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Glamorama

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  20,759 ratings  ·  844 reviews
The author of American Psycho and Less Than Zero continues to shock and haunt us with his incisive and brilliant dissection of the modern world.In 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 s
...more
Paperback, 546 pages
Published March 21st 2000 by Vintage (first published 1998)
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Laurie Hertz-Kafka I would add that the mountain he is looking at is a mural on a wall that is about to be shattered by an explosive blast. So, it truly is his future.

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Average rating 3.46  · 
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Steven Godin
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best novels of the 90s for me. Easy.

OK, at first I really wasn't sure about this, and it felt a little too brash and full of people that I generally took a dislike too; and was probably supposed to, and where Manhattan is presented as the greatest place on the planet, basically putting the middle finger up to the rest of the world, with its flawless skinned, Xanax dependent, loud and supercilious, label-obsessed, lying and cheating, glossy magazine characters. But of course that's the
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Lisa
Pure disgust for humanity, in every single sentence.

Might 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 kill.

I 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 more
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Supreeth
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
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Mike Kleine
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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 charac
...more
Crystal West
Jul 02, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Zombies
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. And….where’s my Zanex?
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OMG. ummmm……..*yawn?

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
...more
Leo Robertson
- 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
...more
Patrick
Jan 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2002
I might actually have liked this one more 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 indictment/celebration(?) of materialistic/consumer 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 equally vacant celebrities. Ellis's style makes this all pretty funny, but then ...more
Roof Beam Reader (Adam)
Oct 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 critique 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 bril ...more
Greg
May 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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 ...more
Eugene
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 quantities. 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 ...more
Rachel Louise Atkin
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, new-york
After finishing this book I went to bed and stared at the ceiling for ages just like... "What the f**k?" Glamorama is not only a satire of the film/modelling 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 wh ...more
Mimi
Oct 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
What? Did we end up hating each other? Did we end up the way we thought we always knew would? Did I end up wearing khakis because of that fucking ad?

This quote sums up what thIS book is about, I think... but don't take my word for it because I have no idea what this book is about. The brief summary is it's about beautiful people with some celebrity status being careless with their lives and then are surprised when nothing turns out the way they'd hoped. There's also something about a convoluted
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Matthew Vaughn
This could be my new favorite BEE novel, I may have to give Lunar Park another read before I can say for sure though. Yeah, it took a little bit to really get going, but once it did I was sucked in.
Joe
May 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: B. E-E. lovers only!
I remember that I had to quit in the middle of this book because it felt like the world was collapsing in on itself. And literally, Glamorama does. It is so dense, that just like a black hole, it sucks everything in, even gravity.
It is the story of Victor post-Camden, now a high profile model/celebutante!?! This is the reason why I picked it up. I love how B.E.E. makes for creating a whole new world for his characters. The novel is half espionage and half drug-induced. If you want to escape into
...more
H.nauen
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benson Lott
Oct 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book many times and of course the first time through, much like with Imperial Bedrooms, I felt overwhelmed. Mr. Ellis is the most gifted writer I have read. His attention to detail borderlines on obsessive compulsive and yet he spins it all in such a way that I felt mesmerized. I cannot recommend his work enough. However, there are many who probably won't be able to handle his brutal honesty. Sadly, they will miss out. The deeper the cut, the more it bleeds. I appreciate anyone ...more
Andy
Apr 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Oh my god, somebody help me. I'm a prisoner in a book that's a cross between "Party Monster", "Project Runway" and every annoying E! Network program that pretends it's not gay but is so gay even Logo won't touch it. Smarmy and irritating to the point where the satire has to be justified in your mind just to get through this mind rot. I've read comic books with more culture than this trash! Spamorama.
Patrick
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Rereading this for the fourth or fifth time, and it gets better and better. This is my bible.

***
And again.
Read By RodKelly
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The young, rich, white elite of the American glitterati skizz through drug binges and forgotten jaunts of bored promiscuity; party after party and the camera’s rolling and the paparazzi’s glut divines the tenor of aqueous evenings sloshing in the zeitgeist of vapid, shallow voids; then somewhere along the jitzy route the stutter of the camera is now the vicious patter of bullets and bombs and the empty American glamorama careens butter-smooth into terrorism and torture, a blitz of haywire fluxio ...more
Bob Wake
Mar 03, 2013 rated it liked it
[Reviewed in 1999]

Bret Easton Ellis’s literary voice emerged fully-formed in his first novel, Less Than Zero, published to acclaim in 1985 when he was 20 years old and still a student at Bennington College. In stark minimalist prose Ellis chronicled the desultory world of wealthy L. A. teenagers living a hollow existence of drugs, soulless sex, casual violence, and consumer extravagance. Comparisons to F. Scott Fitzgerald and a latter day “lost generation” were drowned out by the more derisive l
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Laura ☾
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
I usually love Brett Easton Ellis, so it pains me to write this review.

The characters just lacked any depth whatsoever - I know that it's supposed to be commentary and satire of modern celebrity culture but this was actually just not pleasant to read, as the characters just didn't feel developed at all in any way or form.

Dialogue felt very very stilted, and so full of references to real celebrities that it just seems overkill *sigh* Honestly, long stretches of this felt just dull, and I really
...more
Claire- Louise
Jul 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book has given me a headache. I wanted to read it as I love American Psycho and Lunar Park but this one was just endless and confusing. I kept waiting for some spark of genius to happen but instead got to a point where I couldn’t go on any more.
Mathew
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
[March 29 - You know it's a bad sign when you continue reading a book purely to figure out how best to describe what's wrong with it.]

Someone once said that writing a bad review of a novel is like destroying an ice cream cone with a sledgehammer. And generally I agree with that. But books that are glaringly dedicated to nothing but the machinery of commerce are begging to be smashed. Such a book is Glamorama. I don't mind the content which - a relentlessly dull litany of petty pretty people and
...more
Marissa Barbieri
Aug 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of Ellis, and at first was fairly nonplussed by this one. Soon enough, though, I was entirely sucked in... and not just because of the chapter-long threesome scene, upon which my friend had recommended this to me. That I actually found rather unnecessary, if well done. But I digress.

After I finished, I found myself for days afterwards thinking in the frenetic staccato tone of the narrator, which is as good an indicator as any that this book is pretty kickass.
Baba
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A top model, and not as successful actor, Victor and his quasi-famous friends live decadent and highly consumptive life, when a quarter of the way through the book you realise what's really going on, only to be thrown in a typical Ellis' dark, relentless and well written descent into a living Hell! A book of many faces that holds a camera up to the characters, the capitalist consumptive world and us the voyeurs that spend so much time watching on our screens. Another tour de force, also another ...more
Matt
Jun 26, 2013 rated it did not like it

Some feminist critic (I think it was Kate Millet) once criticized John Updike for being "a penis with a thesaurus".

This is a pretty devastating critique, I think. Not because it's so dead-on accurate as much as it's catchy, funny, easy to remember and makes its point with elegant precision. It's (most likely) totally wrong and unfair and such (I haven't read much Updike, to be honest) but that also makes it kind of awesome in a sniping, political-cartoon kind of way.

Taking a page from this p
...more
Guy Portman
{Contains Some Spoilers}

Victor Ward aka Victor Johnson is a male model living in Nineteen-nineties Manhattan. Victor is a vapid, soulless character, devoid of meaningful content, obsessed by celebrity culture and living an existence that revolves around social connections and physical appearance, abdominals being a particular obsession.
Prior to moving to New York, Victor attended the illustrious Camden College, which is evidently a haunt of the elite with many of Camden’s former students resid
...more
Michelle
Although Ellis follows his familiar intriguing style, I found myself loving and loathing this book at the same time. There were times I just wanted to finish so that I could be done and others when I genuinely wanted to finish the story.
Following the young, rich, and hip for way too long, this book seems to offer too many details; some of them make sense later, others just seem like a way to add pop culture references. I found myself skimming over paragraphs that seemed to be placed just to sho
...more
Sarah
Aug 20, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Cokeheads, Pillheads, Sadists, Voyeur's, Scenesters
This book is so tiresome. It drones on and on.

Where do I even begin with this book. It's really not worth me spending too much time on, however, I want revenge on this book. It's not fair that I wasted so much time on it. Life is too short. It's really long (about 540 pages) and the first 337 pages are so terrible. I wanted to put it down after page 60, but I was reading this with a book club, so I decided to attempt to stick with it. It only got worse and worse and more boring and more pointles
...more
Sherrie
Feb 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
This is the worst book I have ever read from cover to cover. I will never read another Bret Easton Ellis book again. I'm sure he's heartbroken.
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Transgressive Fic...: 6 Transgressive Fiction Reading Recommendations 1 11 Oct 04, 2020 05:42AM  
Glamorama Ending Explanation? 5 53 Jan 23, 2020 05:58AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add ACE reference 1 9 Apr 07, 2019 12:59PM  
Amazing but does anybody understand this book?? 3 323 Mar 07, 2015 03:22PM  
Boxall's 1001 Bo...: July {2008} Discussion -- GLAMORAMA by Bret Easton Ellis 23 373 Aug 18, 2008 12:55PM  

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Bret Easton Ellis is an American author. He is considered to be one of the major Generation X authors and was regarded as one of the so-called literary Brat Pack, which also included Tama Janowitz and Jay McInerney. He has called himself a moralist, although he has often been pegged as a nihilist. His characters are generally young vacuous people, who are aware of their depravity but choose to enj ...more

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