Thursday, November 18, 2010
Book Four of the 7 Fantabulous Re-Reads: American Psycho
In American Psycho, author Bret Easton Ellis introduces us to Patrick Bateman, a well-to-do Wall Street businessman who hangs with other equally boring yuppies and has an affection for Peter Gabriel and Huey Lewis and the News. Patrick is engaged to Evelyn, a woman who he doesn't really care for, and who he suspects is having an affair with his friend. Patrick, Evelyn and their friends spend their nights trying to get into the newest clubs and restaurants, flaunting their wealth and snorting cocaine in bathrooms. While to others Patrick appears to be just another rich guy enjoying life, he spends his nights as a serial killer and having obsessive compulsive tendencies to be absolutely perfect in every way.
It takes a long while before the actual murders start, but throughout the first half of the novel Patrick makes comments to his friends about being a psychopath, but his friends always misunderstand what he's saying or think he's being funny. Patrick has affairs with random women, and it's with these women that he acts out his sick desires, including toture, cannibalism and mutilation. As his ability to keep his public and personal lives separate, Patrick begins to lose control.
I think maybe I'm in too jolly of a mood, and because of that I sort of just robotically read through the novel this time around. I didn't really invest too much feeling in it, which is strange for me, especially since this story is so disturbing. After publishing American Psycho, Ellis received a great deal of complaints, and "concerned" groups even tried having the book banned in various cities. Although yhr novel contains some truly dark and awful content, Ellis' ability to create such a complex character is deserving of at least the same courtesy as Stephen King.
Up Next: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald