want that, stop at the end of GLAMORAMA's first part. But this is a novel that goes further, that starts to get at meaningful questions. And that is vintage Ellis prose, sustained to epic length -- and sustaining the attention. While not as tight as LESS THAN ZERO, GLAMORAMA will grow on you. It is a different beast, and what it lacks in conciseness, it makes up for in ambition.(less)
This is a speedy little novel, a glimpse into the lives of the directionless and affluent during a break from school. It's propelled forward by its pr...moreThis is a speedy little novel, a glimpse into the lives of the directionless and affluent during a break from school. It's propelled forward by its prose, which flows wonderfully, and by the often shocking disaffection of its characters.
It's a masterpiece of transgressive literature -- and yes, like the best transgressive lit, truly moral at its core, underneath all that bloody hard candy surface. But it's also a brilliant social commentary that seems, if anything, more widely applicable today, when the aspiration to live like its characters, through music and popular culture, has now spread from the affluent and into the middle-class suburbs. A must-read.(less)