Review: Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger

Posted: July 22, 2014 in Reviews
Tags: , , ,

This review was originally posted at West of Mars. It is being posted here, at its new permanent home.

I am not sure I knew Last Night at Chateau Marmont fell squarely into the category of Rock and Roll Fiction until a copy arrived from BookMooch and I read the cover flap. It’s the story of Brooke Alter and what happens to her when her husband lands a recording deal and becomes music’s new darling.

Okay, so it’s about Julian as he becomes a mega-star. That qualifies for rock and roll fiction, right? Even if Julian isn’t a rocker as much as a pop musician in the best sense of the word — after all, the guy lands the opening slot on Maroon 5′s tour.

This book doesn’t feel very rock-ish. If anything, it’s a story about celebrity. The paparazzi abound (although I don’t quite get how they conveniently disappear when the dog needs to be walked. Walter Alter didn’t come across as particularly interested in eating paparazzi.) and the jet-set lifestyle has definite negatives when you are the one at home, trying to continue to live your life as if nothing has changed. Gossip magazines rule your lifestyle.

In some senses, Julian could have been an actor thrust into the spotlight. Or a reality show star. His being in the music business didn’t matter.

And that is why this isn’t a rock and roll novel.

It’s a good read, though. Perfect for the beach. It’s not too deep, even when it flirts with serious topics like the serious bumps that can end a marriage or eating disorders. Even the ending is easy and breezy. It’s almost too easy, but that fits the sort of book this is. And it’s neat to see music from the angle of celebrity. That part, I can’t find fault with. It’s so real, so chilling. I can see the meeting of the scorned women so clearly, as if I was watching the reality show based on them. (Is there one? Gosh, I hope not!) And while I don’t read the rags, I’ve seen enough of them in my day to believe this vile, snarky world Weisberger plunges us — and Brooke — into.

If you’re looking for real rock and roll fiction, there are better books out there. If you want a pleasant read to pass a few hours with, this is definitely the one for you. I may not rave about it, but I’m sure glad I read it.

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Comments
  1. […] So… yeah, it sounds like it might be, but music is taking more of a backseat in this one. Which is fine… music can do that and still be Rock Fiction. Look at some books like Searching for Tina Turner or Last Night at Chateau Marmont. […]

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