soapboxinmymind, August 13, 2010 (view all comments by soapboxinmymind)
American Psycho is satirical look at the upper crust of New York's socialites. It is also a psychological thriller about the life of a yuppie Harvard grad named Patrick Bateman who is a homicidal maniac. Bateman narrates his day to day life over the course of a couple of years. He tells of every mundane detail including what brand shirt, pants, suits, shoes, etc, everyone, including himself, is wearing. He describes his murders with no emotion, just as he does everything else.
Bateman and his "friends" spend much of their time trying to get reservations at the best restaurants and clubs in town. They run in circles where identity isn't as important as appearance and who you know, and people are often mistaken for others. Because of this constant mistaken identity, it is hard to tell if Bateman is truly a homicidal killer or if he is just suffering from delusional psychotic daydreams.
I found this book to be excruciatingly boring for the vast majority of it. The repeated themes in this book were; video returns, the Patty Winters Show, Manolo Blahniks, bums, hard bodies and reservations. I understand that this was a satire about how superficial New York socialites are, however, there are only so many pages that should be dedicated to painfully detailed descriptions of clothing and discussions of "where to eat". The first two thirds of the book were uncreative with regard to the murder and sex scenes. It isn't until the last third of the book that things got interesting. The main character finally let loose his homicidal rage in very graphic and colorful detail that made me cringe.
On a scale of 1-4, I give this book a 1. If the last third of the book hadn't gotten better, I would not have rated this book at all. With that said though, please read this book for yourself and let me know what you think.
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Laurelu79, March 25, 2009 (view all comments by Laurelu79)
An amazing portrayal of human aggression and the depravity in the race for materialism. The most striking part of the main character is how Ellis manages to make the reader relate to him, as disturbing as that may be. I would recommend this book to anyone who isn't too squeamish.
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jezzicasellers, December 21, 2006 (view all comments by jezzicasellers)
This is my favorite book. Bret Easton Ellis is a fantastic writer. American Psycho is not only a book but an experience, THE experience. Do yourself a huge mind blowing favor and read it, you won't regret it.
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Vintage Books USA -
by Norman Mailer, Vanity Fair,
"The first novel to come along in years that takes on deep and Dostoyevskian themes....[Ellis] is showing older authors where the hands have come to on the clock....He has forced us to look at intolerable material, and so few novelists try for that anymore."
by Fay Weldon, The Washington Post,
"Bret Easton Ellis is a very, very good writer [and] 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."
by Katherine Dunn,
"A masterful satire and a ferocious, hilarious, ambitions, inspiring piece of writing, which has large elements of Jane Austen at her vitriolic best. An important book."
by Michael Tolkin, author of The Player,
"A great novel. What Emerson said about genius, that it's the return of one's rejected thoughts with an alienated majesty, holds true for American Psycho....There is a fever to the life of this book that is, in my reading, unknown in American literature."
by Library Journal,
"This book is not pleasure reading, but neither is it pornography. It is a serious novel that comments on a society that has become inured to suffering."
by Gene Lyons, Entertainment Weekly,
"American Psycho's social criticism is purely sophomoric — horrifying only for its author's utter lack of narrative skill. To say that Ellis creates two-dimensional characters would be to flatter his understanding of human nature. (Grade: F)"
by Random House,
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.
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