I have another book review for you this week. The last one I did got some great feedback so thank you all for that! If you haven’t seen it yet and would like to then click here. I have always been intrigued by this book but over the past year I started to gain more interest in it when it came up in my Audible suggestions. I wanted to read the book first though before I listened to it so it went down on my Christmas list! I was lucky enough to get it and quickly started it.
- Genre – Crime/Thriller
- Title – American Psycho
- Author – Bret Easton Ellis
- Rating – 3.5/5
The book is set during the 1980’s and focus’s around consumerism and a wealthy group of individuals, in particular Patrick Bateman. Patrick is depicted from the offset as a ladies man and the definition of a psychopath. Charming and charismatic on the outside but inward he has no empathy or compassion for others. In fact quite a lot of the characters in the book don’t really care about a great deal other than themselves and materialistic items. There are often pages of descriptions about what Patrick and his ‘friends’ are wearing and how much they are spending which puts a big emphasis on materialism.
Initially Patrick is not depicted as a psychopath as such, more of a rich, bored guy who takes drugs and sex in his spare time. It is throughout the book that his psychopathic tendencies make their appearance. These slowly build from beatings of homeless men and the women who he sleeps with. Eventually these beatings escalate to much more graphic scenes of murder of multiple people, mainly women. As these escalate the way that Patrick narrates also becomes more erratic, sadistic and seemingly confused as to who he is.
I have to say that I read a LOT of crime books and non have been as gruesomely realistic as this when explaining the sex and murder scenes as this one. I for one wasn’t put off by this but I am pretty sure that some people would be. I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting this, the way the scenes are told means you can imagine every single detail of what goes on as they are told from Patrick’s perspective, no empathy and objectifying the women, comparing them to a chicken at points. Saying this, I did find them well written, Patrick went from a bored, rich, stuck up guy to being a character that becomes dangerous and intriguing at the same time. You find yourself wanting to know more about him and what he is going to do next.
The first half of the book I found slow and although I understand why, didn’t find the descriptions of what designers the characters were wearing and the price of food very enthralling. I felt as though there were some that went on for way too long when it wasn’t necessary. An example of this was that for four pages Patrick discussed his thoughts on the first Whitney Houston album. FOUR PAGES. Why do I need to know this??? Is what I kept thinking, although luckily this was probably one of the longer sections where this happened. Apart from this I found the book to be very well written, I felt as though the internal monologues from Patrick helped to connect me with him and follow his journey his way, which I have to say is like no other I have ever read. Once I got to the last few pages there was a part of me that was pleased I had pushed on through the materialism and finished, but the other part wanted to carry on to see what Patrick did next.
I don’t feel as though the 3.5 I had to give this book is good enough to represent the way it was written, however, there were times where I really struggled to stay with the book which is why I couldn’t give this a 4/5. Saying this I would recommend this as there is a reason this book is cult status! I would warn anyone who doesn’t like graphic torture, rape/sex and murder scenes to proceed with caution, particularly towards the end of the book.
What are your thoughts on this book? Would you consider reading it?