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American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

American Psycho (original 1991; edition 1991)

by Bret Easton Ellis

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9,835202290 (3.74)271
Title:American Psycho
Authors:Bret Easton Ellis
Info:Vintage (1991), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (1991)

  1. 113
    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
    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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Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)
Ah, American Psycho. Such a cult classic book.

I read this via an audiobook and I thought it was a well-crafted novel. I love the atmosphere that Brett Easton Ellis creates, but more than anything I appreciate his details in the novel. I love how he mentions brand names, streets, specific restaurants and how he describes Patrick Bateman's world, and how he interacts with it.

If anyone else had written it, it might seem like too much to spend an almost entire chapter talking about Bateman's morning routine, the facial masks, the exact number of push ups in his work out, what foods make up his breakfast and where he purchased them. But I loved it.

There are a couple of scenes that I remember vividly - and some scenes where I couldn't look away.

It is very graphic, and people who are triggered by very graphic material should be careful.

But the writing is brilliant, and it is a good book. c: ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
Un romanzo insieme terribile e comico. ( )
  cloentrelibros | Aug 23, 2016 |
My Review:

i know for a fact that i never took this long to finish a book , an entire week!
but God this was so boring!
i started this book with high expectations, i heard good things about it , and wanted to read it before watching the movie . well , i was terribly disappointed .

the first half of the book was so awfully boring , the only thing it offered me is some fashion rants - that went on for pages and pages- and useless conversations about food or girls and money ( maybe some other things too , i couldn't focus much , it was THAT boring)


i had to skim through it to be able to finish it without burning the book.

the second part however was a bit better ( still boring most of the times) , yet his true psycho self started to have a presence in the story and took actions rather than few provocative words .

i did enjoy reading about what he did to his victims ( pretty sick huh?) at least it was a bit interesting , i do believe it's too graphic and violent , absolutely disgusting too , but it sent emotions in me , shock , disgust , horror , surprise . unlike the other parts where i just want to hit my head on the wall rather than read them .

there were a lot of times where i felt the character was too much of a misogynist , bet then again , we're talking about a psychopath here!

i didn't enjoy the way the story was told , many other characters were absent most of the times , and the author focused too much on Patrick's thoughts ( which were boring , many about clothes) . and we witnessed the events from only his perspective , so we always know what to expect .

the ending was also another disappointment , a bit all over the place and hard to understand .


maybe this book was destined to a different category of people , but i didn't enjoy it at all . so i won't recommend it to anyone really.

i will only give it 2 starts because the killing scenes were good. ( )
  Spymer | Aug 1, 2016 |
this is a crazy ride. the full chapter (or nearly) on the genius of huey lewis and the news is worth the read.

i'm thinking this has some commentary on 80's american culture. a rare book where the movie is better.

it's hilarious and sickening, sometimes simultaneously.

a must read if you haven't and you are in your 40's. ( )
  Joseph_W_Naus | Jul 20, 2016 |
Last read in 2005, and now re-read as part of a chronological reading of all of Bret Easton Ellis's novels up to 'Lunar Park' in order to appreciate the latter novel and to have a grounding for the opening chapter in Graham Matthews's book 'Ethics and desire in the wake of postmodernism' (2012): 'Fear and uncertainty in BEE's 'Lunar Park'.

2016 is the 25th anniversary of publication - and several factors surprised me, not least that Donald Trump is the revered icon of this Wall Street rat pack, sightings (usually false), invitations to his parties, the reading of his 1987 book ‘The art of the deal’ ("He makes one believe in the American Dream again" - The New York Times) are de rigueur. That DT is now running for President is both bizarre and disturbing, no doubt an irony that BEE would view as a logical progression as these lost souls hover around Hades successfully alienating working class Americans, women, immigrants and beggars, not to mention Bateman's additional cruelties.

The endless commodification doesn't necessarily date the book, though I'm not that au fait with what's in or out these days, I did find that they added quaintness & flavour, with so many named brands that I did recognize still fighting it out at the 'top' 25 years on. Re-reading was a very different experience, I'd forgotten so much, and the book was a lot funnier than I remember it.

The absence of books (Trump excepted) and the emphasis on film and music - video cassettes and CDs, chimed with my experience when I mentioned to friends that I was re-reading AP - almost all asked if I'd seen the film? Most hadn't read the book; no I've not seen the film - it sits unwatched in a dark cupboard beneath the HD Panasonic TV 27-inch-wide screen with enhanced cinema sound and sub... I don't think I should see the film, apart from my tolerances (growing less as I get older) ‘the horror’ is best imagined.

It is a classic book of late capitalist grand guignol and it still chomps at the nerves 25 years on. ( )
  peterbrown | Jun 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)
There are literally pages and pages of this, and pages and pages of the sort of half-witty, half-bright dialogue and behaviour that goes with it: one repeatedly has the sense that inside this 399-page novel about a serial killer, a 120-page novella about spoilt rich kids in New York is wildly signalling to be let out. […] The descriptions of the killings are as inert, and therefore as gratuitous, as one fears they will be.
added by Widsith | editLondon Review of Books, John Lancaster (pay site) (Jul 11, 1991)
This man Bret Easton Ellis is a very, very good writer. He gets us to a T. And we can't stand it. It's our problem, not his. American Psycho is a beautifully controlled, careful, important novel which revolves about its own nasty bits. Brilliant.
added by Widsith | editThe Guardian, Fay Weldon (Apr 25, 1991)
You get the feeling that Mr. Ellis began writing his novel with a single huge emotion of outrage, and that he never in his three years of working on it paused to modulate that emotion or to ask if it was helping to construct an imaginary world. How else could he have written scenes so flat and tedious that the reader wants to scream? Surely not with profit or exploitation in mind. If so, commercialism has never before produced anything so boring.
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
L'auteur de ce journal et le journal lui-même appartiennent évidemment au domaine de la fiction. Et pourtant, si l'on considère les circonstances sous l'action desquelles s'est formée notre société, il apparaît qu'il peut, qu'il doit exister parmi nous des êtres semblables à l'auteur de ce journal. J'ai voulu montrer au public, en en soulignant quelque peu les traits, un des personnages de l'époque qui vient de s'écouler, un des représentants de la génération qui s'éteint actuellement. Dans ce premier fragment, intitulé Le Sous-Sol, le personnage se présente au lecteur, il expose ses idées et semble vouloir expliquer les causes qui l'ont fait naître dans notre société. Dans le second fragment, il relate certains évènements de son existence.

Fedor Dostoïevski
Le Sous-Sol
Une des grandes erreurs que l'on peut commetre est de croire que les bonnes manières ne sont que l'expression d'une pensée heureuse. Les bonnes manières peuvent être l'expression d'un large éventail d'attitudes. Voici le but essentiel de la civilisation : exprimer de façon élégante et non pas agressive. Une de ces errances est le mouvement naturiste, rousseauiste des années soixante où l'on disait : "Pourquoi ne pas dire tout simplement ce que l'on pense ?" La civilisation ne peut exister sans quelques contraintes. Si nous suivions toutes nos impulsions, nous nous entretuerions.

Miss Manners (Judith Martin)
And a thing fell apart
Nobody paid much attention

Talking Heads
for Bruce Taylor
First words
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.
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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:32 -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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