American Psycho – Book/Movie Review

American Psycho written by Bret Easton Ellis is a psychological thriller written in first person. It was published in 1991 and the movie starring Christian Bale was released in 2000. It is classified as a R18 due to the explicit content. The spin-off American Psycho 2 is not connected to the book and is denounced by Ellis.

It is the story of Patrick Bateman, who is a young  investment banker and psychotic serial killer living in Manhattan.  He specializes in mergers and acquisitions (“murders and executions”)  at the investment firm Pierce & Pierce. The story takes you into the mind of a “mad man”  (sorry Pat, but you admitted that the “mask of sanity” is about to slip). Patrick takes delight in obsessively detailing virtually every single feature of with his personal appearance, clothing, food, and music. He also obsesses over his drug addiction, his workout routine, returning & renting video tapes, the Patty Winters show. And then of course there is the graphic violence and sexual content which created quite a stir before and after the book was published. His victims ranges from colleagues, to the homeless, to prostitutes, to various animals. Ellis describes Patrick’s crimes in graphic detail, which include, rape, torture, murder, necrophilia and cannibalism.

Oh and his drink of choice is J&B on the rocks. The ending of the book leaves it open to your own interpretation.

In the novel Lunar Park, the fictionalised Bret Easton Ellis confesses that writing American Psycho felt like channeling the words of a violent spirit rather than writing anything himself and his Bateman’s ghost haunts Ellis’ home.

A Quickie from Wiki on American Psycho 2000 e-mails

The American Psycho 2000 e-mails (transcribed here), which were written as an advertisement campaign for the movie. The letters were written by one or more unnamed author(s) and approved by Ellis before being sent out. American Psycho 2000 served as a sort of “e-quel” to the original novel.

The e-mails take place in 2000, a little over a decade since the novel. Bateman is in therapy with a Dr. M. He is also married to Jean, his former secretary. They have a son, Patrick Bateman Jr. (P.B.), who is eight years old. In the story, Bateman talks about therapy, trying to get a divorce from Jean, his renewed feelings about murder, and idolizing his son. In the end, it is revealed that the ‘real’ Bateman, who ‘writes’ the e-mails, is the owner of the company that produces the movie.

For more read Wiki/AmericanPsycho or watch the movie 🙂 This book/movie is definitely not for the squeamish.
Here’s one from laughs & Kicks AmericanPsychoPics

7 thoughts on “American Psycho – Book/Movie Review

  1. I remember Patrick and the M&A team’s obsession with their embossed name cards in the boardroom; Patrick’s meticulous beauty routine of face, body and hair care in the mornings. It’s been a while since I saw the movie. Not sure I want to see it again because it was too graphic for me, but do remember it being well made and the director paid so much attention to the smallest details. Thanks for the review and reminder of what it was all about.

    • Yes the movie was quite graphic… I re-watched it right after I finished the book… And the book is a lot more gruesome, there’s nothing like your own imagination 🙂

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