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American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
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American Psycho (original 1991; edition 1991)

by Bret Easton Ellis

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9,110173329 (3.76)237
Member:librarianlinz
Title:American Psycho
Authors:Bret Easton Ellis
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American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (1991)

  1. 112
    Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk (sacredheartofthescen)
    sacredheartofthescen: Both about bored men in American society that found odd ways to fill their time and become what they want to be.
  2. 10
    The killer inside me by Jim Thompson (gtross)
    gtross: I would be very much surprised if Bret Easton Ellis hadn't been influenced by Jim Thompson's first person narrative of a psychopathic mind.
  3. 10
    The Maimed by Hermann Ungar (askthedust)
  4. 10
    Killer on the Road by James Ellroy (yokai)
  5. 00
    People Live Still in Cashtown Corners by Tony Burgess (ShelfMonkey)
  6. 01
    Netsuke by Rikki Ducornet (StevenTX)
  7. 01
    The Seven Days of Peter Crumb: A Novel (P.S.) by Jonny Glynn (gooneruk)
    gooneruk: Peter Crumb is more intense, shorter, and more schizophrenic, but Bateman is a good cross-Atlantic mirror for him.
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English (157)  French (9)  Danish (2)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (173)
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
I was amazed when reading this book. Not only at the quality and the graphic descriptions (after a long pause to make you doubt it's coming) but at the high level of humour throughout. It's been years since I first read it and that remains the feature that stands out most for me.
And it taught me what a habitrail was. Yeah, thanks for that. ( )
  kathay | Sep 26, 2014 |
If you think the film was even the least bit dull, don't even bother going into this book. Advertised as the most gruesome work of fiction and a book that makes you excited and happy to know what happens next, American Psycho basically offers you words you couldn't care less about over and over and over and dialogues between oh so handsome rich men. And our main character is a dick.
Yeah I know. What to expect from a psychopath right? ( )
  sarafwilliams | Sep 13, 2014 |
If you think the film was even the least bit dull, don't even bother going into this book. Advertised as the most gruesome work of fiction and a book that makes you excited and happy to know what happens next, American Psycho basically offers you words you couldn't care less about over and over and over and dialogues between oh so handsome rich men. And our main character is a dick.
Yeah I know. What to expect from a psychopath right? ( )
  sarafwilliams | Sep 13, 2014 |
The further I read this book, the more I realized what a dark satire it was and how brilliantly it was written. Everything in this book that raises the reader's ire *should* do exactly that - from the ethnic slurs to the materialism to the ethnocentrism to the violence to the crass sex. This, however, does not make it a fun read. It's the kind of narrative that reminds me of a train wreck - horrible to witness, yet begging to be seen.

I don't know where it comes from, but this book also includes little gems that periodically made me laugh out loud. For example, I liked this...

"Blitzen was a reindeer"
"The only Jewish one," Peterson reminds us.

And there was this...

"...McDermott, in a state of total frustration, asked the girls if they knew the names of any of the nine planets. Libby and Caron guessed the moon. Daisy wasn't sure but she actually guessed...Comet. Daisy thought that Comet was a planet. Dumbfounded, McDermott, Taylor and I all assured her that it was."

Where does the author come up with this stuff?

Another thing that made me laugh about this novel was Patrick Bateman's preoccupation with the newest, most chic material items of his time. This book was first published in 1991. As I read this novel in 2014, I smile to myself at how out of vogue and retro all of his possessions seem now. In reality, not that much time has gone by. That says something profound about the things he valued most at that time.

There was one chapter of a ménage a trois between Patrick Bateman and two women. So much was going on with so many orifices and things going into the various orifices that I could not imagine the configuration of all of these individuals (nor did I want to!). I read that chapter and moved on to the next one.

[American Psycho] is a book that takes other fiction such as [A Clockwork Orange] or [Trainspotting] to the "nth degree". It surpasses them in its ability to be offensive. The issue is that it is very well written and is very readable. Go figure!

I think this book can best be described as "transgressive" fiction, a term which wikipedia defines as "a genre of literature that focuses on characters who feel confined by the norms and expectations of society and who break free of those confines in unusual or illicit ways...Unbound by usual restrictions of taste and literary convention, its proponents claim that transgressive fiction is capable of pungent social commentary."

This is true for [American Psycho] which makes quite a statement about materialism, class, and educational status. Is it worthwhile reading? I'd say definitely yes.

What makes the book so readable:
1. shock value
2. the evil human side of us
3. meter - the same sort of rhythm that Chuck Palahniuk uses in his novels
4. the ambiguous ending - THIS IS NOT AN EXIT
5. the tirade against yuppies

One thing I can warn is for NO ONE to pick up this book casually, expecting simply a good read. This is a book that one experiences viscerally as well as mentally. If you think you can handle this while be offended along the way, then go select this book to read. ( )
2 vote SqueakyChu | Jul 9, 2014 |
This is easily one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. I'm not afraid to admit, I worry a little about the author. I'm not implying that he has done any of the things the main character in this book does, but even to have those thoughts is a little disturbing.

There are some scenes which seem way too graphic...and points where I wasn't sure I could really keep reading.

Obviously I did.

And I'd agree that the character is psychotic. I'm not sure even if he did all of the things he describes, or if they are only figments of his imagination. Either way: he is psychotic or schizophrenic...of the two, I guess I'd prefer for him to be schizo, since it means people didn't really die?

It's more gruesome than the movie. So if you're into that...read this.

( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
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for Bruce Taylor
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ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE, is scrawled in blood red lettering on the side of the Chemical Bank near the corner of Eleventh and First and is in print large enough to be seen from the backseat of the cab as it lurches forward in the traffic leaving Wall Street and just as Timothy Price notices the words a bus pulls up, the advertisement for Les Misérables on its side blocking the view, but Price who is with Pierce & Pierce and twenty-six doesn't seem to care because he tells the driver he will give him five dollars to turn up the radio, "Be My Baby" on WYNN, and the driver, black, not American, does so.
Quotations
And if another round of Bellinis comes within a twenty-foot radius of this table we are going to set the maitre d' on fire. So you know, warn him. - Timothy Price
"Beat the shit out of him," the girl suggests, pointing at me. "Oh honey," I say, shaking my head, "the things I could do to you with a coat hanger."
"Blitzen was a reindeer"
"The only Jewish one," Peterson reminds us.
...McDermott, in a state of total frustration, asked the girls if they knew the names of any of the nine planets. Libby and Caron guessed the moon. Daisy wasn't sure but she actually guessed...Comet. Daisy thought that Comet was a planet. Dumbfounded, McDermott, Taylor and I all assured her that it was.
"Lobster to start with? And for an entrée?"
"What do you want me to order? The Pringle Potato Chip appetizer?"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679735771, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:42 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In a black satire of the eighties, a decade of naked greed and unparalleled callousness, a successful Wall Street yuppie cannot get enough of anything, including murder. 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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