[Book Review] American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

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I find it difficult to summarise American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. On the surface, it’s about Patrick Bateman who is part of the Upper Class elite of Wall Street who violently kills women.

The novel is grotesque, and there were a few scenes that left me wondering why I was even reading the book. Which is why I find writing this review especially difficult. I’m torn on how I rate this book.

It’s satirical, poking fun at the elite and their way of life. I’d never even heard of some of the designers name dropped in this novel, and the fascination with Donald Trump is profound when reading it now.

But, I found myself questioning a lot of things that happened. There were many scenes where Patrick would openly admit to his violent thoughts and things that he’d done, and the conversation would continue as if he hadn’t said anything. There was a section where after admitting to killing Paul Owen, it turns out that Paul Owen is in fact not dead, which lead me to wonder if Patrick Bateman had even killed anyone at all. Was it all just a fantasy? Had any of this actually happened?

No one certainly looked for the women he murdered. Or is it the point that these women were replaceable, and no one would go looking for them?

Alas, it is safe to say that the book left me with more questions than it did answer any.

Overall, I’m not sure what my stance is on the novel. I definitely didn’t dislike it, but I’m not quite sure I enjoyed the book either. It was intriguing and downright disgusting in some parts. It was disorientating and dissociative, which from my perspective was the intention of the novel.

It’s a novel I would recommend lightly, and is definitely not for the faint of heart.

On this occasion, I am unsure. But, perhaps, only time will tell where my viewpoint on the novel stands, and perhaps demands a revisit to truly uncover all the goings on of Patrick Bateman.

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