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Patrick Bateman Is Twenty Six And He Works On Wall Street, He Is Handsome, Sophisticated, Charming And Intelligent He Is Also A Psychopath Taking Us To Head On Collision With America S Greatest Dream And Its Worst Nightmare American Psycho Is Bleak, Bitter, Black Comedy About A World We All Recognise But Do Not Wish To Confront Loved this book One to give me a book hangover Didn t want it to end.Always loved the film and the book is really not far off Descriptions were OTT.Dark Masterpiece Love the scene with the business cards Both film book. jason, an old high school buddy, knew i was in manhattan for a few nights and asked to meet up for dinner fuck it, i m a sentimental guy, and it s nice to catch up even with a wall street douchebag jason told me that lisa, another old friend, would be joining here s the conversational breakdown at dinner 20 minutes comparing features on their new blackberries.40 minutes the new zagat guide and the city s best restaurants 20 minutes glib commentary on people we grew up with lisa leaves and jason asks me to walk a few blocks and check out his new apartment fucking sick pad, bro, sick unable to deal with anyof this shit without backup, i text the address to bryan and john they meet up and we sit in jason s super large, super minimalist, picture window overlooking the city apartment shooting the shit and drinking johnnie walker blue label jason is quickly bored and calls over two hookers he hits the bedroom with the cuter of the two me john and bryan sit at the living room table and drink blue label with the other one five minutes passes and we hear this from jason s bedroom jason screams get off get the fuck off we re all wondering what it is, exactly, she is on that he wants her off of and if we should go in there and see if everything s ok and then again jason get the fuck off hooker shut up the door busts open and the hooker storms out with a very angry jason behind her ranting that she took a phone call while giving him head and carried on a conversation while licking his balls so it s a moment of hilarious revelation when we realize that what jason wanted her to get off of, of course, was her phone phone girl looks to blue label girl you ready to go blue label girl you get paid phone girl nods jason angry you re not going anywhere i fucking paid for two girls all we got was a half the girls pause and give us the once over, i imagine, to gauge if we re the kinda guys to get violent or to let em just walk out with jason s money they re professionals and know their shit they walk out jason lamely chides us for not getting his back me bryan and john go down to von for a beer i recently re read american psycho only a few weeks after returning from jason s second wedding in a vineyard in napa they wouldn t allow any alcohol other than their own wine to be drunk, so everyone compensated with dimebags and eightballs and i spent hours talking to all these coked out shitbags and, yeah, i guess i was a coked out shitbag, but in an entirely different non patrick batemanesque way here s the wedding conversational breakdown new gadgets iphones, stereos, flatscreens, cars we are at the top of the system because we are the smartest and most shrewd and if obama is going to regulate us and putmoney in the hands of the poor, we will be forced to prey on the poor good job obama, you just fucked the poor in a way bush never could have is jay z the new sinatra vacation spots st barts, maui, etc can we getcoke you know how much money greg has fucking sick, bro you know he took a fucking private helicopter here, right jason s stepsister is kinda hot you think i can fuck her easton ellis s book isn t really much of an exaggeration what it is controlled, hilarious, horrible, tragic, honest and he employs some great little warholian tricks whereas andy lined up pictures of mao, marilyn, minestrone, easton ellis clobbers us with a quick repetition of interwoven, passive voiced, flattened out sentences about daytime television, anal rape, and fashion tips to accent his truly mad book but the big question is american psycho a book that hates women i guess I mean, it s about and for a culture that hates women, no now, i don t really wanna defend the book against these chargesfun to wonder what those who view american psycho as woman hating or anti feminist make of the dozens hundreds of panty sniffing television shows, movies, graphic novels, books, and video games that blanket pop culture consider, as a mild example, Law Order SVU.here we have a show in which every episode is about an underage girl raped or a coma victim raped or an old woman raped written, shot, and ingested as titillating panty sniffing nonsense less offensive because it takes itself so seriously because one of the cops is a woman or because it s able to take a preposterous and unrealistic moral standpoint in punishing the crime criminal by having them jailed or killed or, in those rare occasions when the rapist isn t caught, we re given a profound poignant important commentary on violence and crime and the justiceblahfuckingblah.or do CSI, SVU, COLD CASE, etc get a pass because they re low art, light entertainment, not taken seriously the shit s backwards, yo.to be totally honest, i have a hard time seeing how one views as so many do american psycho as woman hating or anti woman or anti feminist i suspect that easton ellis is so good at what he does, his depiction of violence so visceral, excessive, and demented that it literally pushes people to a point in which they must either reduce the book to a commentary on society and consumerism and capitalism ugh or to the point at which the excess drowns out any point easton ellis imagines he s making.and then there s a complaint best made by David Foster Wallace I think it s a kind of black cynicism about today s world that Ellis and certain others depend on for their readership Look, if the contemporary condition is hopelessly shitty, insipid, materialistic, emotionally retarded, sadomasochistic, and stupid, then I or any writer can get away with slapping together stories with characters who are stupid, vapid, emotionally retarded, which is easy, because these sorts of characters require no development With descriptions that are simply lists of brand name consumer products Where stupid people say insipid stuff to each other If what s always distinguished bad writing flat characters, a narrative world that s cliched and not recognizably human, etc is also a description of today s world, then bad writing becomes an ingenious mimesis of a bad world If readers simply believe the world is stupid and shallow and mean, then Ellis can write a mean shallow stupid novel that becomes a mordant deadpan commentary on the badness of everything Look man, we d probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what s human and magical that still live and glow despite the times darkness Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it d find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it You can defend Psycho as being a sort of performative digest of late eighties social problems, but it s nothan that while i find his stance admirable and elegantly stated, there s so so so much i disagree with here i guess it all comes down to an ear drum shattering NO i do not believe that in dark times the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements i believe that could be a definition of good art , but not the definition norman mailer who tried, and failed, to create an american psycho type book with his an american dream complains that easton ellis offers no alternative to the flat, insipid life of patrick bateman DFW and mailer seem to suggest that we need two things from art 1 we need to follow a traditional model of literature which presents the good contrasted against the bad i.e tolstoy, dickens, etc an art which offers an alternative morality, a way out, a CPR , something better this is, of course, reactionary nonsense what s good for leo, charlie, dave, or norm ain t necessarily good for the gander.2 we need a representation of the good in our art to show the reader an alternative or a means to break free bullshit while orwell needed a winston smith in order to achieve the intended effect of 1984, i cannot conceive of an american psycho with a moral voice the moral voice comes not from the narrator or characters within the novel, but from the reader herself and look most of the shit i dig tries to do just this illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it finding a means to live with integrity in a world of shit is an underlying theme in most of the shit i respond to and or create but, again, this does not mean that it is the author s job or the creator of good art to proceed along those lines in fact, what i most appreciate about easton ellis is his refusal to trace over pre defined lines.as helpful, at times, as it might be to read litcrit and reviews which approach the novel as a kind of book shaped container meant to convey certain ideas, standpoints, or commentaries as a reader for me, at least , it s a killer deadly american psycho is a great book in that, yes, there s lots of serious shit going on in there that lends itself to term papers, academic essays, and the like and, yes, it succeeds wonderfully in defining a particular point in american history but also because it transcends all that it creates here goes my generalization , as does all good art , the ineffable feeling only able to be expressed through that particular work no other contemporary writer except, perhaps, delillo at his best is able to infuse a work with such dread the dread that easton ellis creates in this book goes far beyond DFW s simple assertion that american psycho does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is transcendence through dread, baby. UnholyShite This may be the only book I ve rated 5 stars that I have NO intention of EVER reading again Ever After finishing this, I was forced to wait until my brain had cooled down and re congealed before I could cogitate sufficiently to put my experience with this novel into words And yet, even after almost 36 hours have ticked by, the only word that keeps bubbling up to the surface of my consciousness isWOWin both the good and not so good vareity At first, I d thought about trying to do a tongue inside the cheek review by imitating the narrator and describing what designers I was wearing while typing this review and what brand of shampoo and shaving cream I used this morning However, theI thought about, theI realized I wanted to play this one straight given the profound effect the book had on me Therefore, you get mostly serious Stephen today On the one hand, this novel is a visceral, disturbingly dark portrait of the 1980 s as a emotionally vacuous, disconnected and superficial bastion of consumerism in which the people living through it becameanddetached from society and less and less able to emote for anyone beyond themselves In essence, the book deals extensively and brilliantly with a loss of empathy The protagonist, Patrick Bateman, is the personification of the darkest extreme of this lack of empathy He is, by definition, a psychopath which has as one of its primary characteristics, the inability to feel guilt, remorse or empathy towards another person Patrick is outwardly charming and good mannered with all the outward indicia of normality Insidethere is NOTHING I found the beginning of the book to be very funny in a dark, satirical way Almost every sentence out of Patrick s mouth included a description of a specific product brand or status symbol He didn t just reach into his wallet and pay the cabbie, He opens up his Ermenegildo Zegna suit coat, pulls out his Tumi calf skin wallet while seeing in the corner of his eye the Fratelli Rossetti wingtips that his friend has on and pulls out cab fare before putting the wallet back in his new black leather attache by Bottega Veneta As the narrative goes on, you realize that we are seeing the world through Patrick s distorted lens and this focus on brands is simply a result of Patrick s twisted world view.In addition to having some serious fun with the out of control consumerism of the 80 s, Ellis slowly begins to reveal to us the fact that Patrick and I might add all of the people he associates with have no empathy or compassion for anyone but themselves Upon arriving at a very high end restaurant where Patrick and his friends will spend an exorbitant amount of money and barely eat any of their food , Patrick casually narrates for us Outside Pastels Tim grabbed the napkin with Van Patten s final version of his carefully phrased question for GQ on it and tossed it as a bum huddling outside the restaurant feebly holding up a sloppy cardboard sign I AM HUNGRY AND HOMELESS PLEASE HELP ME. No further comment is made about the scene and it is only after manysimilar occurrences that you begin to get the picture that is being portrayed I thought that the first half of the book was nothing short of BRILLIANT as an indictment of the period However, that is not where the book ends and it s the second half of the book that, while equally well written, was arguably the most disturbing writing I ve ever read As the book progresses, Patrick s nighttime activities becomeandbizarre, sadistic and just plain brutal Now, I ve read a lot of horror and seen my share of movie gore and while I don t enjoy slasher movies or torture porn novels I certainly have been able to deal with some very brutal images and scenes in the context of a what I read and watch Well, the images and descriptions of Patrick s murders unsettled me as much as anything I have ever experienced It was not just the graphic, detailed AND PROLONGED scenes of rape, murder and torture not always in that order It was inner monologue of Patrick totally devoid of empathy for his victims that will probably stay with me for the rest of my life I had read reviews that the murder scenes were graphic and I was like thanks for the warning but I should be okay Well I want to say again BE WARNED, it is about as disturbing as you can imagine I wanted to make sure I said that because, despite my cautions above, this is a book I will recommend provided people understand the level of gut wrenching depictions in the novel It s not a book to read for pleasure and it is not a book I believe I will ever open again However, I do believe that this is an IMPORTANT work and will be remembered as one of the seminal novels written about the 1980 s It shines a harsh and brutal light if exaggerated for effect on a way of life and a mind set that has become, over time, all too familiar.5.0 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATIONthough I m likely never touching it again. I actually read this book a few years ago, but I stumbled across the Goodreads reviews of it, and felt I needed to add my voice, because it is such a difficult piece of lit in a lot of ways,and honestly, it probably isdeserving of a thesis paper than of a measly little review on Goodreads American Psycho is a brilliant book Genius It will no doubt deservingly be remembered as Bret Easton Ellis s masterpiece, his tour de force of sadist misanthropy.I effing HATED it American Psycho is a brutal satire of the American upper middle class, set amongst the yuppies of New York during the boom era of the 1980 s Patrick Bateman is the main character and narrator, a bland upwardly mobile business man whose personality is a terrifyingly blank slate He defines himself solely by the products he uses, the clothes he wears, the places he is seen eating or partying He is also a murderer In the course of the book, he murders a homeless man, a colleague, and numerous prostitutes, all with less emotion than he bestows upon his hair gel.Ellis slyly balances the relative passion with which Bateman might discuss Huey Lewis in one chapter with a dispassionate yet detailed and horrific play by play of rape and dismemberment in the next.The banality and sly humor Bateman s analysis of Whitney Huston is both disturbingly off kilter and hilarious of the early non violent passages of the book make the murders all thejarring to the senses when they start coming thick and fast at the end, and black humor gives way to an out and out brutality the likes of which have not been touched in any other book I ve ever read.At first glance, it seems as though it is the juxtaposition of the banal and the brutal that make American Psycho shocking In fact, however, what wrenches the gut is the sameness of detail and emotion with which both torture and nouvelle cuisine are treated Ellis s muse is at once a monster and a metaphor, not just for the Reagan era, but for the potential darkness of post modernity in toto He is a camera His world is reduced to an inventory of details, equally weighted a chair, a suit, an arm, a head.Reading American Psycho is a much less enjoyable experience than you might think, based on its titillating reviews or even Guinevere Turner s smart film adaptation which was my original impetus for reading the book The book is many times darker, nastier, uglier, grosser, crueler than I was prepared for, and I am a pretty die hard fan of horror and true crime lit Like many other women who read this book, I found myself getting faint and queasy, and ended up hurling it across the room in disgust I couldn t make it to the end As a female and a feminist, I found the book problematic Of course, the character of Bateman is supposed to be vile, but his misogyny is so pronounced that I find it hard to simply glom it on with the rest of his misanthropic tics Sure, he kills his a hole co worker, and a few other dudes here and there, but mostly, he kills women And unlike the asexual murder of his colleague, these womens deaths are hyper sexualized They are all committed post coitally, they are almost all prostitutes While I don t think that Bret Easton Ellis is unaware of the misogynist content of A.P., I nevertheless find itdisturbing because of the narrator s lack of analysis, and because of a dearth of the clever commentary Ellis sneaks in during so many other moments in the novel It is heady territory, just waiting to be mined by some iron willed feminist scholar with the eggs for it, but I am not that woman, and if you don t think you re that woman either, then I would STRONGLY advise avoiding American Psycho.Putting it bluntly the scenes of women being raped, beaten, tortured and killed in this book are numerous, long, detailed, and presented with an absolute lack of empathy For myself, this book made me feel as though I had been sexually assaulted And while I appreciate the genius of such a book, that doesn t mean I have to like it.