Book Review: American Psycho
Bret Easton Ellis is a member of the literary brat pack. Perhaps his most well-known novel is the controversial 1991 American Psycho. It's crude, violent, and has remained quite relevant due to the cult following it, and the 2000 film adaptation starring Christian Bale. How dark is too dark? It's hard to tell if there is any line this book hasn't or wouldn't cross. This week, it's time to embrace the dark side with our protagonist Patrick Bateman.
Patrick Bateman is a successful Wall Street investment banker. He is handsome, successful, and wealthy in seemingly every way possible. Patrick is also a cold-blooded killer who describes his awful methods in graphic detail. Readers will go down the dark ride of Patrick's psyche, and some will hate what they see. He is a shallow character who does unforgivable things. However, for better or worse, the audience is there with Patrick in this shallow 80's New York City. This is a character study that will leave you wondering if some characters should see the light of day.
I love this book, but I love dark humor. Anyone who believes they have a good handle on this because of the Bale led adaptation, think again. This book is way darker than the film counterpart. It's gory; it will make you sick, and it is somehow hilarious. Deep down under the surface, the book speaks about the hedonism of the Wall Street boom. A character like Patrick can operate completely unopposed due to the selfish nature of the world he inhabits. Patrick is begging to be caught and to be vilified. I can't tell you what happens, but I can say the payoff will leave you thinking about the book for days. Regardless of how you receive this novel, I can say that you won't forget it anytime soon. What more can you ask from a story than that?