Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Favorite Reads: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

In My Favorite Reads each week I feature one of my favorite reads from the past. September is Banned Books week. This week my book is American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis.

Summary (from the publisher):
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.

Why I chose this book:
I read this book after watching the movie when it first came out. I read it all in one sitting. It was horrifying, terrifying, disgusting, and yet I could not look away. If the movie grossed you out, the book is much worse. You need a strong stomach for this one. I hope this isn't too much of a spoiler, but I partly read it in order to clear up something that confused me in the movie - what was reality and what was fantasy, and I can't say that this issue was cleared up, although I was satisfied. The segments where Patrick is analyzing musical artists is hilarious. I think about this book every time I hear Huey Lewis & the News. Laughing in a book so awful is disturbing, but it's also one reason why the book is so brilliant.


Alyce said...

This does sound horrifying and terrifying! I think I'm too wimpy to try this one, but I know where to look now if I need a good scare. :)

B said...

This is on my TBR. I read Glamorama earlier this year and thought it was brilliant. There were a few disturbing scenes in that novel and I feel confident I can handle American Psycho.

Carin Siegfried said...

Alyce, yes, if you're squeamish you should avoid.

Brenna, I'd be interested to hear what you think! It's the only Ellis I've read so far.

Danielle Zappavigna said...

I really want to read this yet haven't got up the courage to do so yet. It sits on shelves in bookstores here in Australia bound in plastic - this is what scares me!

Jen at Introverted Reader said...

My cousin and I watched this movie with no idea what we were in for. We just sat there with our jaws gaping open! There's no way I could read the book!

I was at the Decatur Book Festival this weekend, and author John Brandon was on a panel about books that meant the most to adult authors as teens. He candidly admitted that he stole most of his books as a teen from the local Waldenbooks. He stole this one when he was 10 or 12 years old! It was a shock to him, to say the least!