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Psycho: A Novel Paperback – May 25, 2010
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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"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
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.
Top customer reviews
Why did is take me nearly 57 years to get around to reading Robert Bloch's Psycho? Maybe it was because I was a mere seven years old when it was first published and I was still reading such classics as Fun With Dick and Jane and it would be a number of years before I learned of the fun to be had with a good horror book and by then it just became lost in the all the new material released in the intervening years.
So what made me decide to read this essential work now? Well, this Monday will see the release of Robert Bloch's Psycho: Sanitarium, a new novel written by Chet Williamson. Set in the years Norman Bates would spend in a mental institution following the events in Bloch's original Psycho. Thus, now seemed like an excellent time to catch up.
By now, everyone knows the story, even if they've never read the book or seen Alfred Hitchcock's film adaptation. So it's really not necessary to provide much of a synopsis here. Let's just say Psycho was pretty perverse for it's day and writer, Robert Bloch did a wonderful job in expressing the relationship between Norman and his mother Norma which lead to his being the person he is in the book.
Reading Psycho has even given me a new appreciation for the A&E series Bates Motel which I've enjoyed for four seasons now. While not exactly a retelling of the book or the movie, it certainly captures the underlying themes of the author's original story, particularly the way the Bates family put the "fun" in dysfunctional. Norman Bates is a wonderfully complex, broken man, and is one of my favorite flawed literary characters of all time.
As a result of reading Psycho I'm looking forward, more than ever, to Chet Williamson's new work of which Publisher's Weekly says, “Horror author Chet Williamson ably succeeds in the tough task of creating a sequel to Robert Bloch’s masterpiece, Psycho; a prequel to the less effective Psycho II; and a solid story in its own right…The novel shines. Whenever Norman gets the spotlight, the novel feels like a lost Bloch work.”
The original Psycho is available through The Overlook Press in every format imaginable.
Robert Bloch was an American fiction writer, primarily of crime, horror, fantasy and science fiction, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Best known as the author of Psycho. Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories and over 30 novels. He was one of the youngest members of the Lovecraft Circle. H. P. Lovecraft was Bloch's mentor and one of the first to seriously encourage his talent.