One of the most entertaining novels also happens to one of the most disturbing novels. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis is a classic novel that you should read only if you have a strong stomach. Because it gets very dark very fast.
American Psycho: Summary
Patrick Bateman is a wealthy investment banker in his 20’s in the late 1980’s. We follow him as he and his friends live a life of vanity, drugs, and a lot of violence. And we get to see first hand of the world Patrick lives in get his unfiltered thoughts in a stream-of-consciousness narrative. That leads to one of the darkest characters and protagonist who in my opinion is far scarier than even Hannibal Lecter.
During the day, Patrick and his friends bash each other and everyone who comes across their vision. At night, Patrick gives in to his darker thoughts and decides to kill. But that doesn’t satisfy his thoughts and he is plunged towards a nightmarish run that leaves many hurt and dead.
The brilliant narration leads to Bateman critiquing 1980’s pop music artists. And these thoughts come at the oddest times but make for a great read. As a narrator, we can’t trust Patrick as he contradicts himself and confuses people often. But when he decides to commentate on 1980’s pop music, you will definitely want to listen to those artists and decide for yourself if Patrick has a good point or just bad taste.
As disturbing as American Psycho is, I also really enjoyed it. The narration is brilliant and entertaining even with the dark content happening in the background. Not everyone will like this book for various reasons but Ellis does deserve credit for writing a novel that many would not even want to be mentioned with.
The content of the book is very disturbing and not for everyone. Even the original publishing house Simon & Schister pulled out before Vintage decided to publish it. And some countries also feel the same way as the novel is only allowed to be sold shrink-wrapped.
As you can imagine, this book would almost never be published in today’s day and age. But it still is read often because of how well it is written at the end of the day. It did also inspire the classic movie of the same title. So I would recommend it but it is not for the feint of heart.