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This blog is an extension of our book groups which we welcome you to attend on the first Tuesday of each month.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis

I’ve always prided myself on finishing every book I start to read, no matter how boring or complicated, but half way through American Psycho I very nearly put it down and walked away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Bret Easton Ellis is a great writer, and the idea behind this novel is a good one.

The story focuses on one Patrick Bateman, a successful, handsome financial broker on Wall Street who at 26 has all the wealth he could possibly ever want. He then tortures and kills his way to his own ‘American Dream’, slipping in and out of reality as easily as he slips in and out of the most exclusive nightclubs and restaurants in New York.

My problem with this book is that it is about 400 pages of disjointed scenes, unnecessary perversion and gore. I actually think the film adaptation, released in 2000 and starring Christian Bale as Bateman, is a better representation of the story mainly because it lacked the horrific torture scenes that filled the novel. And I do mean the most vile and graphic scenes I have ever experienced, in any medium.

Not one for the squeamish or faint-hearted.

Emma J. James

1 comment:

  1. I just finished reading ‘The Rules of Attraction’ by Bret Easton Ellis, and while I don’t think the stream of consciousness style worked for ‘American Psycho’, it seemed to work brilliantly in this novel that is essentially a snapshot of the lives of several college students. It actually features Patrick Bateman’s brother Sean and a cameo appearance by the ‘American Psycho’ himself, though thankfully nobody was killed.