Bookmarks: Musings of ‘FOB’ basist
Yes, this is a novel by THAT Pete Wentz, bassist and lyricist for Fall Out Boy, well known for his on-stage antics and “guy liner.” Now, (pretend to) forget the “crazy bassist” persona and read “Gray.”
Wentz writes like a striking and tragic collision of Chuck Palahniuk and John Green — his narrative is vivid, placing the reader in the exact space he wants you.
The surroundings are described down to the border on diner menus and make you feel every sleepless night and wave of endorphins (either caused by infatuation or chemicals) with all your head and heart.
Beginning and ending in a tour bus bunk, “Gray” is a roller coaster ride of emotional highs and lows and medicated stall outs, crashing in one final tragedy.
There are moments of profound clarity, resonating sadness and raw emotion that only a person who has survived it could tell. Wentz treats “Gray” as a surreal memoir to exorcize his inner demons.
Wentz does an astounding job taking the reader through how it feels to be so obsessed with something, whether a girl, an idea, a book, that in a twisted way it gives you some kind of comfort. In this case it’s a medical book about all prescription drugs he picks up in an unlikely place.
He describes how repeated plunges into the depths of depression feel, and finally how detrimental it is to have to be rescued, again and again, from yourself.
Though about a half of “Gray” is dark, the ending is beautiful in an ethereal, redeeming way.
Other band members are mentioned by nicknames, but if you are a fan of the band, you can tell who Wentz is talking about. “Gray” documents the first four years of Fall Out Boy, but time in Wentz’s world is as bendable as his moods.
Eternity is spent in a lover’s bed, while weeks blur together quickly.
The other three members of the band are mostly secondary characters, as “Gray” is not a documentation of the band.
If that is what you are looking for, the October issue of Alternative Press (featuring Fall Out Boy) is a better bet.
“Gray” isn’t a novel just for fan girls- anyone can read this and appreciate any of its many facets, be it Wentz’s uncanny abilities for enveloping description, the comedic relief of a secondary character or a novel that ends with the relief of forgiveness.
For whatever reason you choose, “Gray” is worth the shelf space.