Review: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Synopsis:

Patrick Bateman is twenty-six and he works on Wall Street, he is handsome, sophisticated, charming and intelligent. He is also a psychopath. Taking us to head-on collision with America’s greatest dream—and its worst nightmare—American Psycho is bleak, bitter, black comedy about a world we all recognise but do not wish to confront.


Review:

This was a reread for me, but American Psycho was one of my first reviews on my blog when I had 0 followers, so I thought I’d repost!

”…there is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I am simply not there.”

I feel all kinds of wrong being so amazed by this book but I can’t help it. It’s funny, it’s dark, it’s brutal, it’s shocking and it’s eye-opening.

Patrick Bateman is a good-looking, charming, and rich (very rich) but he’s also an axe-wielding serial killer. He’s also my favourite horror icon because he’s so disgustingly evil but still relatable in so many ways.

But he’s also a total goofy dork! ””I’m clam, I mean calm,” I say, breathing in hard, trying to smile”, Bateman can’t get a grip on himself at all. Not only does he have moments where he’s running around Manhattan screaming like a banshee, sweating profusely, and having, what can only be described as, a mental breakdown, but he’s also just a mess at all times. This constant goofiness of Bateman is what makes this book so funny for me. Ellis does an excellent job at bringing clumsy, awkward, and goofy human characteristics to an otherwise robotic man. On one page he’s stuttering out lame knock-knock jokes and on the next, he’s biting off a woman’s fingers and masturbating over her cut up face…

Bateman is troubled, in more ways than one. Not only is he a serial killer but he’s also an outsider and he knows it. I love just how self-aware he is that he’s different and his intense want to fit in. ””Because,” I say, staring directly at her, “I… want… to… fit…. in.””… which is pretty difficult when you’re a maniac.

Normally I hate when there are long paragraphs in books that simply list things about what a person is doing or wearing, for example in Maestra I couldn’t care less, but this excessive listing of things, unimportant materialist things, is such an important element of this book. These tiresome, obsessive lists give us such a clear insight, right from the start of the novel, into the incredibly paranoid, jealous and demented mind of Bateman. When we near the end of the novel Ellis does something absolutely mind-blowing; he changes to the third person. This sudden change on narrative has such a strong impact on the reader and is the perfect, perfect way of representing Patrick’s detachment to life.

I could go on about this book forever, but I won’t. It’s a super tricky book to recommend because it’s filled with the darkest of stuff (rape, animal abuse, and A LOT of murdering obv) but at the same time it’s an excellent piece of fiction with a solid message on politics and class. I understand why this book splits audiences, but I love it.

*Buy it here: Amazon UK | Book Depository | Wordery

*affiliate links

12 Replies to “Review: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis”

  1. Hi Zuky.
    Wow. I read this about twenty-five or so years ago. I have become much more squeamish as a reader since then. I saw this post and was at the same time excited to read a review of an old favorite, but trepidatious, because I remember how horrific it was. Your review reminded me of how much humor is in that book. Whenever I hear U2, I think of Patrick.

    I liked the movie…

    but the book was better!

    Happy Reading!
    ~Icky. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Have to admit that I am on the side of hating this book. I wish I could scrub it from me noggin. I didn’t find humor in it at all. But the book does make an impact and so I found meself wanting to read yer review of it. I appreciate yer take on it even if I can’t say I feel the same. Arrrr!
    x The Captain

    Liked by 2 people

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