American Psycho

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Connor B

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2015
721
3,803
24
#1
Since I'm midway through The Shining, I thought I'd start another book to keep myself preoccupied when I'm not writing, running about, or attending college. That book is Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, the basis for the 1999 cult classic starring Christian Bale. To those of you not in the loop, the novel is set in Manhattan circa 1987, following Patrick Bateman, a 25-year old yuppie who lives in an luxurious apartment and has a high-paying job. He's incredibly good looking, affable, and hip. He's also a psychotic serial killer, indiscriminately raping, torturing, and murdering when he isn't working on closing accounts, doing lines of cocaine, and so on. The novel was incredibly controversial, and still is, for its explicit violent and sexual content. In some countries, the book is sold shrink-wrapped with a warning label! Nevertheless, I loved the movie adaptation, and I want to get the full experience.
 

fljoe0

Cantre Member
Apr 5, 2008
13,794
55,972
57
120 miles S of the Pancake/Waffle line
#2
Since I'm midway through The Shining, I thought I'd start another book to keep myself preoccupied when I'm not writing, running about, or attending college. That book is Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, the basis for the 1999 cult classic starring Christian Bale. To those of you not in the loop, the novel is set in Manhattan circa 1987, following Patrick Bateman, a 25-year old yuppie who lives in an luxurious apartment and has a high-paying job. He's incredibly good looking, affable, and hip. He's also a psychotic serial killer, indiscriminately raping, torturing, and murdering when he isn't working on closing accounts, doing lines of cocaine, and so on. The novel was incredibly controversial, and still is, for its explicit violent and sexual content. In some countries, the book is sold shrink-wrapped with a warning label! Nevertheless, I loved the movie adaptation, and I want to get the full experience.

This is one of those cases where I liked the movie better than the book. The movie truncates all of that 80s self-centeredness into hilarious scenes where in the book, some of that really drags on. All of the bits with the food are very long and boring in the book but hilarious in the movie. The book is good but there are some boring stretches in it.

Bret Easton Ellis can be a little difficult to read sometimes because he never has any likable characters. ;-D Once you get over that, he can be good. I liked Lunar Park (Patrick is a character).
 

danie

I am whatever you say I am.
Feb 26, 2008
9,761
60,588
54
Kentucky
#4
This is one of those cases where I liked the movie better than the book. The movie truncates all of that 80s self-centeredness into hilarious scenes where in the book, some of that really drags on. All of the bits with the food are very long and boring in the book but hilarious in the movie. The book is good but there are some boring stretches in it.

Bret Easton Ellis can be a little difficult to read sometimes because he never has any likable characters. ;-D Once you get over that, he can be good. I liked Lunar Park (Patrick is a character).
So agree with you. All the chapters devoted to just talking about 80s music were skippable. Parts were good, but I'd never recommend this book to anyone. The movie is great; the book, not. IMO.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,668
91,905
USA
#6
That was a good book. I liked the movie as well. I read another one by him that was good but cannot remember the title.
Probably Less Than Zero--that's the one that was a 'gotta read' in '87.

Meh. He's okay. The books are very dated, and the protags read as Mary Sues for himself. I'll agree with the above posters--the movie of American Psycho is better than the book.
 
Mar 8, 2012
5,428
25,620
NJ
#7
Back when his writing was current, to me Brett Easton Ellis was a case of The Emperor's New Clothes. I can't see his writing holding up at all in 2016. I remember my friends and I reading and then seeing Less Than Zero back in the 80s and all having the same reaction to both:


Disclaimer: I have not read nor seen American Psycho.
Side note: there was a recent flop Broadway musical version of American Psycho.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,668
91,905
USA
#8
Back when his writing was current, to me Brett Easton Ellis was a case of The Emperor's New Clothes. I can't see his writing holding up at all in 2016. I remember my friends and I reading and then seeing Less Than Zero back in the 80s and all having the same reaction to both:


Disclaimer: I have not read nor seen American Psycho.
Side note: there was a recent flop Broadway musical version of American Psycho.
Yep, yep, YEP. Full of style, meh on substance. McInerney is a contemporary, wrote about the yuppie wonderland of the times the same way, but his books do hold up better. More meat on the bones, and more willingness to see wry humor in the times and himself.
 

mal

Well-Known Member
Jun 23, 2007
3,375
18,245
56
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
#9
Probably Less Than Zero--that's the one that was a 'gotta read' in '87.

Meh. He's okay. The books are very dated, and the protags read as Mary Sues for himself. I'll agree with the above posters--the movie of American Psycho is better than the book.
Hi skimom2. I don't think that was it. Maybe I got the author wrong, something about a porn dump that covers a complete state in 2-3 feet of porn. Some messiah-like person on an airplane...just a sec...googling...it was Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk...I wasn't even close.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,668
91,905
USA
#10
Hi skimom2. I don't think that was it. Maybe I got the author wrong, something about a porn dump that covers a complete state in 2-3 feet of porn. Some messiah-like person on an airplane...just a sec...googling...it was Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk...I wasn't even close.
LOL! I see points of comparison between those authors, actually, so I don't find it strange that you mixed them in your head. :)
 
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