American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis
Now a major motion picture from Lion's Gate Films starring Christian Bale (Metroland), Chloe Sevigny (The Last Days of Disco), Jared Leto (My So Called Life), and Reese Witherspoon (Cruel Intentions), and directed by Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol).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 1980s 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.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2019-11-13

Like Eating A Urinal Cake

***

The best word to describe American Psycho is cringeworthy. Bret Easton Ellis has continued his collection of satirical novels that elicit as much discomfort as seemingly possible. This book, published in 1991 by Vintage Books, consisting of 399 pages, is not for the faint of heart, rather the gorehounds. I can only imagine true sadists deriving pleasure from this book, but it’s clear to me that Brett Easton Ellis was targeting those who enjoy commentary underneath plenty of carnage, which can be said about his other books as well. It’s plain distressing to read about the nasty stuff Patrick Bateman, our protagonist, gets up to.  That’s about as deep as a summary one can draw from this book. The story purely consists of our main character generally causing a ruckus. It isn’t a comedy, yet it has notable moments of aforementioned discomfort that flow into this guilty sort of humor, where you laugh because you have no clue how to otherwise react. It’s insufferable but it must be read because it depicts the meaninglessness of our modern lives in a capitalist nation.

 This randomness makes the story unpredictable and wacky, but at the same time, slightly boring. Certain things Patrick does go without any consequence which makes the reader wonder, why is it that we as an audience should give Patrick our attention if no one in the story does. There is barely any cause or effect at play, just Patrick doing whatever he wants. This is where I start to see the story as a satire. It mimics the lives of the wealthy and materialistic by showing us just how meaningless the things they do are because, at the end of the day, they will never get in trouble.

Another thing Bret Easton Ellis does very well is making things like gruesome murders seem normal. Patrick will talk about a Genesis album in one chapter, then the torture of women the next, while expressing the same level of passion in both. To Patrick, killing is just like going to the grocery store, and this is not only unsettling to the reader, but it also plays with their priorities. Once again making them ask, why should I care about a murder if it’s inconsequential to the murderer himself? Also, Patrick is horrible at prioritizing as a narrator. He’ll talk about his skincare routine for five pages, thinking that this will be just as intriguing as his serial killings, to the point where I’d rather he talk about blood and guts as long as he shuts up about the mundane details of his life.

 

As hard as it is to read, I need to make it clear that this is not a bad book. As I said, It’s appalling and sometimes dull, but it is that way for a reason. These seemingly negative qualities add up and form the theme of the story. This book needs to be unbearable to depict how truly dreadful life for Patrick Bateman is.

Maggie Davies '19

Reviewed: 2018-11-10
Patrick Batemen is a HUGE Donald Trump supporter....
Reviewed: 2018-01-17
I read this book based on a recommendation of a friend. It was too disturbing for me and frankly too graphic, but I still thought it was a good book.
Reviewed: 2017-08-29
Book Description Now a major motion picture from Lion's Gate Films starring Christian Bale (Metroland), Chloe Sevigny (The Last Days of Disco), Jared Leto (My So Called Life), and Reese Witherspoon (Cruel Intentions), and directed by Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol). 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 1980s 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.
Reviewed: 2016-02-26
This book is so fucked up
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