Title: American Psycho
Author: Brett Easton Ellis
Publiation Date: 1991
Genre: Transgressive fiction, postmodern, horror, black comedy
“Patrick Bateman is twenty-six and he works on Wall Street, he is handsome, sophisticated, charming and intelligent. He is also a psychopath. Taking us to head-on collision with America’s greatest dream—and its worst nightmare—American Psycho is bleak, bitter, black comedy about a world we all recognise but do not wish to confront.“
I picked this book up from my library, and then had to purchase a copy because by the time got into it and invested it was time to return it. I had heard good things about the movie with Christian Bale and as always, I wanted to read the book first.
The story is told in a first person narrative from our main character Patrick Bateman, who makes his money by working on Wall Street. He is a psychopath, quite simply as the book title puts it.
This become is descriptive, possibly too descriptive. When Bateman is talking about his co-workers, and “friends” (put in the loosest sense of the word) he picks apart exactly what they are wearing down to the specific high end designer, is it in season and how much is it. He is superficial, and does not care about anybody, only showing interest if they are wearing expensive designer clothes. Normally, I hate books that describe every little detail, this being the reason I have struggled to read some of Stephen Kings’ books, but with this book I felt that this level of description was necessary to emphasise Bateman’s character.
Bateman has a second life, he murders and enjoys it; you truly see why he is a psychopath. Now this is the part of the book I did have trouble with. The murders are brutal and are extremely descriptive, I’ve read crime thrillers that have had graphic depictions of murders, it is nothing new to me, but I really struggled with reading what was included in this book. It may be the combination of the point of view of the murderer, while the murders are depicted in such a way that shows his enjoyment of them. The through the book, and I lost interest in this book after a particular chapter, which I felt, was not necessary and was just pushing boundaries.
I can 100% see why this book is controversial. It is ridiculous and is a black comedy.
I gave this book 3/5 though after reading it on Goodreads. I enjoyed the book up until about halfway-two thirds of the way through. Brett Easton-Ellis’ writing is fantastic and not to be missed this is a piece that you will love or hate.
Happy reading, take care and stay safe – Lou x