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American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

American Psycho (1991)

by Bret Easton Ellis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,024227388 (3.72)315
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)
  1. 123
    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. 30
    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
    In the Miso Soup by Ryū Murakami (TheRavenking)
  6. 00
    People Live Still in Cashtown Corners by Tony Burgess (ShelfMonkey)
  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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» See also 315 mentions

English (206)  French (10)  Danish (3)  Italian (2)  Dutch (2)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  All languages (227)
Showing 1-5 of 206 (next | show all)
It's not that I liked this book, but that it is so disturbing (particularly in terms of the current political climate, if you ask me). Actually, I feel like my brain needs a thorough cleaning after this. It's awful, but it feels extremely realistic...it's like a description of a train wreck, but a perfect, awful, terrible description of a train wreck, done in such a way that there is the glint of sunlight on bone and blood. ( )
  slmr4242 | Oct 16, 2019 |
I wish to heaven I had never read this. I enjoyed his writing style but the whole story was evil and despicable. I'll never be able to unlearn what I learned about the main character. What kind of person can write a book like this? ( )
  carliwi | Sep 23, 2019 |

I have finished American Psycho: This book is shocking for its representation of yuppies and greed and even more shocking is Ellis' depictions of careless and brutal violence When that violence is sexual in nature and directed against women, it is almost unreadable. How much this is a real view of a psychopaths mentality I have no idea. It is undoubtedly about an unreliable narrator. Once or twice I have just had to stop and not progress further in the book. Yet it draws one back. Nietzsch may have been right about gazing into the abyss.

In balance I see this as a mix of the excessive splatterpunk horror of the 1980s and the rise of the yuppie. In the end somewhat disappointing. ( )
  PhilOnTheHill | Sep 8, 2019 |
I finally read it (I quite enjoy the movie). Everything I've heard about this book is wrong. It's not horrific, it's hysterical. It's a parody of Wall Street culture of the 1980s. Sure, there's violent serial killer stuff and it's pretty out there, but it's out there because it's as much a parody as the rest of the book, with all the name dropping of clothing labels, restaurants, clubs, etc. Bateman is just about one upping everyone, including all the serial killers he knows about. Sure he admits he's sick, but that doesn't matter. His compulsion--his greed--is everything. This is the ultimate '80s book. ( )
  PirateJenny | Jun 16, 2019 |
Patrick and I are done. My daily dose of crazy is over. This book remains in the top ten of my all time favorite books. It's brilliant satire that stomps all over your precious fuzzy bunny happy feelings. Because shit happens, the world is a cold and lonely place and we are all alone scratching at the surface desperately looking for someone to understand us. God, I love this book.

I was amazed at how much of it I remembered clearly - Usually I'm surprised at how much I've forgotten of books I reread years later. The Genesis ramble. I remembered all of his Genesis ramble. (Oddly, not the Whitney Houston ramble. So funny!) Once (okay, a couple of times) I skipped over a passage that disturbed me - I knew what was coming and didn't need to read it again. I got it once and didn't need Patrick to fill me in again.

I remain on the "no" side of the big controversy. Reading all of Ellis' books (especially Lunar Park) before this one landed me more firmly within that opinion. I've seen Bateman through other eyes now and it is enough to make me even more skeptical. I still have absolutely no desire to see the movie. I don't want to picture Christian Bale when I think of Patrick Bateman.

My summer of BEE is finished and I am moving on to something else. I'm sure it will have mergers and acquisitions. Wait. I mean murders and executions. ( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 206 (next | show all)
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.
Where Bonfire owed some part of its success to the reassurance it offered the rich—“You may be silly,” Wolfe was saying in effect, “but, brother, the people down at the bottom are unspeakably worse”—Ellis’s novel inverts the equation. I cannot recall a piece of fiction by an American writer that depicts so odious a ruling class—worse, a young ruling class of Wall Street princelings ready, presumably, by the next century to manage the mighty if surrealistic levers of our economy...

If the extracts of American Psycho are horrendous, therefore, when taken out of context, that is Ellis’s fault. They are, for the most part, simply not written well enough. If one is embarked on a novel that hopes to shake American society to the core, one has to have something new to say about the outer limits of the deranged—one cannot simply keep piling on more and more acts of machicolated butchery.
added by SnootyBaronet | editVanity Fair, Norman Mailer

» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ellis, Bret Eastonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lenders, BaltTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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