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Psycho: A Novel Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook TP; 1 edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590203356
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590203354
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 3.1 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Psycho all came from Robert Bloch's book." -Alfred Hitchcock

"Icily terrifying!" -The New York Times

"Robert Bloch is one of the all-time masters." -Peter Straub

About the Author

<div>Robert Bloch is the author of the classic horror novel, Psycho, which served as the basis for Alfred Hitchcock's thrilling film of the same name. At the urging of H. P. Lovecraft, Bloch began writing short fiction in the 1930s; his first short novel, The Scarf, was published in 1947. In 1959, the year Psycho was published, Bloch won the Hugo Award for a short story and began to write for television and film, starting with "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"-a job he earned before the film version of Psycho had completed shooting!

Bloch also worked on "Thriller," a TV series hosted by Boris Karloff, twice collaborated with famed filmmaker William Castle, and wrote three episodes of the original "Star Trek" television series. In addition to this work, Bloch continued to write chilling and perceptive short stories and novels, including Firebug, American Gothic, Psycho II, and The Night of the Ripper.

Bloch's "unauthorized" autobiography, Once Around the Bloch, was his last major work. Robert Bloch died in 1994 after a long bout with cancer.
</div> --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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See all 132 customer reviews
If you have seen this movie you should read the book.
Sandy Wissing
I have to admit for whatever reason I have never seen this movie but now after reading this great book I am not sure I want to.
Dierdra Byrd
This book was full of suspense and is a quick read. definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat and not put our down.
Tina Henderson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Costantino on June 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Psycho is a great read, made even greater by the fact that the book is 40 years old! Extremely groundbreaking in the use of a pathology for the killer, it seems that Norman Bates is as much a household name in American culture as Ronald McDonald. The Alfred Hitchcock film version seems to have used the book for the script, with only minor deviations. A short read, it's impossible not to finish this in one sitting. While reading I took down four pages of quotations from this book, it's that good and inspiring. I do think this book could have been longer and bloodier provided it had been written 10-15 years later. The ending was great and overall the book was awesome. Reading it was like watching the Hitchcock version of the movie, and vice versa. A must read Horror novel. On a scale from 1-10 I'd rate this novel a 10, for its historical significance, the intensity of the story, the quote factor, and characterization.
Come on, everyone knows Norman Bates!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Awilson on October 7, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Psycho far exceeded my expectations. For some reason, I hardly ever hear the book mentioned. Everyone talks about the film version so I didn't think the book was that popular. Still, Bloch's name pops up now and then in horror discussions so I thought I'd give it a try and discovered one of those rare horror gems. This is what I call horror. It builds suspense and tries to scare us psychologically (obviously) rather than throwing blood and sex around like it's candy. It reminded me that books out there can still give me chills when reading them. Authors like Richard Laymon made me forget that. I love Laymon's work, but none of it is even remotely scary with the small exception of one scene in Night In the Lonesome October. Psycho is an all-around creepy little book and fans of horror must read it. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this one and that is amazing to me.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. McOuat on June 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Written in 1959, psycho holds up so well. Several reviewers have deliberated over the merit of the book versus the movie or vice versa. I do not think seeing the movie and reading the book are mutually exclusive. The movie is inarguably an all-time classic. In the movie version, Hitchcock builds suspense by using voyeuristic camera angles, frantic repetition and dramatic silences. However, the book is predominately comprised of internal dialogue. The narrative perspective shifts frequently and seamlessly from one characters internal psychology to the next. Each character is revealed to have a cross to bear. Bloch writes, "I think perhaps all of us go a little crazy at times" and each character reveals their own vulnerabilities. In fact, as I read it, I thought to myself, if I had been Alfred Hitchcock, why would I choose to make a movie out of this book? It's all internal dialogue! Reading the book enhanced my appreciation for Robert Bloch as a writer and for Alfred Hitchcock as a movie maker.

The book helped clarify the complex psychological issues within Norman and Mary. Their respective ambivalences are made crystal clear. The reader hears their internal voices talk them into a diabolical decision, and then the reader is privy to the conscious rationalizing the subsequent cover up. Mary had lived a typical life but talks herself into a scheme that, in the heat of the moment, seems to be the solution to all of her problems. The reader is permitted to witness her hatch her plan, develop dissonance in her conscious, then lose confidence in the plan. Obviously, Norman's life was never normal, but he was able to conduct himself in socially acceptable manner as a pariah at the superfluous motel. For decades, he functions without incidence on the margins of society.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sara Howard on September 2, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Some people say the movie was better, some people say the book was better. I'd say in terms of quality, they're about equal. The book is a bit different (for example Norman being a fat sweaty nervous guy and not a tall, thin, nervous guy). There is a little less about Mary in the novel, but I think there is more about Sam and Mary's sister. Unfortunately, as I was born long after Psycho become engrained in our culture, the end didn't surprise me, or really even disturb me, though I liked the way it was presented in the book more than the movie. It's a good, quick read if that's what your looking for, but I admit that watching the movie gives you the same disturbed feeling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laura M. Rowell on April 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'd seen the movie (who hasn't?), but never read the book. The book is not nearly as scary as the movie was (which nowadays isn't really scary at all), but was excellent! So well written, and so.... Deep. I was sucked in & was actually sad when it ended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Raja Sampath on February 15, 2012
Format: Audible Audio Edition
An awesome book,a not-so-complex plot,quick read.The chacterisation of Norman Bates is a treat for the book-lovers.It is the only point where the book scores over the movie.Everything else is equally wonderful in both movie and the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tahoe Miele on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Norman Bates. What does this name evoke for you? Perhaps a shower scene, blood, or a motel? Maybe Mother?

Norman lives in the house on the hill above his motel off the old highway. Travelers take the new highway that is a far distance away from the motel, so Norman rarely gets a guest to stop by and stay.

Except for Mary. Mary's escaping from her job, the boredom of her life, and with forty thousand in cash that she stole from her sexist boss. She's taking this money to see Sam, her fiance, and she's trading in one used car after another to throw the police and others off her tracks. It's not like her to do something like this -- after all, she's given up her own future to make sure that her sister, Lila, gets to go to college, and succeeds with more opportunities than Mary ever had.

Less than twenty miles from her fiance's town, Mary decides she'll stop to rest at a small motel. She'll get much needed sleep and freshen up. Tomorrow, she'll surprise her fiance with a made-up inheritance story and help to get him out of debt so they can marry. Unfortunately, she's picked Norman's motel to stay the night.

You may know the rest. There is the famous shower scene and screams of the beautiful young woman as she is literally hacked to pieces. The story then continues with Lila visiting Sam to see if he's heard from Mary as it's been over a week since her disappearance, and together they try to track her down.

It's a short story at around 175 pages, and in this short telling, it is without a doubt, utterly terrifying. Particularly when the story is told from Norman's perspective. He's quite an innocent, and his blackouts are written so genuinely that you truly do believe that Mother is really the problem.
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