Bret Easton Ellis is a master satirist who takes his mockery of culture to depths of relentless depravity. In Glamorama, Ellis focuses on late 90’s New York and a group of super models who are actually international terrorists. The madness is narrated by Victor Ward, a particularly vapid and narcissistic model who hardly realizes what is going on around him.
Glamorama predates the movie Zoolander by several years and is often speculated to have been terribly plagirized by Ben Stiller for his film. There are even vague mumblings about lawsuits. But while Glamorama is amazingly hilarious, to say that it is darker and more twisted venture than Zoolander is a gross understatement.
will you be offended? The answer in most cases is a resounding Y-E-S. Violence, sexuality, language and drug use all run gratuitously rampant. Glamorama is the “book of the week” as a influential period peace and accomplished work of satire, not necessarily as recommended reading. While more tame than his novel American Psycho (which has a reputation of being virtually unreadable) I would certainly encourage even those with a high tolerance for offensive material to think twice. If interested in Ellis’ work and looking for something less extreme, give Less Than Zero, The Informers or Lunar Park a try, all amazing books—still very dark and potentially offensive—but by no means as cringe inducing as his other work.
(artwork by Kate Collins)