Book #102: Glitterland (2013)

glitterlandauthor: Alexis Hall
language: English
length: 402 minutes (6 hours 42 minutes)
finished listening on: 26 April 2016

There’s a bit of a dearth of LGBT fiction in general, and this book seemed a bit minor when I saw it on Audible’s website – I wasn’t sure whether to risk it, basically. Also it’s a little short. I enjoyed it for the trashy romance that it is, and that’s good.

The book is a love story of opposites attract – the main character is a bipolar writer, probably based on Stephen Fry or Oscar Wilde, and his unlikely love interest is a dancer and model. The plot is predictable from that alone. The book spends a lot of time on musings about class, and it was frustrating how the main character didn’t cotton on, reject the notion of class early on, and accept his feelings for what they were. Just when you thought he had, he blurted out something else stupid, and had another mental breakdown as a result.

The audiobook presentation was pretty good for this one – the narrator was able to flit between different accents and voices as well as you’d like, and I enjoyed listening to him as a result.

The book also has some comedic moments – one that I can remember is the notion of top and bottom in gay relationships, which was briefly hinted at at one point when the dancer guy doesn’t expect to be asked to be a top. There are also a lot of relatable moments for me, which has been important lately.

Equally important to this book was the mental illness of the main character, which I sometimes felt was overstated, but the author paints a good picture of someone who doesn’t deal with emotions well and expects the world to stand against him, so keeps locked up about his issues. This may be a realistic and common way of trying to deal with stuff, but still, I felt that if the characters had just been honest from the start about their feelings, a lot of the drama could have been easily avoided. Like the main character really does a lot of stupid stuff, and that started to drag.

I enjoyed it overall – I think some people I know might too, on the proviso that despite its pretensions (after all, it’s about a writer, which is as self-indulgent as you can get as an author), it’s not high literature.

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