American Psycho is a novel by Bret Easton Ellis, published in The story is told in the first .. Author Bret Easton Ellis said, "American Psycho was a book I didn't think needed to be turned into a movie," as "the medium of film demands. American Psycho book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Patrick Bateman is twenty-six and he works on Wall Street, he is. American Psycho [Bret Easton Ellis] on In the first third of the book, Pat Bateman, a year-old who works on Wall Street, describes his designer.

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American Psycho Book

Like American Psycho, many of these books had to fight their way into print, which was often perversely helpful. Hearing that a book is too. ÔÇťAmerican Psycho is the journal Dorian Gray would have written had he been a high It would show that we can tell real books from the fakes. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

Damn this book is graphic! It's the s and the rich keep on getting richer and the poor keep on getting poorer. Patrick Bateman is bored of his humdrum life on Wall Street. Nothing seems to excite This book was really trippy to read. While I think in some ways it was a valuable read, if only to get into the mind of a psychopath and understand the mindset, but in other ways, it was brutal to American Psycho. Bret Easton Ellis. In American Psycho , Bret Easton Ellis imaginatively explores the incomprehensible depths of madness and captures the insanity of violence in our time or any other. Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront. American Psycho: His works have been translated into twenty-seven languages. He lives in Los Angeles.

American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis. Silence Shusaku Endo. Cloudstreet Tim Winton. Blood Meridian Cormac McCarthy. Dispatches Michael Herr. The Master Colm Toibin. Master and Margarita Mikhail Bulgakov.

Would American Psycho be published today? How shocking books have changed with their readers

The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold. Review Text American Psycho is a beautifully controlled, careful, important novel. The novelist's function is to keep a running tag on the progress of the culture; and he's done it brilliantly. A seminal book Fay Weldon Washington Post show more. Review quote Our killer nonchalantly takes his blood-splattered clothes to the dry cleaners and gives them attitude when they complain about the stains. His first work of non-fiction, White, was published in He lives in Los Angeles.

Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads.

American Psycho

Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X. Learn about new offers and get more deals by joining our newsletter. Sign up now. So is it possible to be a feminist and still enjoy American P As far as I can tell, there are two ways to interpret this book. So is it possible to be a feminist and still enjoy American Psycho?

My personal, subjective answer to this question is yes. I can understand the objections others have raised and, unsurprisingly, I found the violent scenes intensely disturbing and difficult to read, and skimmed over the worst parts in the same way I'd squint at the screen during a particularly bloody film scene. The titular psycho, protagonist and narrator, Patrick Bateman, is undoubtedly a horrifically misogynist character - both in terms of the hideous things he does to women and in the minute details of the ways in which he perceives and judges them.

The female characters pretty much all of them, one by one are objectified in the ultimate way - desired, fucked, tortured, dissected, even eaten.

The violence is often juxtaposed closely with graphically detailed sex scenes or fantasies, with the two flowing into one another until they begin to seem almost inseperable. To me, this feels like a damning comment on the links between pornography, the consumer of pornography's view of women, and violent behaviour.

And after all I've read about the author's motivations in writing the novel and other readers' and critics' reactions to it, I'm fairly sure this is how it's meant to be read. The story is so obviously an allegory that, to be honest, I find it hard to understand how anyone could take it seriously as a fantasy of violence. Bateman announces his crimes to colleagues and girlfriends at numerous points, with these confessions become more blatant and more desperate as the book goes on - yet it seems nobody ever hears him, or their own self-absorption and greed is advanced to such a level that they don't notice or care.

The character becomes more and more of a blank canvas as the book goes on, a development underlined by the fact that he is constantly being mistaken for someone else, or spotting an acquaintance and not being sure exactly who it is. The men melt into a homogenous blur of Brooks Brothers suits, Valentino ties, slicked-back hair and nonprescription glasses; the women into an interchangeable mass of blonde hair, big tits, whiny voices and Carolina Herrera silk blouses.

In the end it doesn't seem that Bateman is actually a character as much as an amalgam of these people: As the narrative becomes ever more surreal and descends into madness towards the book's conclusion, the latter theory begins to seem more and more likely. Bateman's supposed victims seem to reappear; he is involved in an impossibly lengthy police shoot-out which yields no retribution; he begins to step outside himself, narrating from a third-person perspective.

The only incident in which he is identified as a killer by someone else appears, at second glance, to be a straightforward robbery. At the very end of the story, the reader is left to make up their own mind about the truth of events, making this a classic example of the unreliable narrator genre I really should create an unreliable-narrators shelf here, I love them so much. This book is, as its reputation suggests, a harrowing read at times, but it's also truly hilarious in parts - the endless repetition, the lengthy passages solemnly appraising the back catalogues of dreadful 80s bands, the meticulous descriptions of ludicrous meals and label-laden outfits.

I loathe gratuitous violence and 'torture porn' films but while the violent scenes in this book are arguably unnecessary in their detail, they are contained within the context of a viciously intelligent satire. I wavered between admiration, amusement and repulsion throughout many of the earlier chapters, but I really loved the ending; the build-up and the subtle changes and the conclusion itself, all so brilliantly done.

Altogether I thought this was an absolutely fantastic, if not always 'enjoyable', book and I don't feel bad about saying so. View all 9 comments. Y por eso mismo American Psycho no es una obra maestra. No ahonda en lo esencial de la existencia humana; ignora lo que nos hace, a pesar de todo, personas.

Alimenta, expande y difunde lo que detesta, y haciendo eso, se mimetiza con lo que ataca y sucumbe en la simpleza. Exterioriza algo que no me parece completamente cierto. No nos muestra que hay cosas que no se pueden comprar. Leyendo este libro, me preguntaba: Antes de terminar quiero aclarar que no estoy en contra de la evidencia social. De que un autor destape y escarbe en lo oscuro de nuestra existencia. No me interesa leer sobre personajes espurios o que ejemplifiquen lo que no es ser humano.

No es nada que no sepa y estoy cansado de ello. Es verdad que el materialismo existe, y desgraciadamente no sale de su auge; es verdad que los narcisos abundan en la calles y comen a nuestro lado con falsas sonrisas. Mis obras favoritas no son de ese tipo, sino las opuestas.

No repruebo el perfil desesperanzador de American Psycho. En fin. Aburrido, tedioso y absurdo.

Un libro muy pobre, que no aporta nada relevante. View all 36 comments. Actual rating: I wrote a book that is all surface action: I get the message he wanted to sent out, and I'm definitely able to respect and appreciate that.

However, I personally appreciate well-developed characters and a good plot even more, so this book just wasn't for me. At the end, I felt like nothing had happe Actual rating: At the end, I felt like nothing had happened, even though so much had happened?? I don't know how to describe it I guess that's the point of the novel: For everything to just be on the surface, for nothing to make an impact. So again, the purpose of the author was definitely fulfilled; it just wasn't the kind of book I enjoy reading.

Damn this book is graphic! It's the s and the rich keep on getting richer and the poor keep on getting poorer. Patrick Bateman is bored of his humdrum life on Wall Street. Nothing seems to excite him more than stopping people and ripping them apart. We follow his quick descent into madness as Ellis gives us in a blow-by-blow fashion. With the exception of a few scenes, the movie is pretty much true to the book.

They cut out a lot of the sex as well as the killing of a child and a dog. They als Damn this book is graphic! They also toned down the gore substantially. I can see why people hate this book.

Patrick Bateman and his "friends" are a pack of egotistical and extremely self-centered pricks. I mean it's supposed to be American Psycho, not American Douchebag right? However sexist Bateman is not. And I will tell you why Women are either trash or hard bodies or they are deemed as unfuckable and are completely in love with him.

Men also fit into three categories for Bateman: He even looks down on animals LOL. Bateman is a case where he in discriminately looks down upon everyone that is not him. As the somewhat rational person that I like to think I am, I have a hard time thinking that another human being could actually put pen to paper the way that this author did with some of these scenes. It kind of makes you sick. That's how sickening it is. With all of that aside the book is rather a boring read.

The Douchebag Circle is constantly talking about the hard bodies they want to fuck or the new things that they bought or who is sleeping with who or the drugs they can score and where. All of it is extremely monotonous and takes up more than half of the book in all. It gets rather annoying. With everything considered I would have to say this was an okay read. However I wouldn't really recommend this book because of the extremely graphic scenes and apparently obvious tendency to piss people off for one reason or another.

You can also watch my review of this book on YouTube here: View 2 comments.

Aug 29, GTF rated it it was amazing. Where to begin? Well firstly, I will just comment on the violence in this novel and say that it contains some of the most graphic torture and killings that I have ever read about both in the real and fictional world.

There are wild and creative forms of brutality performed on people that I didn't know were possible. I am not easily put off by goriness but a lot of pages of this book were difficult to read. It goes without saying that 'American Psycho' is not for the faint-hearted.

American Psycho - Wikipedia

The story is Where to begin? The story is told from the perspective of a wealthy investment banker named Patrick Bateman who lives on one of the most expensive and prestigious streets in New York City. The beginning of the novel suggests nothing too horrific about Bateman but he does often mutter very questionable remarks about himself under his breath, begins seething over trivial matters and is remarkably meticulous with identifying expensive clothes and jewelry.

To the reader, he is initially just another self-absorbed upper-class asshole who lives a very extravagant, promiscuous and drug-fueled lifestyle. However, the dark and cruel side of Bateman's character eventually manifests and his acts of murder and sadism become a frequent hobby.

It also becomes increasingly clearer that his sanity is very dubious as he develops trouble with distinguishing the real from the imagined. His decaying sanity along with his astounding callousness creates a highly unreliable narrator. In a way this book reminded me of 'The Catcher in The Rye' with the addition of appalling violence and insanity as it is not centred around a plot but instead just features endless and intriguing pondering of the male narrator.

Easton Ellis is very skilled at creating characters. He can divide people into various categories of habits, temperament, level of empathy, and then insert them into novels in a way that makes them feel real. View all 6 comments. Feb 18, mark monday rated it did not like it Shelves: Criminal had arty direction by an interesting director that i like, Mark Romanek.

American Psycho is also interesting: View all 11 comments. Mar 25, Brad rated it it was amazing Shelves: When a book sticks with you, you know it is powerful. It may not be entertaining, and it may be downright disturbing, but if you can't get it out of your head it is most certainly great, and that is my experience with American Psycho.

For me, it's about the music. Bret Easton Ellis did something miraculous within Patrick Bateman's killings: Before every nasty killing, Bateman goes on a diatribe about the music of one o When a book sticks with you, you know it is powerful. Before every nasty killing, Bateman goes on a diatribe about the music of one of these eighties' faves, then listens to the music while killing, making it the soundtrack of habitrails and bloodshed.

I can't listen to any of these singers without visions of Patrick Bateman's killings flooding into my consciousness. Granted, losing some of these singers is worse than the loss of others, but it has been over a decade since I last read American Psycho and the gory music video Ellis conjured in my mind is as strong as ever.

I can barely reference the images of the real videos of "I Want a New Drug" or "If This Is It," but I can see a voracious rat about to eat a woman to death through her reproductive organs with stunning and disgusting clarity.

It is not a pretty book, and the squeamish should stay away, but for anyone who seeks to be overwhelmed by images they will never forget, American Psycho is one of the greatest books ever written. Patrick Bateman is the quintessential eighties American male; he may even be America itself. Obsessed with appearance and appearances, consumption and greed almost clinically so , Bateman is arrogant to the point of hubris, malicious, deviant, and ultra violent, yet he still maintains an outward likability that completely fools his friends allies much like the nation he so perfectly represents from his first person narrative -- "me, me, me" -- right down to his designer suits and morning, skin revival rituals , and therein lies one of the necessities of violence in Ellis' narrative.

If Bateman is America, Ellis needs to lay the nation's murderous streak bare; he needs to make people face the brutality and horror of the murderous act -- not simply gloss over it and move on as post-Vietnam America wittingly did and continues to do. Even today, people blithely ignore the violence inherent in the American system, and if American Psycho is an allegory for this system, the terrible violence of Bateman's cruelest moments become the most important moments of the book.

They force us to face the cruelty, to see the cruelty and not forget it. And if Ellis were to drop the violence but maintain the rest of the book as a criticism of consumerism, the removal of the violence would simply become another version what Reagan's America did so well and the nation has been doing so well ever since -- admitting the less offensive problems to hide the more offensive.

Even if we drop the allegory, however, and simply see Bateman as a monster whose presence criticizes hyper-misogyny, hyper-violence, hyper-masculinity, and hyper-consumption, Ellis' choice to express the violence as he did is sound because when Patrick Bateman isn't being violent and he isn't being literally violent very often his narrative has the ability to lull us into comfort -- to forget how horrible the man can be, how horrible he really is. Thus, the book's moments of shocking violence wake us out of our comfort zone and force us to face the sort of monster our culture created and still creates there are more serial killers killing today, after all, than ever before.

When Ellis was writing this piece, I doubt that he was considering the infamy his book was about to achieve. So when I read American Psycho I try to suspend what I already know about the contents of the book and the controversy surrounding the book and imagine which is the best I can do what it would have been like for a reader who had no idea what they were getting into -- which was surely Ellis' intent even if this could only happen a few times in the book's history: Bateman's cynicism and his dislike of the insufferable people that surround him would likely win over most readers very quickly; we would connect with his unhappiness and quickly come to empathize with a man who's struggling to find out what is wrong with his life, even though he has a dream job, everything he'll ever need, and a potentially dream life.

He is a murderer. And not just a murderer but the worst kind of sadistic serial killer one can imagine. It challenges us to wonder if anyone can be part of this culture and truly claim innocence. What an amazing reading experience it is must have been for the people who read the book without any foreknowledge.

And what a tremendous feat of writing on Ellis' part. If you try to read American Psycho today, I hope you approach it from this direction because I think all of Ellis' possible purposes come clearer when we enter American Psycho as a blank slate -- even if it can only be an imaginary one.

Apr 15, Mykle rated it liked it. I'm finally about able to process this book. Everybody was waiting for something from the guy, some answer to the question of whether or not he was a genuine talent or just last month's flavor for an increasingly trend-driven publishing world. No I'm finally about able to process this book. No unkind word ever said about a book wasn't said about this one.

It was called incompetent crap, the author was vilified a fraud and, worse, an inciter of rape and murder. And as all the controversy if you can call the entire lit media deciding to hate the same book a "controversy" drove sales through the roof, the ultimate slap in the author's face was when the New York Times actually erased the book from its 1 position on the best seller list -- they just shoved it down the memory hole, in the interests of "taste and decency.

Which led me and I'm sure many others to reconsider our feelings for this book we had heard so much about but hadn't read, and Ellis has a great talent for describing vapidity, an amazing imagination for the empty conversation of horrible people. Empty, horrible people are the subject of this book as well as his first book, but he definitely perfected his techniques here.

But the narrative description has a precise emotionlessness and an absence of judgement, which was at that time his signature style. And that style, which works fairly well for the nihilistic young coke-zombies of Less Than Zero, is here just perfectly suited to describing the mental state of the madman, the mimic, the sophisticated monster that is Patrick Bateman.

Patrick Bateman, the eponymous psycho, narrates his reality with a vocabulary of repeating tropes: All of which is dryly, darkly hilarious. These are the superficial building blocks of Bateman's superficial reality, and through the obsessive order thereby repeatedly described Ellis slowly introduces cracks.

The first third of the book is a remarkably controlled fugue of this stuff, actually quite musical, in which little glimpses of evil build and build, accelerating toward the certainty that something very bad will happen -- all the while continuing a richly detailed, absurdly amusing sendup of the lives of detestable, useless rich brats. It creates a delicious suspense. But then something changes, and this is where it all gets difficult.

Because after the first brutal murder he describes in detail -- though he's insinuated a few others by then -- the book goes from form to chaos. The evil crescendos but keeps building, like a screaming loud noise that keeps getting louder. Bateman tortures and kills and tortures and kills, in passages that are exquisitely rendered and increasingly hard to stomach. I admit I began just skipping them. Ellis' imagination for awful things is on fire here, especially in these sections devoted to sexual torture.

These passages, though relatively few pages, are what all the fuss was about. They are deeply, deeply disturbing, and one can't help wondering if they're necessary. Nevertheless, there's another problem: The thick middle of the book is a series of vignettes with little need for them to happen in any order.

Bateman goes shopping, hallucinates, kills a prostitute, a co-worker, some animals, an old friend, shops some more. Mostly we get episodes in an ongoing battle with his mental state -- not that he's trying to change, or that he feels guilt or anything. He actually uses the word "bad" to describe his actions exactly once; I think it must have been a proofreading error.

He just craves control of himself and sometimes can't find it, gains or loses it, finds himself with more or less of it. But honestly, at this point any remaining reflex a reader could have to sympathize with Patrick Bateman's so-called problems is as dead as the homeless man we watched him stab in the eye. A sane reader will probably recoil from his or her natural vicarious projection into the role of the narrator; one has to read this book very differently from how one normally reads books, or else feel deeply corrupted and dirty.

Certain torture passages of the book are torture just to get through. Torture of the characters, torture of the reader, and Ellis himself described writing it as a kind of torture too. It left me to wonder if Ellis had begun by inventing these middle vignettes one at a time, discovering his character's traits and voice along the way, and only years later completed the opening and closing sections.

No matter how else I felt, I did become very interested in the question of "what the fuck was he thinking, writing this? Bateman's best friend vanishes mysteriously before the ugliest parts happen, then reappears near the end. Bateman finds himself somehow unable to murder his execrable gold-digging girlfriend, but does finally dump her. He is likewise unable to murder his secretary -- one of the two truly warm, decent, thinking, listening women described in the book.

He tortures, murders and eats the other one -- and yet in a penultimate vignette Bateman starts to wonder if the love of a good woman could somehow reform him. The scene is strangely poignant, but still ranks as the maddest moment in the whole book.

Bateman, despite his raging homophobia, is also oddly unable to kill his closeted gay co-worker Luis after Luis confesses his love-that-cannot-be-named for Patrick. It's as if he's powerless to hurt anyone who actually cares for him -- which adds up, fortunately or not, to about two and a half people in all of New York. Meanwhile, his ongoing, baffling inability to be caught or even suspected in the dozens of casual, brutal murders he commits is briefly challenged by a pushover detective who detects nothing at all, and then again in a violent gun battle with mysteriously incompetent police.

By the end of the book one might or might not wonder if Bateman has "grown" or "changed" or had a "character arc" -- there are some clues to that effect, maybe -- but I honestly could only have been satisfied to see him caught, judged, executed, tortured, punished, hurt, made to feel or understand what he'd done.

The book builds a craving for some kind of justice that goes totally unfulfilled. It left me pissed off and angry, and of course the natural target for that anger is Brett Easton Ellis.

Why did he do this? Why did he write this so well, and yet to such ugly and apparently meaningless effect? Why did he ruin a perfectly good satire of the despicable classes by throwing in all this brutal, numbing, pornographic violence and forcing me to wallow in it with him?

The book ends with a very conscious, pat answer to those predictable questions when he summarizes and defends the entire novel in a single paragraph ostensibly about lunch. I won't quote it, but the long and short of it is that Patrick Bateman and Ellis by metaphor is just "doing his thing.

What I see here is an writer with unique power, un-beholden to the cliches of the American novel -- what you might call an Important Author -- but he's only in his early twenties.

He's seen a lot, recorded it well, but has only so much depth to add. Due to his rampant early success, he's living the same coke-fueled, money-bleached existence as all these young, overpaid Manhattan financiers. They're his friends and peers, or at least they enjoy the same restaurants. He is at an anxiously pivotal moment in his precocious writing career, and knows that his next book had better make a splash.

Shock value becomes its own justification in that context, and the task of skewering the eighties New York rich kids, which ought to have made a great book all by itself, suffers in the shadows of a mature talent bent to immature ends.

Interestingly, the film version of American Psycho reforms this situation nicely, communicating in broad strokes much of what's good about the book while leaving out the nastiest parts. So if you're interested in this book, I guess I'd recommend you see the movie. View all 14 comments. Aug 20, Tara rated it really liked it Shelves: I was simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning.

It goes over-the-top in almost every way possible. It does so in an attempt to function as a mind-numbingly excessive illustration of how excess numbs the mind. Yeah, I know, that sounds like a cutesy, gimmicky, too-clever setup for a novel, right? But, to my mind, Ellis makes it work. Aside from the humor, I believe another reason that it works so well is that readers catch these infrequent but genuinely jarring glimpses of themselves in the main character, Patrick Bateman.

And as a satire on what living in such a state of affairs looks like, I think this book succeeded admirably: Mine, at least, are nonprescription.

View all 16 comments. Feb 16, Jonathan Janz rated it it was amazing. I've been putting off writing a review of this novel because I have so many conflicting emotions about it.

So I'll just streamline it by throwing my reactions at you haphazardly. You know, kind of like Patrick Bateman's disordered thoughts.

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This book is vicious, vile, and often made me suppress a whimper. It's the only book that's ever sickened me to that degree. Bret Easton Ellis, like him or not, is a masterful writer, and this is a masterful book.

I've never in my life felt so guilty I've been putting off writing a review of this novel because I have so many conflicting emotions about it. I've never in my life felt so guilty for laughing at a book, but laugh I did. A lot. Have I mentioned how horrible the events detailed in this novel are? Imagine the worst thing possible. Then multiply it times seven. Then realize that what Patrick Bateman has in store makes what you imagined look like a PG horror movie.

The kind where things jump out at you, there's no nudity, and there are never, ever bloody deaths. Patrick Bateman is one of the most unique characters in all of fiction. I truly despise him. I also find his interpersonal interactions and reactions so hilarious that I was constantly entertained by him. At least, until he got women back to his apartment.

About that. I can't emphasize enough how monstrous Bateman's behavior is. Several times I found myself writhing in bed in the desperate hope that a scene would Please. So why is this a five-star review?

Because the book knows exactly what it is. This novel is utterly unique and totally unapologetic. So while I condemn the behavior in the book, I celebrate the artistry with which it's rendered. If you read it, I guarantee you'll feel a little worse about mankind afterward.

View all 26 comments. Aug 08, Krok Zero rated it really liked it Shelves: I would write a review, but I have to go return some videotapes. At this point I'm sure it bores everyone to dredge up the whole misogyny question again, but it still puzzles me that smart people who must certainly know not to confuse the character's perspective with the author's continue to pull the concern-troll card here. Like, it's perfectly I would write a review, but I have to go return some videotapes.

Like, it's perfectly valid if you think the satire in the book fails, or even if you think the violence is overwrought, but anyone who thinks this book is misogynistic must also believe that Mark Twain was racist for using the word "nigger" repeatedly in Huck Finn. You can't and won't convince me that there's any meaningful difference.

Of course, what's unfortunate about the "does this book hate women" discourse is that it blocks discussion of the hundreds of pages of this book that do not contain violence towards women or men.

One thing that surprised me going in, as I did, with various preconceptions was that Patrick Bateman is not really the cartoon character that Christian Bale portrayed in the movie. I mean, my memory of the film is dim, and I know that Bale was great in it, but on the page Bateman is a lot scarier because he's self-aware. You can't just dismiss him as an easily mockable artificial construct or a satirical avatar of Ellis's anti-yuppie vitriol, because you're living inside his head for pages, and it's clear that he knows exactly what he is -- and, more disturbingly, he seems to be the only character in the book for whom this is true.

I think that's the elephant in the room that people who talk about American Psycho either don't understand or don't wanna face: Bateman, as monstrous as he is, is actually the hero of this story. He's the only one who speaks directly and listens to people, while everyone else is off in their own solipsistic haze; he's the only one who seems to have any interests beyond the rank materialism of snazzy clothes and trendy restaurants, it's just that those interests involve sadistic torture and murder; he's the only one with any apparent concerns about the world and his place in it.

Given the utter voidlike vapidity of every single person in this novel, it's not unreasonable to say that Bateman is the only one with a soul. That is the truly frightening thing about this book, moreso than any of the torture-porn scenes.

Psycho can be repetitive and, I think, inconsistent -- is the eloquent, charming Bateman of the first chapter's dinner party really the same guy as the Bateman who can't complete any basic social interaction without begging off to go return some videotapes? Maybe it's just his descent into total madness, but something about the evolution of the character felt improvisatory on Ellis's part.

The other thing that's mostly missing here, which is why I think it's ultimately inferior to Less Than Zero , is the subtly calibrated pathos that made the earlier novel such a knockout. Without resorting to speeches or explanations, Ellis expressed in Less Than Zero a deep sadness that belied the narrator's affectless tone. In American Psycho , there was really only one moment that felt like the kind of grace note I loved in the earlier book, and I'll paste it here: We had to leave the Hamptons because I would find myself standing over our bed in the hours before dawn, with an ice pick gripped in my fist, waiting for Evelyn to open her eyes.

That's the most beautiful sentence in either book, maybe the only truly beautiful sentence Ellis has ever written -- his strengths as a writer do not really include handsome prose.

It's such a chilling image -- not a visceral horror like the infamous rat scene, but something that hits you right in the soul, something that, again, makes it impossible to domesticate Bateman by laughing at him. I wish there was more like it. But in the absence of that, there is plenty to laugh at; I loved the book's comic centerpiece, an all-night conference call between Bateman and a few of his buddies as they spend hours trying to figure out where to eat dinner.

It's the kind of marathon absurdism I love, like Mr. Show's Story of Everest bit, where you can't believe how long the joke is being dragged out, and eventually the dragging-out becomes the joke, to the point that you get irritated, but then the joke laps your irritation and you find it hilarious again.

Bateman's lone encounter with law enforcement actually a P. And it never stops being funny when Bateman will straight-up admit, in plain English, that he is a mass murderer, and his conversation partner will not register his confession at all -- because Ellis's most abundantly clear point is that people in this culture did not do not?

So nah, I don't think this is a Great American Novel, or the Great Gatsby of the late 20th century as one Goodreads reviewer floated , although I do think that's what Ellis was going for, in his own sick way. But twenty years later it's still stirring up debate, and if that's not a mark of good litterachurr I dunno what is.

Nov 04, Warwick rated it did not like it Shelves: I am not convinced that endless descriptions of murder and torture are a good metaphor for unrestrained eighties capitalism.

Consequently, while I have read many books that made me uncomfortable or nauseous, I have not read any that did so for such weak returns. The prose style is never better than competent. Picture the most explicitly degrading porno movie imaginable. Add Charles Manson with a shop full of torture instruments. Email address: American Psycho at 25 Twenty-five years on from its original publication, we look back at some of the first reviews of Bret Easton Ellis' most infamous novel. Article continues after advertisement.

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