Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
American Psycho Paperback – March 6, 1991
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Library Journal
This review is based on the galley issued by Ellis's original publisher, Simon & Schuster, before it cancelled the book. The book is now going through the editing process at Vintage. There may be some changes in the final version. The indignant attacks on Ellis's third novel (see News, p. 17; Editorial, p. 6) will make it difficult for most readers to judge it objectively. Although the book contains horrifying scenes, they must be read in the context of the book as a whole; the horror does not lie in the novel itself, but in the society it reflects. In the first third of the book, Pat Bateman, a 26-year-old who works on Wall Street, describes his designer lifestyle in excruciating detail. This is a world in which the elegance of a business card evokes more emotional response than the murder of a child. Then suddenly, for no apparent reason, Bateman calmly and deliberately blinds and stabs a homeless man. From here, the body count builds, as he kills a male acquaintance and sadistically tortures and murders two prostitutes, an old girlfriend, and a child he passes in the zoo. The recital of the brutalization is made even more horrible by the first-person narrator's delivery: flat, matter-of-fact, as impersonal as a car parts catalog. The author has carefully constructed the work so that the reader has no way to understand this killer's motivations, making it even more frightening. If these acts cannot be explained, there is no hope of protection from such random, senseless crimes. This book is not pleasure reading, but neither is it pornography. It is a serious novel that comments on a society that has become inured to suffering. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/90 and 12/90.
- Nora Rawlinson, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Bret Easton Ellis is a very, very good writer [and] American Psycho is a beautifully controlled, careful, important novel…. The novelist’s function is to keep a running tag on the progress of culture; and he’s done it brilliantly…. A seminal book.” —Fay Weldon, The Washington Post
“A masterful satire and a ferocious, hilarious, ambitious, inspiring piece of writing, which has large elements of Jane Austen at her vitriolic best. An important book.” —Katherine Dunn
“A great novel. What Emerson said about genius, that it’s the return of one’s rejected thoughts with an alienated majesty, holds true for American Psycho…. There is a fever to the life of this book that is, in my reading, unknown in American literature.” —Michael Tolkin
“The first novel to come along in years that takes on deep and Dostoyevskian themes…. [Ellis] is showing older authors where the hands come to on the clock.” —Norman Mailer, Vanity Fair
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
So it's gory, but Ellis is not completely hopeless. It takes him until p. 131 of his 399-page book to get to the first major act of violence, and until p. 166 to get to his first actual killing (both of which, by the way, are men, apparently a deliberate ploy to make the book look even-handed in its treatment of the sexes.) Before that first killing and in between the subsequent ones, there is some very funny parody of 1980s culture, and Ellis is dead on target. The call-waiting/answering machine culture takes its share of shots, as well as trash television. A running joke in the book is Bateman's favorite talk show, which discusses topics as diverse as dwarf tossing and home abortion kits.
There is a marvelous, if unappetizing, scene where Bateman steals a urinal cake from a restaurant bathroom, coats it in chocolate, wraps it in a Godiva box, and has it delivered to his girlfriend as they dine together in a fancy restaurant. She eats it, refusing to admit how awful it is because it came in a Godiva box. "I adore Godiva," she says, not understanding why Bateman won't join in. It's a very funny and shocking jab at people who see the label rather than the product. She gags, forcing it down, saying, "It's just so minty."
Bateman is constantly telling his friends what he does, but they are all so wrapped up in themselves that they don't hear him or don't believe what he's saying. After feeding his girlfriend the urinal cake, he tells her quite openly that "My need to engage in homicidal behavior on a massive scale cannot be, um, corrected." She responds to his admission by saying "Patrick, if you're going to start in again on why I should have breast implants, I'm leaving." Bateman calls another character and leaves a long, detailed admission of guilt on his answering machine. The man responds, "Bateman killing Owen and the escort girl? Oh, that's bloody marvelous!", forgetting about the "joke" immediately. It's black humor, and pretty funny at that.
The funniest three chapters in the book are the "musical group" chapters, in which the narrator suddenly spends a few pages discussing one of his favorite singers or bands. Being a vapid soul, he likes only the most vapid bands; Huey Lewis and the News, Whitney Houston and Genesis are the three bands he discusses in the book. By taking these pop bands so seriously, so analytically, Ellis succeeds in showing just how soulless and transparent these bands are.
But what if it's not something, but someone? What if someone is crying out for help, starting out small, and then growing bolder and bolder, going to an extreme to be noticed, to be heard, to be understood, and, ultimately, to be loved? Enter Patrick Bateman. Stunning, perfect, rich, admirable, everything every girl wants, yet crying out to be seen for who he is, seeking solace in details, obsessive details, in everything, because, in a way, it's his sanity, only he finds no happiness in it, it's getting worse and worse and worse. And worse. He's majorly failing on one account, really, finding someone who would share that with him, and he can't. You have probably read the summary of the book so you know that Pat Bateman is a serial killer and a Wall Street businessman, and you wonder how am I able to talk about him like that, but that's who he is. He's plagued with desperation, riddled with pain, excreting pain that he pushed so fast deep inside himself, he's only able to feel it when torturing others, seeing it on their faces, gradually losing even that, going to bigger and bigger extremes. And… and what, you ask. And… go read it. Try to read through the violent parts with this in mind, but read the whole thing. There is a generation in there. It was my generation too, though I'm originally from Russia. But I got it, it's the same, it's all the same, for everyone, in the world as it is now, and I think this is a brilliant book, and I will reread it probably many times. Wow, just wow.
It took me a bit to get used to the style of the book. Mainly because Patrick Bateman, the narrator goes into great detail about what people are wearing. Everybody he runs into, he describes exactly what they are wearing. Also the violence can be hard to read, never enough for me to put the book down or anything. Just know beforehand Patrick Bateman commits graphics acts, which he explains in detail.
Other then that everything else in the book is great(the stuff mentioned above is enjoyable, it just takes some getting used to). Patrick Bateman as a character is extremely interesting. Especially since he's the narrator, it feels we are literally inside his mind. The book has a great sense of humor, and I found it to be an extremely addictive read. I read it in about two days and have since ordered The Rules of Attraction. As for the question book or film? I still enjoy the film better. Just because Patrick Bateman is more likable in the film. And the violence is not as graphic. This comparison should in no way be taken as a disservice to the book. Because they are both great.