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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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9,652194299 (3.74)267
Member:seventhp
Title:American Psycho
Authors:Bret Easton Ellis
Info:Vintage (1991), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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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English (177)  French (9)  Italian (2)  Dutch (2)  Danish (2)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (194)
Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
First read in 2012, reread in 2016. While I still think Ellis's best work is Less Than Zero, American Psycho is an important work illuminating so much about that culture of unrepentant, self-centered rich white men who never face consequences for their actions. Sure, most of these men aren't violent psychopaths (though is Bateman? Theories abound), but the larger picture illuminated in this novel is vital to understanding American capitalism run by these men. ( )
  sparemethecensor | Apr 14, 2016 |
I rated it only two stars because I was disgusted by some kind of self-indulgence (or what I thought was) by the author in describing blood scenes; but I feel it can be considered an interesting novel, modern with its style.
I feel it`s a kind of metaphor about what is a society sick with hubris; The USA, and for proof lok at the events ocuring quite daily killng sprees in cinema halls and schools and anywhere; it happens not in any other country; you can add the imperium and so many self justified wars around the world... ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
FINALLY, I HAVE CONQUERED THE BEAST. Yes, fifteen years after my teenage self combed through this book for 'good bits' and nearly lost her lunch, my adult self read it in its entirety and to her surprise, rather enjoyed herself! This book is not going to be for everyone, or even for most people. The eponymous Patrick Bateman's relentlessly monotonous cycle of brand names, outfit descriptions, expensive restaurants, pill-popping and bed-hopping will put many off before they even GET to the torture, murder, sadism and frenzied cannibalism - but actually, I ended up finding the repetitious detail quite soothing, and found that not only did this shallow everyday rhythm counter the (incredibly) graphic scenes beautifully, but it also allowed Bateman's black humour and moments of sudden wisdom and humanity to shine through with unexpected brightness. I got quite fond of him by the end - like somehow as reader and character we had been through the wringer together, each inside the other's psyche - and I still can't quite work out how much of his narrative was 'real' or whether some interactions and moments were purely the product of his increasingly desperate mind. Now I'm going to allow myself to revisit the (much tamer and more obviously funny) movie, and my mastery of this novel will finally be complete! ( )
  elliepotten | Apr 1, 2016 |
1991 ( )
  ChrisPisarczyk | Mar 17, 2016 |
Disturbing. Violent. Sarcastic. Disjointed. Read at your own risk...

The graphic detail of the murders committed, (or not committed?), were a bit much for me. I had to skim through portions of it because it was too disturbing to read in its entirety. Actually, I probably skimmed about 30% of this novel because...

The level of detail about people's clothing, stereo equipment, food, musical artists' discographies, etc. were extremely annoying and exhausting to read through. I understand that it was part of the 'social commentary' on the emptiness of the yuppie life but still... I'm just not that much of a masochist.

Maybe I'll enjoy the movie more but, if it shows details of the graphic violence described in the book, there is a very good chance I won't finish watching it. Murder for the sake of murder is just not that interesting to me. The hacking, slashing, nail-gunning, cannibalism, etc in the book were almost enough to make me stop reading. The only reason I finished was because I was in too deep by the time the gory parts showed up.

My overall reaction after finishing = 'meh...' ( )
1 vote ScoLgo | Feb 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 177 (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
Dedication
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.
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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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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