Greta Gleissner, a longtime professional dancer, dreamed her whole life of becoming a Rockette. Then she became one and she fell into the grips of a powerful eating disorder that began poison her life from the inside out. Something Spectacular is Gleissner's raw, personal chronicle of the devastating effects bulimia exacts upon her life during her time as a Rockette. As her disorder takes over, she begins to lead a dual life: happy-go-lucky on the outside; tortured by obsessive, self-destructive voices on the inside.
Immersed in an environment in which even talent is secondary to appearance, Gleissner hides her disorder by any means necessary lying, cheating, and stealing with no regard for the consequences of her actions until she hits rock bottom and is forced to face the truths behind her disease. Her intensive odyssey of self-discovery ultimately gives her the strength to reshape her self-image, embrace her sexuality, and break free of the malignant hold bulimia has on her life. The first book to give voice to the pervasive but often unaddressed problem of eating disorders in the dance industry, Something Spectacular is a gripping expos of the insidious nature of eating-related diseases and a profound account of one woman's journey toward self-acceptance and recovery.
In Greta Gleissner's gripping Something Spectacular, the former Rockette reflects on one of the darkest periods of her life, during which she struggled with bulimia while simultaneously attempting to project joy, energy, and lighthearted youthfulness as a member of one of the most iconic dance troupes of all time. Gleissner tracks her own journey through illness and back up the long path to recovery, commenting the whole way on the perceptions and expectations that led her to develop such a destructive disorder.
Actor Dina Pearlman's strong voice telegraphs empathy and respect as she performs this deeply affecting memoir. Pearlman's pacing and enunciation are clear and conscientious, and she deftly cements listeners' affection for this audiobook's remarkable author.
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Super interesting if you're super interested
I find stories on eating disorders very fascinating and I loved how Gretta weaved the story of her life around her bulimia. I thought the way that she perfectly described the anxiety of an ED and the control it has over someone's life was very impactful.
I liked that it told you the truth in a very bare way. Also, it was written in a way that made it feel like a gripping novel instead of an autobiography. Gretta knows how to tell her story as if it was playing out like a movie.
So much characterisation, every person featured in the book had a different voice which helped flesh out the story. The drama she brought to the words was so effective, it was like listening to a secret radio play at times.
Not one sitting, but I don't know many books I could read in one sitting. I couldn't wait to listen to it before and after work though and I would listen to it whilst getting ready for bed in the evening.
If you're interested in the subject matter, the book will be thoroughly enjoyable. The whole thing is about her bulimia, but it is the story of her fascinating life, so it's never dull and always exciting to listen to. If you don't really have an interest in eating disorders and their effects, I would give this one a miss as you might not become engrossed in the story.
- G Etienne
sadly real to life with no magic wand to help pain
- Mrs Vanessa Jones