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addabook - American Psycho
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American Psycho
Bret Easton Ellis
read on November 25, 2013

Another horrible fiction book. This one is pretty famous too, I definitely don't see what the big deal is. This book has exactly two different kinds of chapters. 1) Chapters that are surprisingly long and intolerably boring, where the main character, Patrick Bateman, describes what everyone around him is wearing, where they are going to dinner, and then something about Les Miserable, all using exclusively run-on sentences. And 2) Chapters where Patrick Bateman murders prostitutes in the most grotesque, explicit, horrifying ways I've ever seen written down. Oh, I forgot, there are also two chapters where Bateman reviews the entire discographies of musicians he likes: Whitney Huston, and Huey Lewis & The News.

The book succeeds only in that I'm totally convinced that this dude is a 100% crazy sociopath, but it fails miserably as a compelling narrative. I only made it all the way to the end in the dim hope that it would redeem itself with some crazy twist. What a waste of time. Below is an excerpt that pretty much sums up the experience of reading this book. Try to make it all the way to the bottom without killing yourself. Seriously, I didn't make this up, this was just a fairly random quote. There are hundreds more just like it.

Plus there are four women at the table opposite ours, all great-looking, blond, big tits: one is wearing a chemise dress in double-faced wool by Calvin Klein, another is wearing a wool knit dress and jacket with silk faille bonding by Geoffrey Beene, another is wearing a symmetrical skirt of pleated tulle and an embroidered velvet bustier by, I think, Christian Lacroix plus high-heeled shoes by Sidonie Larizzi, and the last one is wearing a black strapless sequined gown under a wool crepe tailored jacket by Bill Blass. Now the Shirelles are coming out of the speakers, Dancing in the Street, and the sound system plus the acoustics, because of the restaurant's high ceiling, are so loud that we have to practically scream out our order to the hardbody waitress' who is wearing a bicolored suit of wool grain with passementerie trim by Myrone de Premonville and velvet ankle boots and who, I'm fairly sure, is flirting with me: laughs sexily when I order, as an appetizer, the monkfish and squid ceviche with golden caviar; gives me a stare so steamy, so penetrating when I order the gravlax potpie with green tomatillo sauce I have to look back at the pink Bellini in the tall champagne flute with a concerned, deadly serious expression so as not to let her think I'm too interested.

Author Bio:

Bret Easton Ellis (born March 7, 1964) is an American author, screenwriter, and short story writer. His works have been translated into 27 languages. He was at first regarded as one of the so-called literary Brat Pack, which also included Tama Janowitz and Jay McInerney. He is a self-proclaimed satirist, whose trademark technique, as a writer, is the expression of extreme acts and opinions in an affectless style. Ellis employs a technique of linking novels with common, recurring characters. Though Ellis made his debut at age 21 with the controversial bestseller Less Than Zero (1985), a zeitgeist novel about wealthy amoral young people in Los Angeles, the work he is most known for is his third novel, American Psycho (1991). On its release, the literary establishment widely condemned the novel as overly violent and misogynistic. Though many petitions to ban the book saw Ellis dropped by Simon & Schuster, the resounding controversy convinced Alfred A. Knopf to release it as a paperback later that year. In later years, Ellis' novels have become increasingly metafictional. Lunar Park (2005), a pseudo-memoir and ghost story, received positive reviews. Imperial Bedrooms (2010), marketed as a sequel to Less Than Zero, continues in this vein. Four of Ellis's works have been made into films. Less Than Zero was rapidly adapted for screen, leading to the release of a starkly different film of the same name in 1987. Mary Harron's adaptation of American Psycho was released to generally positive reviews in 2000 and went on to achieve cult status. Roger Avary's 2002 adaptation The Rules of Attraction made modest box office returns but went on to attract a cult following. 2008's The Informers, based on Ellis's collection of short stories, was critically panned. Ellis also wrote the screenplay for the critically derided 2013 film The Canyons, an original work.