My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Huh. So. That happened.
Modelland is possibly the purest distallation of literary crazy I have ever read. In a way it’s unrateable and unreviewable; a thick, clashing melee of genres and tones and words that once were English but now I’m not so sure. But I’ll try. I’ll try to review it. I’ll try my hardest. (Or, as the people of Modelland would phrase it – I’ll try my SMIZEST).
So I think the first thing you probably need to know is that I quite like Tyra. I don’t think her logic is our earth-logic, and I’m still smarting just a little bit over Kahlen not winning cycle four, but I do quite enjoy Tyra. I admire what she’s achieved, and what’s she’s done, and I love an episode of ANTM or ten, but god, I do not even begin to understand Miss Banks.
This book is – it’s odd. Spectacularly, vividly, viciously odd. It is an oddness that involves moments where girls self-flagellate in dungeons, where girls wonder around in outfits made out of handcuffs, a girl sucks the thumb of the local hottie because she’s too innocent to know how to kiss him, one girl parades around with her unshaven body before shaving, being revealed as beautiful, and then being eaten by a monster made out of legs with a soft “leech’s sucker” in the middle of it’s “fleshy underbelly”. I’ll leave you to further explore that one (and also the whipped cream fixation, the chapter about menstruation that gets all the girls synchronised and then gets rid of their cycle, the moment where the ‘fiercely real’ girl gets told she has an emotional relationship with food, the moment where the pale girl has somebody who stalks her because he wants to eat her liver…….).
If I were being very charitable, Modelland is probably more reminiscent of performance art than anything. It’s not really a book. It is a cornucopia of impracticalities and impossibilities and hysteria inducing sentences (“You begin your mornings staring at the fog, longing for the fateful evening when it will turn a golden yellow and then, finally, like a push-up brassiere, lift”).
There’s 563 pages of this, guys…