Book Review: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

americanpsycho1I have read American Psycho before, but recently reread it after having to buy a new copy (my copy was destroyed after my brother took it along on his 3 year journey around Australia and Asia).

The first thing that strikes me about American Psycho, as it should anyone with a normal functioning brain, is that it is sickening. It is stomach churning, vomit inducing and generally sickening.

American Psycho gets deep into the mind of the narrator, Patrick Bateman – professional serial killer and part time businessman. Sorry, I shouldn’t confuse you by saying that he is a professional serial killer. No one is employing him, he does it for fun, it’s just that he is so good at it.

I find myself biting my lip when reading American Psycho, consciously telling myself that it is not real, it is definitely not real, but there are parts of the book that I cannot even read. The part about the boy in the zoo for example – if you are particularly sensitive and attempt to read this book, just skim over that bit.

Nonetheless, I have to say that Ellis’s writing is outstanding. The ability to make something feel so real that you fear for a moment that it is actually happening. The fact that you get so immersed in Patrick Bateman’s mind that you somehow feel responsible for his actions. I will read this again in the future, and feel just as disgusted as I did the first time reading it, but I will keep coming back because the writing style is just unbeatable.

Also, as a side note, the film with Christian Bale is a really good adaptation. Bale captures the character well, and American Psycho is the first film in which I really appreciated his acting abilities. I was sad not to get tickets to the musical as they were all sold out, but I would love to see how they captured the story on stage.

4.5/5

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One Response to Book Review: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

  1. It’s odd. I agree with you totally, this book is sickening and horrible and yet it is one of my favourite books. The dark humour helps I think, particularly in the movie, which is great. I’d love to know what the current musical is like starring Dr Who’s Matt Smith.

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