American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

“A waiter takes our drink order – the same one who couldn’t locate the ice – and I find myself saying things, without listening to Jean, like ‘Protecting the ozone layer is a really cool idea’ and telling knock-knock jokes.”

Genre: Transgressive Fiction, Thriller

Book Jacket Synopsis: Patrick Bateman is handsome, well educated, intelligent. He works by day on Wall Street, earning a fortune to complement the one he was born with. His nights he spends in ways we cannot begin to fathom. He is twenty-six years old and living his own American dream.

Review: I hate this book. In fact, I hate this book more than any other book I have ever read. I had my own personal crisis on page 132 of 399, right after Patrick murders a homeless man and cripples a stray dog; at that point, I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to finish American Psycho. After a lengthy internal debate, however, I realized that the whole point of this blog is to give each book a fair shot and to step out of my literary comfort zone. The good news: I was able to finish this book (a big accomplishment for me). The bad news: I truly hated every minute of reading it. This is by far the most graphic novel I have ever read. If the way Patrick and his yuppie friends treat women, minorities, animals, and the homeless isn’t enough of a turn off, then the extremely graphic murder and rape scenes definitely are. AND on a side note, I know that Ellis’ lengthy descriptions of the outfits people wear and the music they listen to is supposed to “impress” me and signify the demise of important values, but is was honestly just boring. I would never recommend this book to anyone. Ever.

Reason for Ban/Challenge: The reasons that schools (and actually entire countries) typically ban American Pyscho are unsurprising to anyone who has read the book. In brief, this novel not only contains extremely graphic scenes of rape and murder, but is also rife with racist and bigoted remarks. Indeed, some countries deem American Psycho to be so disturbing that it can only be sold shrink-wrapped and cannot be purchased by anyone under the age of 18. American Psycho also gained bad press when it was revealed that real-life serial killer Paul Bernardo considered the book to be his “bible.” While I am glad that I live in a country where I have free access to this book through my local library, I have to reiterate that the content was extremely disturbing and I would caution any reader who is interested in this novel.





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