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Who has read American Psycho ? I need you...<spoilers&gt;

(62 Posts)
ComeWhineWithMe Tue 26-Oct-10 14:52:13

I really want to read this book but is it really terrible? I am a bit scared to read the zoo bit. <wuss>

meltedmarsbars Tue 26-Oct-10 14:53:44

Its awful. I threw it out once I was finished it and deleted it from my mind.

Worth reading though, to know what the fuss was about.

ComeWhineWithMe Tue 26-Oct-10 14:55:52

Oh dear it is like a scab I know I shouldn't pick but really really want to.

MaeMobley Tue 26-Oct-10 14:57:19

I read it and hated it. It is grim. After finishing it, I felt soiled.

GooseyLoosey Tue 26-Oct-10 14:58:32

I hated it. It is the only book I refused to keep in the house after I had read it. The consists of nothing more than descriptions of designer possessions and shockingly graphic violence. I found the descriptions of sadistic torture sickening. I truly wish I had never read it as one scene in particular has bothered my for years.

meltedmarsbars Tue 26-Oct-10 14:59:07

Wasn't just me then!

Gemjar Tue 26-Oct-10 15:01:49

I loved the book, but then it takes a lot to gross me out. There is no doubt that the character of Patrick Bateman is a very sick puppy indeed, but the book is still very well written. If you're still not sure, maybe watch the film first, or try reading some of Brett Easton Ellis' other books to get into his style of writing.

As I said I would recommend the book, but it does cut quite close to bone if you are easily shocked

PaulineMole Tue 26-Oct-10 15:02:27

it is quite, quite grim.

mind you, I borrowed it from the library when I was about 13. perhaps it is easier to stomach as an adult.

I did really like the film though. The violence was less explicit allowing the story and character to be better shown off.

Francagoestohollywood Tue 26-Oct-10 15:03:02

I read it 15 yrs ago. I loved it. It is very violent though.

ComeWhineWithMe Tue 26-Oct-10 15:07:18

I do read a lot of horror so not easily shocked but I have read reviews which have said pretty much the same as what everyone has posted here.

Think I will order it and give it a go ..if I hate it I can give it my Uncle who will read anything grin.

Jux Tue 26-Oct-10 15:07:19

It was horrible. Not just gross, which it was, but just plain horrible.

DH read it first and he was nasty and bad tempered and mean all the while. Then he passed it to me, and I realised it was affecting me too.

I don't recommend it. I'm not easily shocked, and I wasn't shocked. It was just gratuitously unpleasant. I don't really know what the point of it was - to let everyone know what seriously unpleasant, shallow twats those Wall Street guys are/were? It went to extremes and there was no one, no one in that book that had a redeemable feature.

I have read something else by the author and can't remember anything about it. I wonder if he wrote this one simply to indulge in his own unpleasant fantasies, in which case I would say forget it. Don't indulge him.

pipkin35 Tue 26-Oct-10 15:07:58

Read it, and found it very interesting. It is extremely graphic. Sometimes it seems pointless, but it's supposed to be reflective of the consumerist society it's critising - as well as the violence going on for pages and being brutal, so are the descriptions of what they're wearing/listening too etc...
What's alarming is that you quickly get desensitised to the violence. (I studied it against One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest as an assignment on insanity).
Probably wouldn't dare to pick it up now though. Seem to have got very sensitive these days.
Got a real vague sense that BEE is a misogynist...but then I really liked the bleakness of Less than Zero (when I was a 'meaningful' 20 something')...and in fact, less than Zero or Rules of Attraction examine similar themes without being so hideous - though there are horrid sexual/violent images int here too.

ragged Tue 26-Oct-10 15:15:03

An awful lot of it is not about physical violence but other forms of people being truly awful to each other and literally creating the Psycho that is Bateman He is deluded and insecure to a level you can't imagine until you read it.

I would like to read it again, sometime, but must say that I found the violence so graphic that I ended up deciding that at least half of it was entirely fantasy in his head (so I just skimmed over it and didn't see that I needed to know the details, anyway).

suburbophobe Tue 26-Oct-10 15:15:47

I read it, shockingly violent! Brilliant book tho! Flogged it to the second-hand bookshop after finishing it, and luckily I've forgotten most of it!!

MrsZuko Tue 26-Oct-10 15:21:51

I read it mainly because someone had warned me off it and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I hated it - I found it utterly gruelling and it's the only book I wish I'd never read. The majority of the violence is directed against women which makes it much more personal somehow. Most of the men I know who've read it didn't seem to be as bothered.

madamimadam Tue 26-Oct-10 15:23:19

ComeWhineWithMe, Nooooo! Don't buy it! Borrow if you can but don't pay cold hard cash for it. Can you not get it from the library?

I completely agree with what everyone's said about it being gratuitously unpleasant. I could have stomached it better if it had any depth to it but I thought it was morally vacuous and as shallow as the people he was presumable satirising. It also upset me as it was so obviously determined to disgust in the most misogynistic ways possible, I thought.

I actually tore up my copy as I didn't want anyone else to read it (and books are sacrosanct at Madamplatz). Otherwise, I'd send you my copy!

PS My DH lent it to his grandmother, after skimming through the first chapter. He thought 'it was such a nice description of New York'... blush

pissedrightoff Tue 26-Oct-10 16:13:11

Hideous.Hideous.Hideous.I read it after DH had, The most worrying thing was that after I had read it DH said to me ''It was a shame what he did to that homeless man's dog eh?'' very worrying

mattellie Tue 26-Oct-10 16:15:55

It’s a modern classic and Bret Easton Ellis is a superb writer. That said, it’s better if you read his books in the order in which they were written – American Psycho should really be read after Less Than Zero and Rules Of Attraction, and then they can be seen as a kind of trilogy charting the degrading effects of drugs, sex and violence respectively on the human soul.

God, sorry that sounds a bit pretentious smile But seriously, reading them in the correct order does give you a slightly different perspective on the extreme violence of American Psycho.

Jux Tue 26-Oct-10 17:25:46

I'm glad there was a point to them, mattellie! I thought it was just horrid for the sake of it grin

(like some of the 'new' crime writers!)

PlentyOfPockets Tue 26-Oct-10 18:07:41

I thought it was a brilliantly written portrayal of obsession and of a completely soulless society. I didn't enjoy reading it, but I found it hard to put down and would read it again. It does stay with you though - don't read it if you're feeling a bit sensitive. My DP was extremely bothered by the misogynistic violence but he thought it was a great book too.

BlackFLAMECandle Tue 26-Oct-10 18:43:37

another person here with it being the only book I've willingly gotten rid of.

Just horrible for horrible's sake.

scottishmummy Tue 26-Oct-10 18:59:48

vile gratuitous violence.long huey lewis and phol collins drone.the paul allan thing was overdone

read it,wished i had not

EvilAllenPoe Tue 26-Oct-10 19:04:57

i wish i could un-read it. it contains graphic accounts of obscene torture & murder.

don't need those images in my mind. I have enough problems with knoing about real historical atrocities without knowing about imagined ones.

the book is oddly ..boring too. the psycho finds it all extremely dull.

GibbonWithAnAppleBobbingBibOn Tue 26-Oct-10 19:06:20

I started reading it many years ago but had to stop as I found it too disturbing.

Still find it hard to fathom how anyone could even imagine those scenes.

EvilAllenPoe Tue 26-Oct-10 19:07:28

i felt similar about ... some James Herbert and 'Filth' by Irvine Welsh.

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