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The Writer's Life 6/16 - Beautiful People

Brett Easton Ellis burst onto the literary scene in 1985 at the tender age of 21 with his novel of immoral youths, Less Than Zero, which was adapted to film, starring Robert Downey Jr., two years later. In 1991 another novel, the violent American Psycho, caused a storm of controversy. It too was made into a film, starring Christian Bale. I did not read either of those books. I did see Less Than Zero, which I was unable to relate to, as the characters' lifestyle was so different from my own. Among a recent donation of books made by my friend Richie, who I coached at Lafayette H. S., was Ellis' Glamorama (1998). Not only did I not relate to any of the characters, I was puzzled by the mix of the surreal and real. I did not understand the meaning of the confetti and ice that was prevalent, nor the constant chill in indoor venues or the odor of feces. The novel must hold the all-time record for name-dropping and product placement. Some of the famous people mentioned, including Bale, have dialogue. The first part of the narrative details the life of a male model wannabe actor/restauranteur. It is not flattering. As I was reading, I kept hearing Marilyn Manson's rant The Beautiful People, which I've never heard in its entirety. Song lyrics are integral to the novel, oft quoted by the protagonist, whose goal is to be hip, cool, famous. About midway, the story evolves into one of ultra violence, and I had a hard time discerning what was real and surreal, part of a movie or documentary. Maybe I didn't read it carefully enough. The prose and dialogue were solid, bold. I especially admired the dearth of commas. Unfortunately, I found the work unsatisfying. Perhaps more intelligent readers will get it. Ellis did not use any footnotes crediting the artists whose lyrics were cited. I was under the impression that a writer had to get permission to do this, which I find infuriating, as it is free publicity. I wonder if Ellis knows all the artists whose works he mentioned, and was granted license. I have an unpublished novel, Rising Star, about a rock band on file in which each chapter begins with a lyric. What a relief it would be not to have to eliminate them all or have to get permission for their inclusion. They add a lot of color to the work. Anyway, since I didn't understand what Ellis was trying to say in Glamorama, I will forgo the usual one to five rating. 

How is a day with only one sale at the floating book shop a success? - when it is a copy of one of your own books. My thanks to Dennis, who purchased Killing. I also thank whoever (whomever?) bought it on Kindle. Since last Saturday I've had six street sales of my books and two at Amazon. How nice it would be if it was like this all the time. "Dream on," as Aerosmith would say.

Visit Vic’s sites:
Vic’s Third Novel (Print or Kindle):
Vic’s Website: http://members
Vic’s Short Story Collection (Print or Kindle):
Vic’s 2nd Novel:
Vic’s 1st Novel:
Vic’s Screenplay on Kindle:

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Monday, 15 April 2024