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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Review of "American Psycho" by: Bret Easton Ellis

Now a major motion picture from Lion's Gate Films starring Christian Bale (Metroland), Chloe Sevigny (The Last Days of Disco), Jared Leto (My So Called Life), and Reese Witherspoon (Cruel Intentions), and directed by Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol). 

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. 


Review: This book was chosen as my book club's monthly pick. I was actually looking forward to reading it, and then maybe seeing the movie. It was highly reviewed by critics, so I was optimistic when I started reading it. 

I believe my Kindle showed that I was 21% of the way into the book when I couldn't take it anymore. It read like a catalog for Wall Street Schmucks. The author listed brand name after brand name after brand name. I understand what he was trying to do. I get that he wanted to showcase the overindulgent and materialist lifestyle of his characters. I just think he overdid it. Really, really, REALLY overdid it. 

I skimmed the rest of the book, trying to find out what all the hype was about. There were a few mildly interesting scenes, like a run in with Tom Cruise in an elevator. The few psychopath scenes were adequately vulgar, though disturbing as the book was written in first person present tense. It was like reading a psychopaths journal about his conquests torturing and murdering prostitutes, stabbing a child at the zoo, taunting the homeless, and pampering himself like a vain little priss. And as far as I could tell, there was zero plot. 

Call me narrow-minded if you will, but I prefer books written from the perspective of a character that I can grow to like or at least relate to on some level. This was probably the most disappointing book I've ever tried to read. I don't even want to see the movie now.

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