Thursday, January 22, 2015

#ThrowbackThursday - Glamorama

Oh, man, something about getting through Everything is Illuminated sparked my reading juices again. All of a sudden, the books are piling up, and I can’t get through the posts fast enough! Ok…that’s a slight overstatement, but I have been reading more. It’s relaxing again, probably because I don’t feel overwhelmed by the books, and I’m excited to get some of it done.

However, this Thursday we’re going to forget about my current reading, and take a step back in time.

I can safely make the prediction that this won’t be the last Ellis book that finds its way into my #ThrowbackThursday. I have one planned down the road, and I may even do an entire post entirely dedicated to him and his works. But for now, I’m just going to focus on Glamorama. And this one will throw us all the way back to high school.

When I was 16-years-old, I was a band geek. I know, a 27-year-old woman who chooses to read 84 books in 365 days and blog about it? Stretch your minds. So, during the summer before my senior year, in addition to working as a camp counselor, touring colleges, and studying for my SATs…I had to pack up my gear and take a week-long retreat to marching band camp.

Band camp was far from easy for me. It was more akin to training camp than any sort of retreat. We would be up at 5:30am, spend hours a day on our feet in the blistering sun learning our show for the year. It wasn’t like sports by any means, but it was taxing, and exhausting, and free time was at a premium.

While I loved spending time with my band friends, I needed my decompression time after a day on the drill field. And in the summer of 2003, that decompression time came in the form of a 560-page masterpiece called Glamorama.

It wasn’t my first experience with Bret Easton Ellis. I had read Less Than Zero, Rules of Attraction, and American Psycho, and I loved them. I was a 16-year-old literary geek, and I was all about Ellis. So I expected to love Glamorama.

And I wasn’t disappointed. I spent any free time I had that week with my nose buried in the book. In my bunk, holed up in the auditorium on campus, lying in a field between practice sessions. It would take 5 minutes to get lost in the book. My friends learned to look for me in my reading spots, and it was one of the better band camp experiences of my life?

I didn’t want to give away too much about the plot of Glamorama. It’s about a fashion model. Sort of. It’s also about moral fluidity, and the casual way we treat our own moral codes. If I go too much further into it, it’ll ruin it. When I picked it up, I knew nothing more than it was by Bret. And I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

Pick up Glamorama. I have read it many times since 2003, and I always find something new in the narrative. I always discover some point I hadn’t seen before, or discover something in myself that I had never expected. It’s compelling, and disturbing, and fun, and horrifying, and just an all around great book.

I’m glad I discovered it when I did, because I had all this time to enjoy every bit of it. I encourage you to do to the same.

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