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Sometimes, late at night in the hotel room, after the lights have gone out and the mistakes have already been made, when it is heavy and silent and still, I lie awake and listen to my pulse on the pillow…
Imagine you are on a tour bus, the miles whistling away beneath you as you sleep. Tomorrow you will wake up in downtown Somewhere. It doesn’t matter. All the skylines look the same. Time is only marked by events. The world is on a first-name basis with you.
But you…you barely even know yourself. There are those who give in completely to the idea of what it means to be famous. And those who can’t ever seem to leave the past behind. Life is a deep and contemplative story stuck on repeat—love, loss, self-destruction, self-discovery.
If you could go back to the way things were before you made it…would everything still be gray?
|Publication Date:||February 19, 2013|
|Product Length:||5.5 inches|
|Product Width:||0.9 inches|
|Product Height:||8.37 inches|
|Product Weight:||0.72 pounds|
|Package Length:||8.5 inches|
|Package Width:||5.83 inches|
|Package Height:||1.1 inches|
|Package Weight:||0.75 pounds|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 85 reviews|
|Average Customer Review: ( 85 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 27 found the following review helpful:
I liked it for what it was. Mar 08, 2013
As a huge Fall Out Boy fan, I have been waiting for this book for a long time. Pete has been writing this book (under a different name) for a while, and FOB fans never knew if it would ever surface. When I heard it was to be released, I was excited. I always knew that Pete's writing style would be flowery and metaphorical (and sometimes a little ridiculous) because that's what his lyrics are like. If you expected anything less, you're silly.
I mostly enjoy the way Pete writes. I like how he can suck you into a mindset and describe feelings in such a raw way. That's what makes FOB songs so compelling, too. But this alone isn't enough to carry the book. Whilst the story is simple, it's also very repetitive. He hashes over the same "problems" time and time again - which I think is the point, but you start to lose sympathy for the protagonist (which is obviously Pete). In some senses, I think this is intentional. I don't think Pete wants us to feel sympathy for him. Despite how depressing and apathetic the book is, I think he's just being honest. There are plenty of times in the book where the protagonist acknowledges that he isn't a pleasant person and I actually really liked the brutal honesty. As for "Her" (which is the ambiguous way he refers to his on/off girlfriend), I find her character tiring. Pete doesn't build her character well enough for us to care about her pain. One of the very first "problems" then have isn't explained well enough for us to care. He jumps from them being relatively OK, to briefly mentioning they argue, to him saying he wants to punish her for all the awful things she's done. To feel the anger alongside him, we need a little more insight than that. I found that difficult to shake. As the book progressed, you did feel more involved in their relationship but you're still very much just a spectator.
As for the other characters, as a FOB fan I found it weird to read about people with different names. There's no denying who "The Disaster", "The Animal" and "Martin". I appreciate that he doesn't use their real names because they're just "based" on these real people, but the story is not ambiguous enough for me to see them as separate characters simply inspired by. Pete insists it isn't a memoir-style book but it's so directly related that it's almost awkward. If he wanted to write just inspired by those he knows, he shouldn't have kept his protagonist (i.e him) in a successful rock band and could have transferred his experiences into different situations. So for me, this is very much a story about Pete's life, only most likely exaggerated.
Despite this, I DID read the book in one sitting. What does that say? That whatever was in there was worth it. I can't decide if it was because i'm fascinated by this being written by Pete, or if I secretly loved the craziness of this whole thing. I was like an explosion in my face of a crazy mans thoughts, and in that sense it was awesome. No, it won't be winning any awards. No, it isn't excellently written and it isn't executed all that great. But does that matter? Probably not. As a FOB fan, this is exactly what you expect. I'm not sure I would have wanted a glossy book with a moral message from Pete. It's imperfect, but it's honest and for that, i thoroughly enjoyed it.
6 of 6 found the following review helpful:
I think I need a drink, or five, after that one. Dec 22, 2013
By Aubrey Reads
It took me a couple of days of reflection to bring myself to write a review. When Gray ended, I just wasn't sure how I felt. The rawness and honesty stuck with me. There are few books I continue thinking about long after I've finished.
Grey is the story of a musician and his progression through the industry. When I went into the read I was expecting a lot about the music, with a little romance on the side (sex sells, remember?). In fact, that's why I thought Amazon suggested it to me. Yes, this book has those things, but the book is about the character's relationships with the girl, his band, family, the world and, most importantly, himself.
And that was the real tragedy of the story; the character's relationship with himself.
There was one line that stood out to me, "I love the way you have with words." All I could think was EXACTLY. The way this man bends, molds, and rearranges simple words to create something so profound is nothing short of raw talent. I don't think I have ever highlighted that many passages in my entire life. Mostly because they were funny, but some because of the pure emotion he could provoke with a few words. All of them made me actually stop and think. Often, a laugh would follow.
`Freud suggests that in order to love someone else, one must love themselves. ... Unfortunately, no one really loves themselves. And, if they do, they need to get to know themselves better."
How true is that?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not stepping on the Gray train and screaming this was the best book ever. I'm not saying the plot, grammar, etc, was epic. I'm saying that Wentz's brilliant use and manipulation of words is magical. That's what kept me going, because a story is just a story until the right person tells it.
This book is meant to be fictional, but something about it felt so personal. At times I was almost uncomfortable because it felt like Wentz himself was naked and vulnerable. I don't know how true any of the stories are, but they felt real. No matter how much you say you want to know somebody, there were times I just wanted out of this character's head. I wanted him to have some privacy, because everybody deserves a little bit of it.
I enjoyed how Wentz didn't put gloss on anything. It was honest, and unpretty at times (most of the time). But that was the point, I think. You have this character who wanted, and believed in, the fairy tale. He wanted the happily ever after. Instead, he got real life.
Even the details about the lifestyle, the expectations, the pressure -- it was certainly not glamorized. What is most frightening is that Wentz likely did fluff them a bit, and leave out some of the worst things. It's an entirely different world, and chances of survival seemed minimal.
The relationship the character had with Her is nothing shy of turbulent. It's such a love/hate thing that I was brought back to my late teens. Who hasn't had one of those relationships? Sometimes, they're the best. But other times, they can ruin you. It felt that these two kept swinging back and forth on what the damage was. She brought out the best and worst of him.
"The air in Her bedroom is heavy with smoke, but the fireworks are over."
He's in a band, and they're on the road to success, all while he is fighting his inner demons and the outside world. It's a reminder that these artists, the ones we "love" so much, are people. They have problems, and emotions. Just because his dreams are solidifying, it doesn't mean he's truly happy, and that's okay. That's life.
The symbolism is all over this story. I'm not great with spotting those things, but I have friends that are and strongly encouraged them to read this. I think it takes a creative mind to see and understand those things, which I don't have. I can definitely appreciate it, and I enjoyed what parts I did actually catch.
My only hang-up with the book was the ending. I had read the major spoiler beforehand (I don't like emotional blows; surprises are not my thing), but the actual ending was so unsettled. I think that was also symbolic, and many will appreciate that. I, personally, like more finality. But that's not life, and this book was definitely about the honesty of life.
I did find my new motto in this plethora of brilliant lines, because it completely describes me.
"Sometimes I am willing to believe in anything if it means ignoring the reality of the situation."
Overall, I can't help but recommend it. It's different from most books I review, but it's definitely earned its spot as a favorite. Just don't expect some happy ending, nicely boxed up with a bow - you won't find that here.
Unfortunately, something tells me I won't be able to just email this author to purchase a signed copy like I normally do. Oh well. And, yes, my review is lacking its normal inappropriate humor. I blame the sad book. No laughs for sad books.
6 of 8 found the following review helpful:
Good, but flawed... Mar 20, 2013
As a longtime fan of Fall Out Boy, when I heard Pete Wentz was writing a book I was automatically interested in reading it, since I have always loved his lyrics. Although I did enjoy the book, it definitely let me down in a lot of ways.
First of all, I'm not sure why this book is labeled as fiction when Pete was obviously writing almost entirely about his life and his experiences. I'm sure some parts are embellished - such as what happened to his on and off girlfriend in the end, which I suspect was totally false - but overall, this reads as more of a memoir than a novel. I wished he would have wrote either 100% about his own life or 100% about a fictional character, instead of mixing both, which is kind of confusing.
Anyway, the book is mostly about the author's rocky relationship with his on and off girlfriend, his struggles with depression and anxiety, and how these contributed to his drug use and suicide attempts. Although he is also writing music, recording songs, and touring with his band, there is little actually mentioned about all those things, other than him just saying they were happening. There's not much detail about those events, the book is mainly about how he felt while struggling with mental illness and his ex-girlfriend, and trying to be part of a band at the same time. I thought reading about his feelings and mental state was interesting, but I wish the book had been about a little more than that, as it did get tiresome after a while. (Although, that's how depression is in real life - it was an honest portrayal, just didn't always make for the best reading).
This book read more like a diary in which the author was just trying to get their thoughts out on paper rather than creating an actual story. At times I felt like it just rambled on without much rhyme or reason. I did like Pete's writing style, which is very metaphorical, and as someone who has also suffered from depression/anxiety, I enjoyed reading about it from his point of view, and the way he described it. You can find bits and pieces of Fall Out Boy lyrics throughout Gray as well, which is fun.
I honestly feel that if the author wasn't famous and there weren't so many fans already willing to buy and read the book, this never would have been published. (Sorry Pete). There is no real plot, little to no character development, no progression in the story, no real beginning, and no real ending. Gray seems more like a collection of blog posts or journal entries than a novel. This book intrigued me and captured my attention, but in the end I still felt a bit let down, wishing it was more like a real novel. If you suffer from mental illness or are a Fall Out Boy fan, you will probably enjoy this book. If neither of those things apply to you, you probably won't.
4 of 5 found the following review helpful:
Praise for Gray Feb 25, 2013
By Patrick Oates
I have read the book and it is extremely well written. The novel takes you on an incredible journey and leaves you at the edge of a new beginning. The main character is a 21st Century Holden Caulfield.
3 of 4 found the following review helpful:
I liked it, but you may not Jul 08, 2013
By Jasmine Heyward
I came into this with pretty low expectations because or read a lot of bad or "meh" reviews, but I really enjoyed this! A couple do's and do nots:
DO read if you're interested in psychology, especially abnormal psychology (mental illness) and psychopharmacology (how drugs affect the brain)
DO NOT read just because you are a Pete Wentz/Fall Out Boy fan and you want to know more about his/their story. That will not be enough for you to enjoy this, especially since parts of this "novel" are word for word from real life and parts are very different.
DO read if you enjoy vivid imagery that really paints a scene and makes you *feel* the characters
DO NOT read if you want a book that is extremely plot driven: so much so that you could draw it out on one of those little diagrams that you used in school. It's just not.
Basically, try to separate it from Pete/FOB (I know, it's hard) and enjoy the writing in the moment, not for the entire literary structure, and you will enjoy it. I did at least.
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