A drag queen initiates her protégée into the magical arts in this phantasmagoric epic, the first novel from the legendary comics writer and New York Times bestselling author.
“Grant Morrison is a modern mythmaker.”—Alex Segura, bestselling author of Secret Identity
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: NPR
Luci LaBang is a star: For decades this flamboyant drag artist has cast a spell over screen and stage. Now she’s the leading lady in a smash hit musical. But as time takes its toll, Luci fears her star is beginning to dim.
When Luci’s co-star meets with a mysterious accident, a new ingenue shimmers onto the scene: Luda, whose fantastical beauty and sinister charm infatuate Luci immediately . . . and who bears a striking resemblance to Luci herself at a much younger age.
Luda begs Luci to share the secrets of her stardom and to reveal the hidden tricks of her trade. For Luci LaBang is a mistress of the Glamour, a mysterious discipline that draws on sex, drugs, and the occult for its trancelike, transformative effects.
But as Luci tutors her young protégée, their fellow actors and crew members begin meeting with untimely ends. Now Luci wonders if Luda has mastered the Glamour all too well . . . and exploited it to achieve her dark ambitions.
What follows is an intoxicating descent into the demimonde of Gasglow, a fantastical city of dreams, and into the nightmarish heart of Luda herself: a femme fatale, a phenomenon, a monster, and, perhaps, the brightest star of them all.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A fading celebrity meets his nemesis in this spellbinding magic realism mystery. Former TV star Graeme Mott’s career is waning—his alter ego, ultra-flamboyant drag queen Luci LaBang, hasn’t had work in years. Then Luci gets called up to star in an offbeat stage musical that’s having a run of bad luck (or is it cursed?). There, Luci meets the gorgeous, enigmatic Luda, and things really start to go south. Award-winning comic book author Grant Morrison imbues his first novel with all the glitter and mystery of what Luci calls her Glamour—the makeup-and-attitude ritual that helps Graeme get into character—as well as cheeky humor and striking metaphors. Morrison describes his city of Gasglow (an alternate-universe Glasgow) as an elegantly wasted, possibly haunted twilight city of dreams where nothing is as it seems. It’s all gorgeous and creepy and unforgettable.
Comics writer Morrison (Supergods) debuts with an intricate and fantastical take on All About Eve starring an aging drag queen and her ambitious protégé. The not-entirely-reliable guide through this "haunted arcade of shifting selves and liquid identities" is Luci LaBang, a former television star now in her 50s. "Narcissus in middle age, in all her airbrushed Hollywood splendor," as she describes herself, is tapped to participate in a stage production called The Phantom of the Pantomime, a mix of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Aladdin, and The Phantom of the Opera by way of Beckett. Luci is also a master of an occult-influenced, perception-bending art called The Glamour. After a suspicious accident befalls Luci's costar, she's replaced by an inexperienced yet bewitching ingenue named Luda. A "Rentboy" with a traumatic past, Luda is desperate and determined to learn The Glamour's "sleight of mind," particularly the ability to disappear into someone else. She becomes a sort of sorcerer's apprentice until, perhaps unsurprisingly, her sinister motives are revealed. Though the madcap theatricality can sometimes feel a bit overwrought, Morrison's dense and often dazzling sentences brim with Wilde-esque wordplay. For readers willing to go the distance, magic awaits.
Interesting but long-winded
Lots of interesting plot points and witty narration, but EVERY LINE is made so precious and overly-wordy that it just gets to be TOO MUCH. The plot and characters are interesting but it’s stretched and drawn out way too long for my patience.